Sustainability Project Coordinator
Neill Hall 316, Kagin 110
As a Saint Paul native, having grown up not far from campus, Macalester College is a perfect fit. Kurt was led to Macalester several years after graduating from St. Olaf College. He now coordinates sustainability initiatives throughout campus on a part-time basis while fulfilling another part-time role in Information Technology Services; having also previously worked in Facilities Services.
Prior to Macalester, Kurt was integral to a Twin Cities-based senior housing and services non-profit for over a decade. Just before being beginning at Macalester, he paved the way for that organization to build the first federally-funded, new-construction project in the United States to provide geothermal environmental conditioning and domestic hot water to seniors in an urban affordable-housing setting. This achievement is a reflection of his approach to the sustainability field: leveraging technology – in whatever form – is a key to sustainability success.
Kurt’s work in Facilities Services has resulted in visible changes on campus including what is now the Mac Free Swap and the rain garden in the West 2 lot along Cambridge Street.
In his time in the Sustainability Office, Kurt has added specialized student employment positions to the office, installed Minnesota’s first DC quick chargers for EVs, implemented cost-saving changes to the bus subsidy program, earned his Certified Energy Manager certification from the Association of Energy Engineers, and implemented campus-wide utility metering. Kurt also plans Sustainability Office events for the office including unique tours for the entire campus and meticulously planning low-carbon, plant-based, inclusive menus.
While in the Sustainability Office, Kurt has also occupied a role in Information Technology Services at Macalester, which has uniquely positioned him to make changes that transcend the normal scopes of an I.T. department or Sustainability efforts. Kurt has leveraged his position to select an electronic waste recycling vendor that leads the way in their responsibility and efforts as well as developed a relationship with a two local organizations that recycle the College’s polystyrene and plastic films. His efforts are highly visible in printing on campus as he served on the committee that implemented the current soft print quota for students and the committee that centralized the replacement and deployment of the multi-function devices across campuses. Kurt has also developed mutually beneficial relationships with several vendors, including those that supply Macalester with plant-based toners in all ITS lab printers and the vendor that sources 100% recycled paper for ITS lab and Library printers from within 500 miles of campus.
Kurt also served on the American Lung Association’s Workplace Charging Advisory Group and continues to collaborate with the Minnesota Sustainability Practitioners Roundtable and maintains relationships with Twin Cities-based advocacy organizations like Move Minnesota, Fresh Energy, and Environmental Initiative.
Kurt’s passion, drive, and enthusiasm always has him interested in the next challenge to advance technology and Sustainability’s triple bottom line of the environment, social justice, and economics; whether at Macalester, or collaborating with another institution.