Meet David Frank

David Frank

Who are you and how does sustainability fit in with what you do?

My name is David Frank and I am the sustainability manager for Boston University Dining Services. I am Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional (AP) as well as a master of science in sustainability with a focus in efficiencies and green building operations. Before arriving at Boston University, I was working at the University of Florida as the Sustainability Manager for Dining Services. As a sustainability professional, I take a system-wide, holistic approach. I strive to create efficiencies, improve transparency and accountability in our operations and amongst personnel. My ultimate goal is to reduce dining service’s impact to the Boston University community by furthering sustainability programming and increasing our community connectivity.

What does sustainability mean to you?

I like to define sustainability as the ability to meet the needs of our current generation without comprising the social, economic and environmental integrity of future generations. To break it down, think of sustainability as a three legged stool. Each leg of the stool represents a facet of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental considerations. Without the careful balance of all three components, the stool is unbalanced. All considerations, economic, environmental and social, must be balanced for the best possible, sustainable outcome. Sustainability is embedded in everything we do. It is both the “low hanging fruit,” easy to accomplish, and the “hard to reach fruit,” more difficult to accomplish things, that makes the practice of sustainability so unique.

When did you first become interested in sustainability?

I have always had a passion for environmental science and economics. Sustainability for me was the natural merger between the two.

What is one thing you do on a daily basis to help make the campus more sustainable?

I ride public transportation almost every day, I use reusable containers and cups daily, I shop at farmer’s markets weekly, and I am always looking to educate at least someone about sustainability each day. These are just a few that come to mind.

 What are some of your hobbies and what are some things you do when off campus to live a sustainable life?

I love riding my bicycle and being outdoors. Exploring new, untouched locations is the best. I also love to cook with fresh, local ingredients.

What do you perceive as the biggest barrier for BU students, faculty, and staff to adopting more sustainable behaviors?

The biggest barrier I think is comfortability. Be open to change. The more sustainable choice may not be the easiest choice. Challenge yourself to think about decisions you make on a per occurrence basis. Be the solution not the barrier to change.

How would you challenge BU community members to live less wastefully?

I challenge everyone to think outside of the box. Sustainability at its roots is keeping it simple and responsible. For example, if you have a habit of buying water bottles to go to the gym, be the change and the example for others. Use a reusable to-go bottle. Challenge yourself to think differently, openly and collaboratively about a daily, repetitive task.

What would you recommend to someone on campus who is interested in sustainability but doesn’t know how to get their ideas off the ground?

Sustainability is a massive field of study. You can select a specific focus or you can be a generalist. Think about what aspects of sustainability that interest and move you. For example, I really enjoy green buildings, energy efficiency, food and waste management. I was able to merge those interests to practice sustainability for Boston University. Engage in dialogue with other sustainability-minded people. Sustainability is by definition collaborative and integrative.

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