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. Now, SustainVU and SEMO are essentially one and 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 before 2006, and a campus recycling coordinator was hired in Fall 2007.
The office has grown to include four full-time positions: Director, Assistant Director, Environmental Management Systems Coordinator, and Sustainability Outreach Coordinator.