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Sustainability plays an integral role in Western’ essential experience. Faculty, staff, and students from across the college work hard to bring our vision to reality. Read about some of our initiatives below.
Burning coal and other carbon-based fossil fuels to produce energy releases harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and contributes to global warming. That’s why at Western we are committed to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we generate.
Our energy conservation efforts, the addition or retrofit of a number of LEED certified buildings, and the use of renewable energy have helped us keep the equivalent of over 9,100 metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere. That’s like taking 1,900 cars off the road for a year! This strategy has also helped our bottom line: since 2010 Western has avoided nearly $2 million dollars in energy costs.
Leadership in Energy Environmental Design (LEED™) is recognized industry-wide to be the pinnacle of sustainable building design. Buildings are graded on sustainable practices, from the demolition of previous buildings to new construction. All new construction and major renovations at Western are designed to meet or exceed the LEED Silver requirements.
People in the La Crosse/Onalaska area spend an average of 35 minutes commuting each day. Data from our 2017 commuter survey indicates that nearly 80 percent of our students and employees commute to Western by driving alone all or most of the time. After totaling the cost of gas, parking, insurance, stress, and pollution, this is an expensive means of transportation for drivers and the environment. Consequently, Western has undertaken several initiatives to ease the cost of transportation on our bodies, on our wallets, and on the environment.
Western strives to reduce the amount of garbage we send to the landfill. Recycling is one of the easiest things you can do to help us minimize our contribution to the landfill and make Western Technical College more sustainable. Whether you are walking through various buildings, living in a residence hall, working in an office, or attending an event, recycling options are available everywhere, all of the time.