Rear Admiral Leendert “Len” Hering Sr. (U.S. Navy, retired), is a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader with a broad background in energy and environmental issues. His passion in sustainability is educating people on the dangers the future holds without taking responsible actions to secure the nation’s energy independence and to preserve water, air quality and other resources.
A native of Portsmouth, Va., Hering retired from the Navy in 2009 after more than 32 years of service. He was noted as one of the Navy’s top experts in base operations and facility support with an emphasis on sustainability and the environment.
While in the Navy, Hering’s efforts included everything from renewable energy to responsible water use and conservation. He built a team recognized throughout the Department of Defense as the best in environmental protection and sustainable innovation. Within three years, the team reduced energy consumption by nearly 42%, diverted 75% of Navy waste from landfills and reduced water consumption by more than one billion gallons, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. Hering instigated wind, thermal, photovoltaic and conversion technology at all levels in Navy facilities. President Bush awarded Hering a 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management in recognition of efforts reducing oil spills and for recycling.
In 2009, Hering joined the University of San Diego, where as vice president for business services and administration he initiated numerous sustainable measures on the campus. Within the two years he served, USD installed the largest solar system of any private campus in the country, instituted the most comprehensive water abatement project in the school’s history and reformed numerous business practices to help control costs. His efforts resulted in saving more that 3 million gallons of water per year and more than $1 million in electrical costs.
Hering’s endeavors include founding the San Diego Regional Sustainability Partnership, a consortium of business, government, academic and community organizations promoting practices that support a sustainable future for the region.
- State University of New York Maritime College, B.S. degree, meteorology and oceanography
- Naval War College, M.S. degree, international relations and strategic studies
- Salve Regina University, M.S. degree, business management
- 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management
- San Diego’s Top 100 Influentials in 2006-7
- 2006 Community Sustainability Award, California Manufactures & Technology Association and Industrial Environmental Association
- 2008 San Diego’s Deal Maker of the Year 2008 Spirit of San Diego Award
- 2008 & 2009 City of San Diego Recycler of the Year
- 2010 American Lung Association Climate Champion Award
- 2010 Energy All-Star Award, Outstanding Sustainable Organization, CSE