Graybar Helps Notre Dame Score High Marks on Sustainability


Notre Dame Library

Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is an independent, national Catholic research university located in Notre Dame, Ind. It ranks regularly among the top 25 universities in the U.S. News & World Report survey of America's best colleges.

While Notre Dame's academic and athletic achievements are indisputable, the university also strives to establish itself as a leader in sustainability. In 2007, Notre Dame decided to explore ways in which it could embrace sustainability principles and reduce its carbon footprint. So, the university’s Utilities Department focused on energy conservation. Notre Dame called GE to develop a results-oriented program, and GE invited Graybar, one of its leading distributors for more than 100 years, to participate.

Graybar Solution

GE and Graybar began by performing an energy audit of Notre Dame's library building. The audit found that significant savings could be achieved by retrofitting the building's lighting and ballast system. Impressed with the findings, Notre Dame asked the two companies to audit 25 additional campus buildings. Based on those results, the university decided to retrofit all 26 buildings, and in August 2008 the first phase of work began on the University's Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) project.

The Graybar team, led by Michael Sullivan, branch manager in South Bend, Ind., worked closely with GE and the Notre Dame Utilities Department to help ensure seamless implementation of the project.

Notre Dame Classroom

Graybar managed an order consisting of hundreds of types of lamps and ballasts and worked with a local contractor on the installation. On a project of such complexity, Graybar's technical knowledge and attention to detail were crucial in ensuring that products were delivered according to the university's specification. Timely execution kept the project moving smoothly and avoided delays.

As the project concluded, Notre Dame identified another 55 buildings, which were audited in October 2009. The initial phase return on investment convinced Notre Dame to approve funds for a second phase of the project, which kicked off in August 2010 and was completed in September 2011.


By analyzing and upgrading the lighting system in more than 80 buildings, Graybar and GE helped Notre Dame save approximately $550,000 in annual energy costs. Graybar's contribution played an important role in boosting Notre Dame's sustainability record. In fact, in August 2011, Notre Dame received a STARS Silver Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS (Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) is a new program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.


Graybar is a leader in providing a broad range of energy efficiency solutions and products to educational institutions, enabling them to improve both their return on investment and their sustainability record.

Graybar offers innovative products from best-in-class manufacturers and start-to-finish logistical management of complex projects to promote efficiency.

Graybar matches client needs with green products that:

  • Carry the ENERGY STAR label
  • Meet reduced hazardous materials standards
  • Are recyclable or are made from recyclable materials

Graybar helps educational institutions:

  • Reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs
  • Improve safety and productivity
  • Increase equipment reliability

Learn more about Graybar's services and solutions

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