A student that taught his university a thing or two…or 77,000.
Many students want to try to give back to their university. Some do this through showing school pride, volunteering to help incoming freshmen move-in, or maybe making a donation as an alum. Chris and the rest of his student group took a different approach.
As student researcher and member of Net Impact, Chris co-audited 54% of the buildings on the 450-acre, 35,000-student Texas State University campus using the Green Impact Campaign tools and training – identifying nearly $77,000 in annual energy savings for the university.
The project took Chris and his group several months to complete and the results are now helping engineers cut campus energy consumption by 50% by 2020 as mandated by the State of Texas. Since completing the project, Chris has presented the findings and methodology to several audiences on campus, nearby Texas universities, and other off-campus audiences.
Chris sat down with us to tell us more about himself and his involvement with GIC:
What are you currently studying?
I am completing my undergraduate coursework in Healthcare Administration and Communication Studies. My personal concentration is to gather skillsets and complete projects not offered in the typical academic environment.
What are your plans and hopes for your future career?
I hope to make a difference in our world. I enjoy learning about the ever-changing healthcare landscape and its effect on population health. Non-profit organizations especially interest me as they tend to develop creative strategies specially tailored to fit their mission. Their ability to complete daily operations and act as force for change all while under the constant constraint of access to limited resources inspires me. This is similar to how the Texas State chapter of Net Impact made do with limited funding, cooperative volunteers, and the zero-cost GIC platform.
Why did you want to get involved with GIC?
The opportunity to meet local business leaders, make a difference in resource consumption, and work with other students with varying backgrounds not typically found in my academic cohort really drew me to the unique experience of getting involved with Green Impact Campaign.
What did you learn through your involvement conducting energy audits?
I learned that the smallest actions can have great impacts. For example, several people I conducted audits with took the knowledge they gained through their involvement with GIC home to their college apartments. I can only imagine that their actions have inspired others–friends, family, and neighbors.
How do you think your involvement will help your future career?
Environmental sustainability is not some sort of tree-hugging counter lifestyle, it is about efficiency. Efficiency saves resources, increases productivity and lowers cost. The same is true in any discipline. My involvement has provided me with a skillset transferable to other professional endeavors, such as the ability to work with heavy data at my current internship.
Do you have a message that you would like to share with other students/volunteers?
Deliver results and be able to quantify your actions. Always document cause-and-effect. People appreciate this sort of thing–even if at first they think that it is overly detailed and dorky.
Chris’s Impact Achievements
- ENERGY AUDITS CONDUCTED: 45
- ENERGY SAVINGS IDENTIFIED: 700,000 kWh/yr
- COST SAVINGS IDENTIFIED: $77,000/yr
- CARBON EMISSIONS OFFSET: 315 metric tons/yr
Want to get involved as a volunteer and conduct energy audits for local businesses in your community like Chris did? Click here to join.