Back in November our Net Impact chapter received an e-mail from Net Impact about the xpedx Greening Campus Challenge 2012. The challenge had three goals:
1) Promote adoption of initiatives that lower the environmental impact of campuses across the United States
2) Challenge students to campaign for change to their campuses’ by educating and engaging both facilities managers and fellow students
3) Give students the opportunity to build professional skills and experiences
Members of our chapter believed this would be a great opportunity to push for change on our campus. The team spent some time speaking with Liz Christensen, UI Director of Sustainability, on possible ideas that fit within the scope of the project. Some of the ideas kicked around were ways to increase recycling, reduces energy use, and increase the use of reusable water bottles. Then Liz remembered a project that had been cut years ago because of budget constraints. This project was putting a green roof on top of the State Hygienic Lab on the Oakdale Campus. The building was originally designed to have a green roof but when budget cuts needed to be made, it was the first to go. The team leader, Luca Di Palo thought this would be an opportunity to use our business skills and build a case that a green roof would be a smart investment.
Over the next three months, members of the team spent many hours crunching numbers, visiting local green roofs, speaking with experts in the field, and building a marketing campaign. The deliverables were turned into the judges in mid-March for an initial selection round. The team was selected out of 27 schools as one of the four finalists. The team then gave of six-minute presentation followed by five minutes of Q&A to leaders of xpedx for the final round. At the end of May, the team received notification they were awarded a Special Recognition Award for Marketing and $500. The team’s marketing plan was created by Annie Leonhart along with video shooting and editing extraordinaire, Stephanie Miles.
The xpedx judges had the following to say about the project: “The University of Iowa took a more creative approach to the challenge by planning and designing a green roof for one of the buildings on campus. This was a unique approach that involved a great deal of effort and we felt deserved recognition. We were concerned that their plan could be cost prohibitive and difficult to replicate but wanted to recognize the approach. Their marketing campaign was unique and attention grabbing including the use of Social Media with the inclusion of the YouTube video.” You can see the video entry at the bottom of this post.
The team is still actively working and pushing leaders of the University of Iowa to build what would be the first green roof on the campus.
The team was comprised of:
Luca Di Palo –Project Leader
Kyle Bogler–Campus Coordinator
Annie Leonhart –Marketing Coordinator
Bhupesh Shetty –Sustainability Coordinator
Stephanie Miles – Filming and Editing
Volunteers: Karan Razdan, Corey Becker, Ben Clark, AJ Honore, Adam Plagge