Contact: Andrea Huggins
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
(888) 347-9997

November 29, 2016 (Philadelphia, PA) – Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Butler University partnered to win the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE!, hosted by Kimberly-Clark Professional. The two schools secured a $50,000 prize that will catalyze a city-wide composting collection program that serves as important step toward their large-scale commercial composting collection initiative.

Left to Right: Ben Jarrett, McKenzie Beverage, Jessica G. Davis, Cristine Shulz and Meghan Fay Zahniser

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award on behalf of Butler University in collaboration with my project partner, Jessica Davis, IUPUI Sustainability Director. I am so pleased that AASHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional provided this opportunity. Seeding innovation and creativity with funding like this is so critical to continue advancing sustainability in higher education. There were so many incredible submissions. I look forward to seeing many more in the future,” said McKenzie Beverage, MPA, Sustainability Coordinator with Butler University.

This project intends to remove the barrier to entry, change the market and make this more affordable for other organizations to participate by sharing the cost of having a trash hauler cart away the food waste from dining halls.

Butler started a pilot composting project in 2015. This ongoing project transfers 800 pounds of pre-consumer food waste–like the tops of peppers and apple cores–to a composting facility each week rather than sending them to be incinerated. IUPUI started composting pre-consumer food waste in their main dining hall, with the hope of quickly expanding to include post-consumer food waste. Large-scale composting will help both universities meet their sustainability goals of waste reduction and reducing emissions that contribute to climate change.

Each University hauling food waste on their own was cost prohibitive, so Beverage approached IUPUI in the spring, and together she and Davis devised the proposal to collaborate. By recruiting community partners, commercial composting will become cost competitive in Indianapolis.

“Sustainable solutions don’t begin and end on our campuses,” said Jessica G. Davis, MS, Director of IUPUI’s Office of Sustainability. “I’m thrilled that AASHE and Kimberly-Clark Professional provided IUPUI and Butler with the opportunity to remove a barrier present not only on our campuses, but also city-wide. It was fantastic to see the creativity generated as a result of this competition, and I’m honored to be recognized among them. McKenzie and I are looking forward to getting to work!”

Entrants submitted their best idea in 500 words or less about a campus initiative that is related to energy, waste, food, water or climate change. From the 226 entrants, 20 semi-finalists were asked to submit a 2-minute video and 1-page financial overview of their project. Three finalists then presented their projects in front of a panel of judges and a live audience at the 2016 AASHE Conference & Expo where IUPUI and Butler University jointly won the competition.

“At Kimberly-Clark, caring is one of our company values, and it drives everything we do – from helping people care for their families, to helping our communities and caring for our planet. We are very proud to present this award to IUPUI and Butler for their efforts. These schools have developed an innovative, sustainable solution for their campuses and their community, and we look forward to seeing it succeed,” said Ben Jarrett, North America Sustainability Leader with Kimberly-Clark Professional.

For more information about the Sustainable Campus Competition LIVE!, please click here.