University of New England President James Herbert joined University of Southern Maine President Glenn Cummings and Bowdoin President Clayton Rose on a panel to kick off the 15th annual Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium Conference. The two-day event, hosted by USM, included presentations, discussions and networking opportunities around the issue of sustainability in higher education.
“It was so rewarding to work with my fellow university presidents to discuss the successes and challenges we are all facing when it comes to environmental stewardship,” Herbert stated about the panel. “The issue of sustainability, on our campuses and in the world, is so critical and none of us can do this alone.”
Following an opening keynote address from President Cummings, the panelists took turns answering questions from Cummings. They then took questions from the audience.
During the panel, Herbert talked about the commitment UNE has made to the environment. He discussed the sustainable features included in the University’s new buildings such as the Ripich Commons, but pointed out that operational decisions are equally important. To that end, UNE has made progress in eliminating single use utensils and plastic bottles in its primary dining facility, and has made efforts toward reducing food waste.
Herbert also discussed UNE’s expertise in translational research, which lends itself to finding real world solutions to environmental challenges. He cited UNE’s research in aquaculture, which can decrease the carbon footprint of imported seafood.