You are here

Articles: Sustainability

UNLV students worked with mentors provided by Food & Water Watch’s Take Back the Tap campaign to create a matching fund for station installation. (UNLV).

Hydration stations are popping up at several colleges and universities to promote environmental consciousness and healthfulness on campus.

Higher education institutions are placing greater emphasis than ever on the environmental impact of their buildings, with many seeing sustainability as being as demonstrative of their thought leadership as their academic programs. However, few of these institutions are consistent in managing the environmental impacts of their buildings across different phases of the buildings’ life cycles—from construction, through operations to demolition—and the full life-cycle impact of campus buildings is rarely tracked.

Every school needs a reliable water supply—no matter the climate—yet it is often the most overlooked aspect of facilities management.

Boston University has seven certified restaurants (more than any other college or university) and the GRA has verified the institution has the greenest food court in the nation.

Here are four questions facilities administrators as well as other campus officials should be asking to lower the risk of a hazardous materials tragedy.

Sometimes it becomes clear very early on that a facilities project—especially a solar initiative—will be complicated.

Deciding where to install a solar array is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make.

Respond yes or no to the following questions as a first step in determining which type of installation makes more sense for your campus.

Rooftop installation

Are there obstructions on the roof—such as skylights, HVAC systems or other equipment—that would make it difficult to install solar panels?

CLICK AND LEARN–The University of Washington’s sustainability map features seven main categories related to higher ed campus sustainability and dozens  of examples, from the location of charging stations to recycling bins.

Many institutions shine a spotlight on their sustainability efforts by creating online maps to showcase eco-friendly sites and green activities on campus—areas of interest to both the student body and the general public.

Students Kylie Campanelli and Chad Marvin operate a hydroponic lettuce farm that lives inside an upcycled, 40-by-8-foot shipping container at Stony Brook University in New York.

Designed by the company Freight Farms, the hydroponic lettuce farm inside a shipping container at Stony Brook University in New York uses 90 percent less water than traditional growing methods to provide an acre’s worth of leafy greens to campus dining halls.

Students use farm-management technologies such as cloud-synced growth data and a smartphone app to control lighting.

Student-run campus organizations are partnering with food service providers to get leftover food to those who need it. (Photo: Food Recovery Network/James Souder, UMD Recovery)

More than 22 million pounds of uneaten food is thrown away on college campuses each year, according to Food Recovery Network, a student-driven nonprofit dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger at higher education institutions.

A single college student generates an average 142 pounds of food waste per year, according to Recycling Works, a Massachusetts recycling assistance program.

The first new academic building added to Trinity’s historic Washington, D.C. campus in more than half a century, provides much needed instructional space for the school’s growing nursing and health programs as well as a step into modern architecture.

The WaterHub reduces by 146 million gallons the annual amount that Emory University drains off the Atlanta municipal water system.

The landmark WaterHub at Emory University in Atlanta is an eco-friendly water recycling plant that cleanses 400,000 gallons per day of wastewater for purposes other than drinking.

Harnessing biomimicry processes, WaterHub uses beneficial bacteria, microorganisms, plants and hydroponic technology to treat black water, gray water and stormwater for later use in steam and chiller plants, as well as for toilet flushing in a number of residence halls.

This fall, travel funded by the student government at Whitman College in Washington state will be taxed based on emissions generated in getting to and from the destination.

Passed in February as a two-year pilot program, the rule is likely the first of its kind imposed by a student government at a U.S. college.

Students traveling as part of a ski club or flying to New York City for a journalism conference, for example, will calculate the cost of their emissions, but not be charged directly.

What’s the biggest misconception administrators outside the facilities department tend to have related to heating and cooling campus buildings?

Stanford’s solar solution: Joe Stagner, executive director of sustainability and energy management at Stanford, has led the university through a solar power-based strategy. By 2030, 75 percent of the university buildings will be powered by solar.

How colleges are getting creative about energy supply to save money on heating and cooling, and to boost building comfort for occupants

Pages