Greenbacks Go Green

Budgets are usually the first consideration when institutions are making environmental decisions, but Willamette has implemented a policy that runs against the common institutional grain: Purchases are based on durability and environmental friendliness, not the lowest bid.

Facilities and grounds administrators believe we have a responsibility to balance economic and environmental sustainability, to consider the true cost of our actions. They also believe that sustainability has paid off. A computerized energy management system saved the campus $470,000 in its first five years alone, and the new Kaneko Commons facility, designed to meet some of the nation’s highest energy efficiency standards, will pay for solar hot water heating, photovoltaic panels and rainwater harvesting through energy savings.