Maintenance Group Takes Earth Day to Heart

bf_earthday2heartOn April 22nd, the staff of the Facilities Maintenance Central Campus East Region participated in special activities to promote greater awareness of sustainable practices in recognition of Earth Day 2016. In particular, they hoped to reduce their carbon footprint by eliminating gasoline-powered vehicle usage on the campus for one day.

Thirty maintenance employees traded in their van keys for pedometers to track their personal “mileage”. The region’s schedulers were asked to avoid scheduling any large jobs that would require a vehicle to transport heavier items across the region. Additionally, the group turned in their vehicles the day before to the UM Transportation Research Institute so they could be outfitted to participate in a research study and be part of the Mcity database.

Some of their notable results –

  • 16 gas-powered vehicles were idled for one day
  • 30 employees walked a total of 325,916 steps, or roughly 154 miles, while performing their maintenance duties
  • An estimated 99.25 lbs. of CO2 emissions were avoided
  • To leave the campus a little bit cleaner, 24 of the 30 employees picked up at least one piece of trash and threw it away

At the end of the day, the steps taken by the staff were tallied and the four employees with the greatest number of steps taken were recognized for their efforts with a trophy. “This was … an extraordinary and challenging event for the… region”, according to region manager Camie Munsell. “We learned that we could go one day without the use of vehicles and still complete our job assignments. Earth Day gives us an opportunity to think about our sustainability initiatives within our community while lending a hand to beautify our campus”.

Looking ahead to next year, the group plans to order a tree for the campus and invite other regions to participate in similar activities.