JUNE 17, 2009

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UCO Earns 2009 Regional Innovator Award for Sustainability Efforts

The University of Central Oklahoma received the 2009 Innovator Award from the Southern Growth Policies Board for its numerous sustainability initiatives that encourage economic opportunities involving bio-products, alternative energy and energy efficiency.

Southern Growth Innovator awards are presented annually to one organization in each of Southern Growth’s member states – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

“The Southern Growth Policy Board initially sought out UCO to apply for this award largely because of its noticeable dedication to innovative ‘green’ efforts, and its primary focus on saving the students money as well as the university,” said Jay Yowell, UCO’s sustainablility coordinator.

Since dedicating itself to becoming a more “green” university in 2004, UCO has implemented many environmentally friendly programs that include energy efficient lighting, computer controlled irrigation, a bicycling program for students and a campuswide recycling program; all reduction strategies to improve economic conditions and the quality of life on campus, as well as in its community.

Perhaps the most innovative among UCO’s sustainability initiatives are the university’s use of 100 percent wind energy, performance contracting to save money on energy costs and creating its own bio-diesel fuel from used cooking oil from campus dining facilities.

The 2009 Innovator Award was presented to UCO during the 2009 South Growth Policies Board annual meeting, June 8-9 at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi, Miss.

For more information about UCO’s sustainability efforts, contact Yowell at (405) 974-2225 or jyowell3@uco.edu, or visit www.uco.edu/green.