Sustainability leader takes over signature cost-cutting program

Media Credit: Photo courtesy GW Media Relations.

The director of GW’s Office of Sustainability Meghan Chapple will take over the Innovation Task Force after its current leader, Dave Lawlor, announced he will step down later this month.

Office of Sustainability Director Meghan Chapple will lead the University’s signature program designed to cut costs and pitch money-saving ideas after its leader announced he would step down at the end of the month.

Chapple has steered sustainability efforts since 2009, helping GW craft a sweeping plan to shrink its carbon footprint. She’ll now take over the Innovation Task Force, which the University hopes will lead to $60 million in new savings or revenue.

“I look forward to building on this creative process and supporting the implementation champions as they bring the ideas to fruition,” Chapple said Wednesday in a release.

The task force’s founding leader, Dave Lawlor, announced he would leave after seven years at GW to serve as chief financial officer and vice chancellor of finance and resource management at the University of California, Davis starting in November.

Chapple is faced with revitalizing a program that has seen savings slow and experienced a shift toward smaller-stakes ideas.

So far, the program has identified about $64.7 million in total opportunities for savings or new revenues, Lawlor said last spring. Last spring’s proposals, which ranged from using electronic textbooks to reusing furniture, would save about $1.4 million annually, about 8 percent of the savings found in the program’s first two years.

The University decided not to count $25 million worth of projects from the task force last fall because their saving potential was deemed unrealistic.

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