Updated: U of L’s Justin Mog wins sustainability award

By on June 7, 2017
environmental leadership

By Shelby Brown–

Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives, won the Joan Riehm Memorial Environmental Leadership Award June 5.

Mog said winning the award was a “great honor.”

The Award recognizes citizens leading environmental initiatives in their communities. The individual or group can do this through projects, events, education or setting a personal example.

“This annual award is presented to a public servant, student or volunteer who follow’s Joan’s tenants of collaboration to improve and maintain Louisville’s quality of place and providing strong leadership by example,” Superintendent of JCPS, Donna Hargens said. Riehm, Louisville’s first female deputy mayor, passed away in 2008.

Mog urged sustainability at the ceremony.

“As we all know, the greenest building is the one we don’t have to build. Let’s not tear it down,” Mog said in a recording of the ceremony. “Let’s preserve it and invest in it.”

Mog practices what he preaches. He opts for bicycling over driving and searches dumpsters for discarded recyclables.

“If you think about something like transportation, there’s no way U of L can tackle that issue in isolation – it is a city-wide effort to make Louisville a more pedestrian- and bike-friendly place and to improve our local transit system,” he said.

“(Mog) lives the passion of sustainability and responsible environmental activity,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “It shows the momentum of U of L in this great area.”

Mog has been interested in environmental issues for most of his life. He has fond memories of exploring creeks, parks and being introduced to biking by his father.

“He took me on a cross-country bike trip when I was 15,” Mog said. “That experience cemented my resolve to never get a drivers’ license and that has helped me reshape my entire life for the better.”

Despite the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord June 1, Mog demonstrates “going green” is still important.

Mog calls the President’s decision “short sighted, uninformed and embarrassing.”

We cannot let him get away with this. It is clearly not what the majority of the country, much less the planet, wants. It’s time we got serious and did something about it,” Mog said.

Fischer, among over 150 mayors, signed a letter the next day promising Louisville will continue to strive towards the clean energy statues outline in the Paris agreement.

“I have never been more proud of our mayor,” Mog said. “It is a really important step.”

Photo courtesy of University of Louisville

Updated 6/9/17, 2:47 p.m.

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