UMass Medical School has won two awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing the school’s sustainability efforts in solid waste reduction and the efficiency of the campus power plant.
On November 16 the EPA notified UMMS it had won the 2016 WasteWise College/University Partner of the Year Award for 2016. The only higher education institution to be so honored in the country this year.
The WasteWise award recognizes the school’s progress on recycling and reuse of materials, thereby limiting the amount of waste that requires final disposal or incineration. The EPA noted the school had reduced its total municipal solid waste disposal by 91 tons, increased reuse by 1.5 tons, and increased recycling by 163 tons in the calendar year 2015.
“For an institution of our size and complexity, making progress on these measures takes a commitment from everyone on campus,” said Suzanne Wood, sustainability and energy manager at UMMS. “We are pleased to be recognized for our work, and we know that we have a lot more to do to approach our greater sustainability goals.”
On December 7, the EPA announced UMMS was one of four institutions in the country to earn the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award for the superior performance of its combined heat and power (CHP) systems.
With a thermal efficiency of 73 percent, the newest CHP unit on campus requires approximately 20 percent less fuel than conventional separate electricity and steam production. The reduced fuel use avoids emissions of more than 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions from the generation of electricity used by more than 2,800 homes. In addition to reduced emissions, the system strengthens the regional transmission and distribution infrastructure by generating electricity on site.