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Fighting the Good Fight

As the head of one of higher education’s most progressive energy policy institutes, Scott Anders, director of USD’s Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), is a study in bare-bones efficiency.

His office reflects this philosophy; only one band of overhead lighting is used to illuminate a room that is furnished with just the essentials; a desk, a computer, a well-worn dry erase board, and a host of publications, journals and volumes of industry-specific research and data.

When you’ve got as many irons in the fire as Anders does, it makes sense to keep clutter to a minimum.

“When it comes to functionality, EPIC has a relatively simple structure: academics, research and analysis. However, in each of those areas, there’s a lot of moving parts, and, given the volume of work to be done, that’s not going to change anytime soon.”

As an expert in the fields of clean energy and climate change, Anders understands firsthand the value of developing sustainable practices that encourage engagement and involvement at all levels. “I think, from a social sustainability standpoint, it’s really an across-the-board approach. It’s academics, events on campus, service learning; to me, the goal is that it’s not about ‘sustainability.’ By that I mean it isn’t some special area of focus, it’s just something we do.”

Through publications such as the Energy Policy Journal, which chronicles greenhouse gas emissions and reduction strategies in San Diego County, and forums such as the Climate and Energy Law Symposium, Anders and his EPIC colleagues have positioned the institute to develop sustainable solutions for future energy needs. But when it comes to the campus community, Anders knows that any sustainability initiative begins and ends with USD’s most precious resource.

“Students have to have a sense of ownership for any sustainability to be effective. I strongly believe that this is a bottom-up approach, and I know there are plenty of people across campus who share that viewpoint. If all of these ideas just come from the top, then what’s the point? That’s a really important question for all students to ask.”

— Mike Sauer