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University Business Services forms Eco Group to “Preserve”Lehigh University Business Services departments have collaborated to form a group to investigate ways their departments can increase sustainability awareness both departmentally and to the university as a whole.
Lehigh University Business Services and its collaborative departments have stepped out in support of both LEAG and Lehigh’s Environmental Initiative to create ECOg, which stands for Environmental Choices and Opportunities Group.
This group is currently comprised of representatives from Transportation and Parking, Printing and Mailing, Purchasing Services, and general Business Services. Recently, an open invitation was offered to all University Business Services departmental employees.
ECOg's primary function aims at improving processes, reducing waste, and limiting consumption, thereby reducing costs and improving efficiency. Initially formed in June 2008, the group has made numerous strides, such as identifying things departments are already doing, or could easily transition to doing in pursuit of being more environmentally friendly.
“Recycling used engine oil, antifreeze, and vehicle tires, offering a full line of recycled paper, using soy based inks, and actively encouraging vendors to carry green products, are only a few items on the list of completed initiatives,” says Mark Ironside, executive director of business services.
The group is also listening to the environmental requests coming from Lehigh’s Student Senate, such as adding bike racks to buses or conducting a trial on using bio-diesel. Chris Christian, director of transportation and parking, is actively pursuing both suggestions.
“Next year, students will see a bus with a bike rack,” Christian says. “We’ll see how it’s utilized. I’m hoping it urges students to use the buses and bike more around campus, rather than their personal vehicles.”
Additionally, ECOg has partnered up with Lehigh’s Environmental Initiative on a Green Community Day at the 2008 Bethlehem Farmers Market. They also send a representative to the EI lunch meetings to keep both groups connected and supporting each other.
For more information on ECOg, visit the group’s website. The site lists accomplishments and offers access other helpful, informative resources.