Public Affairs & Media Relations
MUSC reveals eco-friendly side at Green Business Challenge
By Dawn Brazell | News Center | March 14, 2013
| Whether going to the bottle refill station in the Colbert Library & Education Center or enjoying the medicinal garden just outside the library’s doors, MUSC employees have multiple ways to join in the growing green movement on campus.|
That’s what community leaders experienced firsthand during campus tours Feb. 27 that were part of the awards ceremony and kickoff of Charleston’s Green Business Challenge. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley thanked MUSC for hosting the ceremony and for its partnership. “The tour was just amazing to see your participation in the sustainability movement in our community.”
It’s important for businesses to share ideas and strategies for the movement to maintain its momentum, he said, adding that 59 businesses representing 7 million square feet of property completed the challenge coming up with 600 new strategies to create a more sustainable community.
“Just think of what our savings could be next year with this kind of momentum,” he said.
Carolee Williams, project manager at the city’s Department of Planning, Preservation & Sustainability, said the event was a wonderful blend of information and inspiration. “We had about 100 people in attendance and there are already about 35 signed up for next year. More importantly both the presentations and the networking reception included many sparks of good information and meaningful connections.”
Williams said the goals of Charleston’s voluntary Green Business Challenge are to improve the performance of commercial and institutional buildings and their operations by reducing energy and water consumption, by reducing waste and by buying local. The challenge is a dynamic program that is tailored to each businesses’ goals toward various levels of sustainability. Throughout the year participants learn from each other and from experts in various fields with practical implementable strategies, she said.
“It also allows participants to see what the benefits of undertaking many small or large initiatives are as a collective.”
Some highlights from this year’s actions include:
Christine von Kolnitz Cooley, MUSC’s sustainability manager, said MUSC has been working for years on sustainability and has gotten to a point where there is a whole suite of projects ready for touring. “It is so much better to show someone what you are doing. It makes a bigger impact. The event gave us an opportunity to give a tour to 30 plus people. It also helped our staff to be able to talk about what MUSC has been doing and to see the positive reactions from others. Positivity breeds positivity.”