April 17, 2017
Facilities Management
Bill Paulus


In FM, every day is Earth Day

Dear FM,

Earth Day, celebrated on April 22, began in 1970 as a day to honor the earth and has grown into an annual global event to promote environmental consciousness and action. I thought I’d take the opportunity to call out some of our team’s efforts that align with the Earth Day principles of climate awareness and the long-term sustainability of our planet.  

  • Over the winter, landcare employees pruned more than 1,500 trees - roughly 15 percent of our campus total. Healthy urban trees can slow the effects of climate change and improve air quality, among other benefits.
  • Our custodial teams use laundered microfiber cleaning cloths and mops rather than disposable products and use environmentally sustainable, Green Seal certified cleaning products. In addition, the teams use refillable soap cartridges in dispensers and are testing waste can liners that contain 70% post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • The sustainability team partnered with the Patagonia clothing brand to bring the Worn Wear Tour to campus, encouraging students, staff and faculty to bring clothing and household goods to be repaired rather than thrown away in landfills. The team is also participating in the Earth Day event at Coffman on Friday - see event details below and stop by to plant a succulent. Learn about other ongoing  sustainability efforts on the It All Adds Up website.
  • The waste management team completed an organic waste collection pilot at the Humphrey Institute, which provided key learnings that will inform future organics collections across campus. Recycling organics diverts food waste from landfills and consequently reduces methane emissions. Read the pilot recap written by one of our It all Adds Up student ambassadors.
  • The Main Energy Plant  positions the University and FM as an energy leader and environmental steward. It is a key investment in the University’s climate action plan to reduce campus emissions by half by the year 2020 and is expected to reduce the University’s net carbon footprint by an estimated 10 to 13 percent when fully operational.
  • Some buildings on the St. Paul campus are prone to bird collisions, so the district teams are working with the student group Art for Birds, allowing them to create window art that is reducing crashes and protecting bird populations.

Window Art 1.jpg
St. Paul window art deters birds

Thanks for your continued work to provide a welcoming, safe and reliable campus for learning and discovery. We all have a role to play to ensure the University is environmentally sustainable for years to come.

Have a great week,


Weekly Notes

  • On April 21, stop by the  ESA Earth Day Expo on Coffman lawn from 10am-4pm. The sustainability team will be offering succulent plantings for people who participate in the sustainable selfie challenge. Take a selfie doing something sustainable like riding a bike, taking the stairs, or using a reusable water bottle and you will receive a succulent to plant in cans/jars, mugs, tea cups, and other fun planters gathered from our Recycling and ReUse team.
  • Starting April 10, supervisors of employees in bargaining units were assigned employee reviews, due May 19. Civil Service and P&A employee self-reviews are due April 24 and their supervisor reviews are due by May 8.
  • Have an item to share with all FM? Send it to Christie Wells to be included in the Weekly Notes.


Bill Paulus the interim AVP for FM
Bill Paulus is the interim Associate Vice President for Facilities Management. He regularly publishes memos to communicate information and issues that affect FM staff.