“Sustainable development seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future.”
– The 1987 United Nations Brundtland Commission Report
The United Nations defines Sustainable Development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is a concerted effort to building toward building an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future for people and the planet. At its core, there are 3 elements to sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection.
At UTHealth, we have a number of key stakeholders that are currently engaged in sustainability efforts across campus that endeavor to secure the University financially through cost savings and minimize our impact on the environment. These stakeholders include:
Facilities, Planning, and Engineering (FPE)
Auxiliary Enterprises (AE)
Information Technology (IT)
Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management (SHERM)
Facilities, Planning, and Engineering
Energy Conservation is managed by this group through defined temperature/humidity policies, conversion of fluorescent fixtures and bulbs to LED, and the chiller condensate recovery program. Savings from these endeavors include 10% total energy cost reduction- $3.4M savings, projected 79% reduction in lighting costs, and 20% reduction in water cost for SRB. Other efforts done by Facilities, Planning, and Engineering to conserve energy and reduce output to the environment are:
Occupancy sensors for lighting to reduce energy use as well as prolonging the life of LED bulbs. FY 2020 resulted in a reduction of 7,098,831 kilowatt-hours of operation with a savings of $404,598.00 to UTHealth.
Program Resets and Economizers automate HVAC adjustments when weather permits for efficient system use and cost reduction. FY2020 resulted in a reduction of 247780 ton/hours of operation with a savings of $493,134.00 to UTHealth.
Sustainable Drinking Water through the use of bottle filler stations throughout campus. To date the program has saved the environment 50K single use plastic bottles from entering the waste stream.
For more information about energy conservation at UTHealth, check out https://www.appa.org/facilities-manager/uthealth-facilities-energy-conservation-plan-saves-millions/
Mobility is at the heart of Auxiliary Enterprises sustainability efforts. From Shuttle services for Student and Staff, to participation in METRO Star Vanpool for commuters and Houston Bicycle.
Did you know? UTHealth was awarded the 2021 METRO STAR Vanpool Earth Month Environmental Impact Award by METRO STAR Vanpool and the Houston-Galveston Area Council. City wide, in 2020 METRO STAR Vanpool trips resulted in the reduction of 15,540,800 vehicle miles traveled.