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Texas A&M Launches 12th Man Sustainability Program

Source: KBTX
Source: KBTX(KBTX)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 3:39 PM CDT
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BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M and Director of Athletics Ross Bjork launched the 12th Man Sustainability program in partnership with the university’s Office of Sustainability on Friday.

12th Man Sustainability is a program with the mission to lead in environmental and social sustainability for Aggies, Aggieland and beyond. Leading the efforts of implementing and guiding the program within the Athletics Department are Assistant Athletics Director Scot Obergefell and Director of Administration Rebekah Parkhill.

“Through the leadership of the Office of Sustainability, Texas A&M Athletics has been able to take deliberate steps to increase our positive impact in the sustainability space,” Bjork said. “Our platform provides a unique opportunity to promote sustainability at Texas A&M and beyond. I am thrilled with the direction that we are headed and recognize the opportunity to embody the Aggie Core Values through environmental and social sustainability.”

The Maroon & White aims to be efficient, deliberate and responsible in the preservation of environmental, social, and economic resources to protect our earth for future generations of Fightin’ Texas Aggies, the Texas A&M University community and beyond.

The Aggie Green Fund is a grant-making organization for sustainability projects on campus. Since its launch in 2011, the Aggie Green Fund has awarded approximately $2.1 million to over 90 projects. Athletics, with backing from Dr. Brian McCullough from A&M’s Laboratory for Sustainability in Sport, applied and were awarded a Green Fund Grant from the Office of Sustainability to support the establishment of a sustainability graduate assistant position within the department for 18 months.

Lauren Lichterman will serve in that role in its inaugural term, and will work to baseline existing operations and efforts and to develop a strategic plan with measurable goals specific to Athletics that align with the campus sustainability master plan.

Previously, Athletics implemented various initiatives such as recycling at events, compost for kitchens, Utilities & Energy Services efficiency project and the student-athlete led TAMU Green Team to launch their initial sustainability efforts.

“Whether working toward zero waste and reducing energy consumption to supporting student success, the Athletics Department has been an essential partner in achieving the goals of the campus Sustainability Master Plan,” Director of Sustainability Kelly Wellman said. “The Office of Sustainability recognizes the importance the Athletics Department’s enhanced efforts to institutionalize sustainability will have for student athletes, the campus, and all Aggie fans. We are particularly excited about the new opportunities ahead with the Sustainability Graduate Assistant position which was made possible with funding from the Aggie Green Fund.”

The University developed a Sustainability Master Plan in 2018 which can be seen here.