Florida Poly Wins Prestigious Environmental Health & Safety Campus Award

LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University has won a prestigious national health and safety award for developing a campus program that improves sustainability and recycling in its chemistry labs.

The University’s Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) staff worked alongside students to design the “Reducing Waste in Chemical Labs” project which allows the waste for one lab to become the raw material for another laboratory experiment.

The project won first place and was granted the Innovation Award of Commendation by the Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association (CSHEMA), an organization that strives to honor the achievement of higher education institutions by offering awards recognizing outstanding programs and innovations on campus.

Florida Poly submitted the project under the “Resource Enhancement” category which highlights programs with the ability to successfully reduce costs, increase revenues, improve environmental health and safety, and create sustainable programs.

“Here at Florida Poly, we are committed to ensuring and maintaining exceptional standards when it comes to sustainable practices,” said Renee Michel, Director of Environmental Health and Safety at the university. “We are on a mission to eradicate anything that could negatively impact our campus and this recycling program will save both chemical materials and money, while teaching our future engineers, scientists and citizens about how to preserve the environment.”

The University’s EH&S staff is dedicated to taking a sustainable approach in laboratory settings on campus. They are responsible for securing the chemicals, setting up the experiments and managing the waste of chemistry classes.

“This is an exciting accomplishment for the University,” said Florida Poly President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “We are honored to receive this award, and all the credit goes to our environmental health and safety team. They are innovators who are driving our sustainability efforts.”

Florida Poly’s project will be recognized at the 2016 CSHEMA Annual Awards Reception on July 24 in Austin, Texas.

CSHEMA supports and educates campus-based EHS professionals to empower and to improve the EHS profession in campus environments. Originally founded in 1954 as the Campus Safety Association, CSHEMA has a long history of service to the college, university, and research communities. Its Innovation Award, previously called Solutions at Work, acknowledges higher education institutions of each constituent type (community colleges, comprehensive and doctoral institutions, research universities, and small institutions) for their performance in the following areas of business and financial administration: process improvement and resource enhancement.

For more information on the CSHEMA Innovation Award, visit www.cshema.org/content.aspx?id=2586.

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