In early 2007, SustainVU began as an umbrella identity for the wide variety of sustainability initiatives already underway by students, staff and faculty groups, before there existed an actual sustainability office. The university wanted a “one-stop-shop” website identity that any group could use to promote their sustainability efforts. Over time, SustainVU morphed into the outreach identity for the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) once we became an official entity on January 1, 2008. So, now SustainVU and SEMO are essentially one in the same – SEMO administers the website and manages all content, while taking great care to promote the efforts and initiatives of other organizations on campus, not just SEMO’s.
SEMO became an official office on January 1, 2008, and Andrea George was named its Director, reporting dually to the Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Bob Wheaton, and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Plant Operations, Mark Petty. Prior to SEMO’s official birth in 2008, Andrea had been unofficially working as the sustainability coordinator since 2006 or earlier, and a campus recycling coordinator was hired in Fall 2007. Bringing together sustainability and recycling efforts into one official organization in 2008 helped solidify and move forward all programs much better than before.
SEMO provides sustainability and environmental management services for the entire institution – campus and Medical Center. The office has now grown to include five full-time positions: Director, Campus Recycling Coordinator, Environmental Management Systems Coordinator, Sustainability Professional, and Recycling Coordinator for Residential and Events Operations.