Notre Dame’s Office of Sustainability was the recent recipient of the Partners in Clean Air Award. Every year MACOG, or the Michiana Area Council of Governments, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management hold a Partners for Clean Air Award Luncheon to recognize local businesses working to promote clean air practices. The Clean Air Program was started by MACOG in 1994 in order to facilitate educating citizens and businesses about how to keep the air clean.
Partners for Clean Air is one component of the program and it focuses on collaborating with businesses and organizations in order to provide clean air education and information to employees. Between April 1st and September 30th, the weather conditions can be ideal for combining with emissions in the air to create ground-level ozone and it is during this time that Ozone Action Days may be declared. Information on air quality is distributed in a variety of ways including television, radio, posters, brochures and videotaped presentations.
The University of Notre Dame acts as a partner in this program and helps inform members of campus of ozone action days and also simple ways that individuals can help keep the air clean. “We are honored to receive the award from MACOG as recognition of our efforts for cleaner air and increasingly sustainable operations on campus,” said Heather Christophersen, director of the Office of Sustainability. MACOG cited many examples of Notre Dame’s efforts including the continual construction of LEED buildings, the energy conservation measures employed on campus and the Office of Sustainability’s involvement with students, faculty and staff on environmental topics such as carbon emissions.
Other recipients of the Partners for Clean Air Award included TRANSPO for the recent construction of their LEED certified building and also the City of South Bend for its continuous improvement of bikeways throughout the Michiana area.