Upgrading buildings is not the challenging part for Matt Stec, who oversees close to 30 buildings at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and co-chairs the Academic & administrative sector in the FAS Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program. It's getting building occupants to buy into these changes.
At the Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS), a 2007 Town Hall meeting was a good opportunity to talk about green cleaning and paper supplies, recycling, and other green initiatives, and also to see that most people were supportive of these efforts. Also, having Eco Citizens and a Green Team to advocate for sustainability helps occupants understand why these changes are being made. Some features already in place are lighting on motion sensors in all offices and seminar rooms, Variable Speed Drives on HVAC equipment, so the system only runs when it's needed, dual flush toilets, and weekend and nighttime temperature setbacks.
In Littauer, custodial staff saved four days of trash in clear plastic bags and placed it at the front entry of the building, which, as Matt puts it, "was an eye opener." He counted over 100 recyclable bottles and found lots of paper. In CGIS, Matt asked security guards to conduct a visual audit of computers to evaluate people’s practices in regard to power management. The audit revealed that more than 200 computers are being left on over the weekends, costing the University over $20,000 per year! Matt will be now following up on these findings with a power management campaign and emails to building occupants.
Matt explains that he feels he can make a bigger difference at work than most people. "I can affect things in more than 25 buildings. It's not huge, but it’s something. And I look at my kids and think, 'Can I help a little bit?' And if everybody helps a little bit, it turns into a lot." He suggests to other facilities managers to collaborate with the FAS Green Program in their buildings. "They will push you to do things and can give you helpful suggestions."