Articles: Sustainability

05/2012

Every action starts with an idea. That’s why, for the seventh annual green issue, the University Business editorial team decided to share some great ideas that have resulted in changes in the way campuses think about food, water, energy consumption, and solar energy.

Move over LEED, there’s a new certification in town. It’s not just buildings getting a green stamp of approval these days—events are, too.

Sometimes the way to improved efficiency lies in a spreadsheet. Sometimes it lies in a piece of software.

And sometimes it lies in a restroom.

SPSU

Advancement officials at Southern Polytechnic State University (Ga.) had both practical and aspirational reasons to reconsider how it ran its faculty/staff annual giving campaign.

The second year of the ongoing Models of Efficiency program continues to demonstrate that campus departments can be innovative and inspired when it comes to finding ways to provide superior service and maximize resources.

Harvard University has long been known to take the lead in research, public administration, and business and law studies, so why not sustainability?

In higher education, sustainability and green design have moved beyond buzzwords to become real practice. Programs such as the U.S.

Albert Einstein had this to say about problem-solving: "You can never solve a problem on the same level on which it was created." In other words, the solution lies at a higher level. That is certainly the truth for many efforts in higher education, where overcoming administrative challenges?

This issue marks our sixth annual "green guide," looking at sustainability trends and technologies at campuses around the country. Some students even base enrollment decisions on an institution's commitment to the environment.

The Power of Green

For six years each June, University Business editors have been sharing snapshots of sustainability efforts taking place at campuses across the country. As green continues to grow in popularity, institutional efforts and the collective impact of those efforts continue to impress.

Electricity. It turns on the lights, powers the smart boards, and runs the computers that are all vital to a modern campus. Acquiring that electricity can be both an expensive proposition and a key part of an environmental action plan.

It's rare to even hear about a single new campus building these days that wasn't built with sustainability principles in mind. Inevitably, institutional officials are learning not to reinvent the wheel every time a new construction project comes up.

When Zach Waickman was a senior at Loyola University Chicago, he had just completed an internship with a major news network in Chicago and planned to pursue a career within his communication major. But, a course focused on biodiesel completely changed his path.

Programs that allow campus offices to become officially certified green in operations can pack a one-two staff engagement punch.

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