Molly Leasure, For The Miami Student

Miami University continues to work on energy conservation and waste reduction with the hiring of a new sustainability professional in the physical facilities department, Yvette Kline. Kline is serving as Director of Sustainability and Energy Conservation.

“This is my dream job,” Kline said. “Sustainability is a part of the job for all physical facilities staff but a full time person is needed to coordinate and promote more sustainable operations.”

Kline has had a long history working with sustainability groups. She worked in the facilities department in a public school district in New Jersey, where she was the director of capital outlay, energy management, long range facilities planning and also manager of recycling. She was involved with a dynamic community organization called Sustainability Cherry Hill, which worked on positive engagement.

Her new job at Miami includes engaging with the university and beyond from both a system perspective and a personal perspective to help meet sustainability and energy conservation goals. This will include work with Miami’s sustainability committee.

“Where challenges exist, so too does the possibility of innovative and even entrepreneurial solutions,” Kline said.

Started in 2011, the sustainability committee was founded to contribute to a healthier environment and reduce bottom line expenses. It is chaired by David Prytherch, the sustainability coordinator and is composed of a number of students, faculty and staff.

This year, the committee is working on several projects including Recyclemania – which Miami helped found – and Unplugged, a competition in the planning stages for next semester. The goal is to get Miami’s campus to focus on energy conservation and waste reduction, according to Kline.

Recently, Miami has been designing LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits into new construction projects.

“Miami is planning a ground source geothermal field for planned construction on Western Campus and master planning transportation and storm water management with an environmental perspective,” Kline said. 

Miami also now offers a new co-major in sustainability. It replaces the environmental principals co-major, within the newly restructured Institute for the Environment and Suitability (IES).

There are many small things students can do to help with Miami’s sustainability.

“The committee is a great way to track Miami’s progress and opportunities in developing a higher environmental standard, whether it’s through academic, structural, or energy-related approaches,” said Carlos Suarez, sophomore and ASG Environmental Committee Chair.