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Green Research Committee 4th Meeting

Posted by Daphne Hulse on September 20, 2023

September 20, 2023 Green Research Committee Meeting 4


Present: Stephanie Hess, Tim Mies, Jennifer Fraterrigo, Paul Foote, Jeremy Neighbors, Shari Effert-Fanta, Lisa Moore, Morgan White, Chad Stevens, Sabrina Summers, Maisie Kingren, Daphne Hulse


Absent: Mitchell Bryant


High-level overview (Jeremy leads)

  • Full-time GR Coordinator
    • Reduce, reuse, and recycle campaign headed by the new coordinator.
  • Centralized location for chemicals
    • Tim: are there concerns or risks with transporting.
    • Stephanie: opportunity for reuse. Repurpose bottles. ECE, MRL, SCS (no space here though). Various locations that we can split up. Lot of labs have bottles that they use up
  • Grad student to help coordinate reduce, reuse, recycle. Additional student supports the GR coordinator with tasks as needed.
    • Morgan: need a full-time staff person for GR. But it is not enough. Need a student or two at least, to help support the staff. Without at least 2 paid students, you won’t get far. 40 hours’ worth of student time? During the school year, sometimes 2 students doing part-time still is not enough.
    • Jen: maybe consider what we need first for the program, before determining how many students to include (and staff). Start modest with our first proposal, with the expectation that we will build over time.
    • Paul: typically hire 2-5 students, some stay through the summer, to help with his energy-specific lab programs.
  • Where will this GR program reside? OVCRI office, with input from Madhu, Susan, and Ehab.
    • Morgan: is it in DRS or is it in iSEE? Both are under VCRI, so that makes sense. It is about sustainability with research. Include requirements in the job description to directly communicate to various stakeholders: research,
    • Paul: green research is all about change and adapting, which isn’t necessarily DRS culture. iSEE is always rolling out new initiatives and is very fluid.
    • Lisa: DRS works with regulation; sustainability is not regulation. Thought DRS first, but then looked into iSEE and thought that GR can be more easily built out under iSEE.
    • Morgan: happy to host it under F&S, but it makes more sense to have it under VCRI.
    • Jen: PI who has a lab perspective: already have a relationship with the audit. Potential to have a partnership with DRS in this new way.
    • Chad: safety is paramount over sustainability, so agree with Jen.
    • Stephanie: conversation with Daphne showed that breaking down barriers between units is very possible.
  • GR ambassadors (Jeremy)
    • Every department would have GR ambassadors, encourage it at the lab level. Would work routinely with the GR coordinator to roll out
    • Training curriculum, system for communicating what’s going on, what metrics we have, what results we’re seeing.
    • Behavior of labs and groups. Reduce, reuse, recycle campaign.
    • Shut the sash, use of equipment timers, can implement on day one.
    • Promoting some type of certification. Implement GR in other ways. Lab assessment tools (UIUC based internal, or MyGreenLab).
    • Certification would be a longer-term goal with the GR coordinator.
  • Incentives
    • Recognition is the primary way
    • Stephanie: faculty peer pressure, you want to be that person that is recognized for these initiatives. Susan promote some of these people might be good, too.
    • Chad: could there be monetary award for the research group for their future research. $2500 not a lot, $10K much more head-turning.
    • Tim Mies: Illinois Professionals (highlights), HR. Would that model work for this?
    • Stephanie: working with Patty to work on awards for safety (Oscars for safety). Could work well with research.
  • Communication and education
    • Well-developed education and outreach program for what we will do.
  • Safe energy conservation plans
    • Form task forces to address the two different processes in the charge:
      • How to hibernate labs
      • How to deal with renovation projects
    • Fully funded capital projects, facilities with significant infrastructure deficiencies, facilities without significant infrastructure deficiencies. Would need to be very collaborative. Building-by-building basis.
    • Morgan: 1.5 years to complete a campus facility assessment. December of 2024 all info will be up to date. It won’t cover all portions, because it’s more visual. How are the fume hoods being used?
    • Stephanie: Wondering the same question.
    • Chad: We don’t want to shut off a fume hood forever. There’s always going to be some revolving research based on grants, etc.GR coordinator could look into high-efficiency fume hoods. Need to have campus support for green energy.
    • Shari: Agree with Chad, with Paul’s team coming in, they can see where improvements can be made. Incur energy savings but not lose the capacity. Finding unique ways to do that. Install the newer technology, like low-flow, high-efficiency will go a long way in meeting iCAP goals. Need help with things that are outside the department’s DOR.
    • Paul: Agree with everyone. Shut down almost all hoods at the top floor of Soybean. Morrill Hall needs a lot of help with renovations. Helped get them out during a pilot program. There are other places that use them 24/7 and they are clean and well managed. We see it all.
  • Additional resource for kick-off
    • GR coordinator, communications team, IT support