On March 13-15 Washington University proudly hosted the 2017 annual conference of the Missouri Chapter of the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (MOAPPA). The mission of MOAPPA is to support educational excellence through quality leadership and professional management, and the annual conference helps meet that mission through an agenda geared toward professional development and best practices.
The theme of the conference this year was “Sustainability – The Triple Bottom Line”. The 27 sessions, 3 panel discussions, and 10 tours focused on answering the question of how universities can achieve true sustainability through a balance of economic development, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Sessions were divided into three different tracks based attendees areas of interest, allowing the 160 participants to zero in on their specific educational needs. Attendees and presenters included professionals from within facilities management departments, building and design teams, and sustainability offices, as well as the consultants that serve them.
Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, opened the conference with a powerful message about the state of our planet and how sustainable practices are critical to mitigating the damage for future generations. On the second day, Meghan Fay Zahniser, Executive Director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) talked about how her organization plays a role in helping institutions develop, coordinate, and measure sustainability initiatives on their campuses. Due to the unusual spring snow storm on the East Coast, Meghan was not able to fly to St. Louis and presented to the group via SKYPE. One attendee pointed out that although this was unintentional, it was a great example of a sustainable practice in action.
The conference received positive feedback from the facilities professionals, architects, engineers, and other construction and operations service providers that attended. The 2018 conference will be hosted by Truman State University.