Green Summit to highlight sustainable transportation

Author: Sara Brown

Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation

Electric cars, bicycles, alternative fuel vehicles and innovations in public transportation will take over the University of Notre Dame’s Stepan Center in an exciting trade show display on Feb. 29 (Wednesday) for “Green Summit V: The Future of Transportation.”

“Sustainable transportation is a rapidly developing field, and we wanted to create a setting in which the ND community could connect directly with those who are redefining what’s possible,” explained Rachel Novick of the Office of Sustainability. “Experts will be on hand at the summit to answer questions about battery technology, charging stations, electric bikes and much more.”

Attendees will have a chance to explore cutting-edge vehicles such as the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf as well as vehicles that have been converted to use compressed natural gas and propane. Other participants in the trade show include Transpo, The Avenue Bicycle Station and ZipCar. The program will feature a panel discussion that covers a wide spectrum of topics critical to creating a sustainable transportation system, from technological advances to infrastructure requirements to community impacts.

“Through our collaboration, Notre Dame and Eaton are further paving the way for the development of infrastructure to support the expanded use of electric vehicles,” said John Wirtz, business unit manager of Eaton’s Electrical Transportation Infrastructure. Eaton has provided a number of EV charging stations to Notre Dame that have been installed in key locations around campus, and the company will be bringing several electric vehicles as well as a charging station to be displayed at the summit.

“We are looking forward to expanding our work on this innovative technology at Notre Dame as we strive to help reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint on campus,” added Wirtz.

The Green Summit is a community-wide, annual event that brings together hundreds of faculty, staff and students to explore an aspect of sustainability and its role in campus life. In the summit’s history, many recommendations and discussions have been a foundation for developing new campus sustainability initiatives. “We look forward to the rich discussion this year’s event will foster in order to help us develop new ideas for the future of transportation here at Notre Dame,” said Marty Ogren, associate director of warehouse, delivery and transportation.

“Due to escalating fuel costs and attendant environmental impacts, we need to look beyond traditional fuels in order to maintain our transportation security,” said Jon Burke, energy director for the city of South Bend and one of the presenters at the trade show. “We’re looking forward to sharing our vision for enhancing the sustainability of South Bend’s transportation systems at the Summit.”

The trade show will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the panel discussion commencing at 11:30 a.m. The Green Summit is free and open to all members of the Notre Dame community, and lunch will be provided. The program is sponsored by the Office of Sustainability and co-sponsored by Transportation Services at Notre Dame. Please register online by Feb. 25 (Saturday).

Contact: Sara Brown,