January 15, 2014
Brandon Verhoff

University Earns Circle of Excellence Award

SLU was recognized by the St. Louis Regional Chamber as part of its Green Business Challenge for efforts to make the University more sustainable.

Green Business Challenge
From left, are Jean Ponzi from the Botanical Gardens’ Earthways Center; Brandon Verhoff, director of sustainability and benchmarking; Caeden Sweet, project analyst with Service Operations; and Doug Sitton, St. Louis Regional Chamber Board Director and president of Sitton Energy Solutions. Photo by Bueltmann Photography

Saint Louis University was awarded the Circle of Excellence Award for its sustainability commitment as part of the 2013 St. Louis Green Business Challenge, which is organized annually by the St. Louis Regional Chamber. Representatives from the Division of Facilities Services accepted the award on behalf of the University at the Celebrations and Awards Ceremony held at St. Louis Union Station.

The St. Louis Green Business Challenge evaluates companies efforts in regards to what their business is doing to become more sustainable, which is measured before and after the challenge using a detailed checklist. The categories include reduction of energy usage, tracking of waste and water consumption, engaging employees, improving indoor environmental quality and promoting alternative transportation options.

Saint Louis University's submission outlined a broad array of current university strategies, including purchasing recycled content paper, using green cleaning strategies and engagement activities.

The submission also highlighted specific initiatives like SLU's upgraded recycling infrastructure and signage at Chaifetz Arena, hosting a two-day Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) training and certification program on sustainability reporting for campus and community members, and educating more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students on single-stream campus recycling.

"SLU's efforts have not gone unrecognized and we know that SLU is not alone in its commitment to making St. Louis a better place," said Brandon Verhoff, director of sustainability and benchmarking. "The Green Business Challenge, with the combined commitment of the St. Louis Community, businesses and universities, is another way of ensuring that making St. Louis better means making it sustainable."

The Green Business Challenge Award is an important way for the University to be recognized among a group of major employers in the St. Louis region for its role as a sustainability leader.

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