Celebrating Sustainability 2013
The ACUPCC and Second Nature are spending the days leading up to Earth Day “Celebrating Sustainability” at 20 signatory institutions. Each business day, a new signatory school will be highlighted here and on the homepages of the ACUPCC and Second Nature websites for its cutting-edge work to promote environmental sustainability.
Among Bellevue College’s noteworthy initiatives are the installation of electric vehicle charging stations; a comprehensive project to upgrade campus lighting, water and HVAC systems; programs to encourage alternate means of transport; and the integration of sustainability throughout the instructional curriculum combined with a student-created sustainability fund.
The GCC campus boasts several accomplishments, including reducing campus waste by 18 percent; infusing sustainability in 100 classes; and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions per square foot by 20 percent with over 30 energy-saving initiatives.
Since signing the ACUPCC in 2008, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley has, along other initiatives, developed an eco-garden, increased recycling stations on campus, and incorporated sustainability into its curriculum with two certificate programs.
At University of Hawaii Kauai Community College, Ho`ouluwehi, The Sustainable Living Institute of Kaua`i, focuses on four areas; affordable housing, energy, waste management, and food production. With the hands on opportunities provided by projects in these four areas, students are developing specific skill sets needed to tackle real challenges our island faces.
Carleton College has incorporated sustainability as a baseline assumption in its Strategic Plan, released this past fall after an 18-month planning process. Among its many sustainability initiatives on campus are the College’s two wind turbines, which provide 25-30 percent of the campus’s electrical needs.
Last year, HWS received a 2012 Green Power Leadership Award from the US EPA, Sierra Magazine again ranked HWS as among “America’s Coolest Schools,” and The Princeton Review named HWS as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the US and Canada.
In addition to being a leader on carbon neutrality, Middlebury College incorporates sustainability throughout its institutional and campus planning, and has adopted sustainable design guidelines based on the Green Building Council’s LEED Silver criteria.
As signers of the Clinton Foundation Climate Positive Development Program, the city of Oberlin and Oberlin College are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions below zero by 2050 and 2025, respectively.
In September 2012, APUS opened its new energy-efficient Finance Center, which was constructed on a reclaimed brownfield site and is powered in part by West Virginia’s largest solar array. It is targeted for LEED certification by the US Green Building Council at the Gold level or higher.
Since joining the ACUPCC in 2007, Chatham University has invested over $4 million in infrastructure innovation and educational initiatives that underscore the institution’s commitment to sustainability.
To respond effectively to the ecological challenges of our time, the Goddard community works to transform the activities of the college and the consciousness that informs them in order to support sustainability. Read more about sustainability at Goddard College.
The mission of WSCU’s Sustainability Action Committee is to improve environmental awareness, stewardship of natural resources, and resource efficiency at Western State Colorado University through implementing the goals of WSCU’s Environmental Charter.
Georgia Tech’s comprehensive approach to sustainability includes learning in the classroom, discovery in the research lab, and using the campus as a role model. Learn more about sustainability at Georgia Tech here.
Indiana State University opened its world-class recycling center and converted from a coal burning boiler facility to an award-winning natural gas boiler facility in 1989. The university signed the ACUPCC in 2007 and soon thereafter created its climate action plan. In 2012, it funded the Institute for Community Sustainability.
Missouri S&T’s Solar Village, a neighborhood of four student-designed solar homes, is inhabited by students and faculty, and S&T’s geothermal energy project, when completed in 2014, will reduce the campus’s carbon footprint by 25,000 tons per year and cut energy costs in half.
Underscoring PSU’s commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2040 are the University’s aggressive alternative transportation programs. Through partnerships with the city of Portland and local transit authorities, PSU has become the busiest transit hub in the entire Portland metro area, with two light rail lines, two Streetcar lines, and more than 20 bus lines converging on campus.
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry was selected as a finalist based on a nomination that detailed the college’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2015, its incorporation of sustainability into the accreditation process and technological innovation, particularly in the construction of the new Gateway Center.