Success Story

Gonzaga builds culture of sustainability while shooting for net-zero emissions

In 2013, Gonzaga University pledged to be climate neutral by 2050 and published a Climate Action Plan outlining their strategies and initiatives to reach that goal. Data is key to their plans, and particularly for facilities.

Background

With the right data to help meet their carbon neutrality goal, Gonzaga's facilities team can identify operational improvements while their sustainability department creates engaging displays to encourage student participation. The University sought to create a widespread culture of sustainability and realized they could make the message stick by tapping into an existing culture on campus - basketball. The sustainability department runs regular energy reduction competitions, and in Spring 2017 ran a highly effective and unique campaign that successfully raised awareness of and facilitated active participation in their annual Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN) competition.

Challenges

  • Managing data from 87 buildings across 5 different systems
  • Finding a way to make data accessible to facilities staff and students alike
  • ‘Getting through’ to students not typically interested in sustainability
  • Keeping students engaged in long-term energy saving behavior
There’s an onslaught of data and we needed to find a place for it to land. For us, that’s BuildingOS.

— Jim Simon, Director of Sustainability at Gonzaga University

Solutions

  • Created memes, posters, Storyboards, and other materials tying into Gonzaga’s basketball culture to get students involved in their energy reduction competition
  • Saved over $20,000 in three weeks, a 15+% electricity reduction across 77 buildings
  • Facilities staff used BuildingOS applications to find data anomalies
  • Automated monthly reports of building comparison data and trends for staff across departments