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UW-Madison among "Sustainable 16" in Environmental March Madness tournament

February 15, 2013

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is among 16 colleges and universities recognized for excellence in environmental academics and sustainability practices as part of the Second Annual Environmental March Madness tournament.

The “Sustainable 16” schools are now in contention to be named National Champion in the tournament, which is designed to evaluate colleges and universities on environmental degree programs and curriculum, environmental opportunities for students, and campus sustainability efforts.

food waste collection site at UW-Madison
Students and faculty can submit videos, essays
and photos
to help UW-Madison advance in the
tournament. Photo, of a compostable food waste
drop-off site 
on campus, credit Jeff Miller.

"All of the participating schools are grooming future environmental leaders who will oversee the environmental compliance, sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs of tomorrow for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and other organizations,” said Lawrence Goldenhersh, CEO and president of Enviance, Inc., a sponsor of the event in partnership with GreenBiz Group and Qualtrics.

Each participating school completed a survey covering internship opportunities, environmental awareness campaigns, clean energy implementations, and a variety of other considerations.

Each submission was evaluated by a panel of distinguished judges who determined the “Sustainable 16.” Judges for this year’s tournament are:

  • Jonathan Camuzeaux, research analyst, Office of Economic Policy and Analysis, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Rich Dailey, senior director, Environmental Health and Safety, Wal-Mart
  • Lara Ettenson, director of California energy efficiency policy, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Larry Goldenhersh, CEO, Enviance
  • Tom Vander Ark, education expert, author and executive director, Getting Smart
  • Amy Westervelt, contributor, Forbes
  • Blair Wimbush, vice president real estate and corporate sustainability officer, Norfolk Southern

"The judges chose the top 'Sustainable 16' schools from a competitive group of institutions, which all demonstrated commitment to the environment through both their environmental degree programs and on-campus initiatives," said Goldenhersh. 

For Sustainable 16” schools to move on to the “Environmental Eight,” “Finest Four,” and to the “National Champion” title, Enviance is encouraging faculty and students to support their entries with short essays, social media or video submissions on why they should be named “National Champion.”

Submissions will be accepted through March 8. The “Environmental Eight” will be announced March 22. 

The tournament will award $5,000 to the environmental and sustainability department of the “National Champion,” and send the department chair or member of the faculty on an all-expenses-paid trip to San Diego to attend the Enviance User Conference, April 22-26, where the winner will lead a panel on educating future environmental professionals.

Two students with the most compelling supporting materials and tournament participation will be awarded Google Nexus tablets. Any participating student from the “Finest Four” is eligible for this prize.

Receive Environmental March Madness Tournament updates on Twitter by following @enviance and #EnviroU.