Kmiecik and Stewart to lead UNMC's green movement

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public relations | October 01, 2010

Rick Kmiecik and Melanie Stewart have taken on roles to help UNMC go green.

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Rick Kmiecik
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Melanie Stewart
Kmiecik -- director of strategic energy initiatives -- works to ensure UNMC uses energy in efficient manners regarding cost and environmental stewardship.

Stewart -- chairwoman of the UNMC Sustainability Team -- will lead a comprehensive campus campaign to help us to use resources such as energy and water in sustainable ways.

"These appointments reflect UNMC's increased emphasis on energy efficiency and sustainability," said Ken Hansen, assistant vice chancellor of facilities, management and planning. "The time has come for UNMC to fully embrace sustainable practices toward energy and resource use and conservation."

Below, Kmiecik and Stewart answer questions about their new roles.

What are your main goals in your new roles?

Kmiecik: To reduce energy consumption campuswide through technology and education.

Stewart: We want people to get involved in sustainability, reduce unnecessary energy use on campus and to educate employees on the things they can do that will have an impact.

Why should employees care about energy efficiency and sustainability?

Kmiecik: The reasons are endless be it economical, consideration for the next generation or just because it is the "right thing to do."

Stewart: Being energy efficient at home and work will save people money while protecting natural resources.

What is the main message you want employees to take home about your respective missions?

Kmiecik: Reducing energy consumption on campus is possible but it requires a campuswide effort. Everyone needs to do their part to be successful.

Stewart: We aren't asking for a total lifestyle change; there are a lot of little things people can do that can have a really big impact such as turning off lights when you leave a room and shutting down your computers and monitors, etc.

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Robert Fuchs
October 02, 2010 at 7:57 AM

It's about time. It appears that the main reason for this new focus is economic. I guess if fewer state dollars gets the campus and individual employees to do what should have been done years ago, for the future of our children, then the net result will be positive.