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UNCG receives “B” on sustainability report card

News Editor

Published: Friday, November 5, 2010

Updated: Friday, November 5, 2010 13:11


Over the past year, UNCG took proactive steps towards creating a greener, more sustainable campus.  Some products of this progression can be seen by the average student around campus in the form of recycling cans and solar-powered compactors.  “Green Report Card” is an organization that evaluates various aspects of campus sustainability and gives universities an overall letter grade.  For the 2011 College Sustainability Report Card, UNCG received a “B.” This shows great progress by the university, who received a “D” on its sustainability report card only last year.

Mark Orlowski is executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, publisher of the Report Card.  He says that since the first edition of the Report Card four years ago, he has seen dramatic increases in 52 green indicators.  For example, 70 percent of campuses now have a campus farm or garden verses 9 percent in 2006.  UNCG, in fact, just began the creation of its own campus garden. “The green groundswell on campus is evident in a wide variety of energy-saving initiatives, such as sourcing food from campus farms and reducing hot water use through trayless dining,” said Orlowski.

Other surges in green efforts could be seen in the formation of sustainability committees and green building policies.  95 percent of schools now have a sustainability committee versus 40 percent in 2006. 79 percent have a green building policy verses 22 percent in 2006.  Green Report Card said that, “facing frugal times, more schools are finding that energy improvements can cut costs without cutting campus services.  Connecting the dots between sustainability and savings is an accelerating trend.”  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also participated in the report card, earning an A- and a classification as an overall sustainability leader.  UNCG received a poor grade in “endowment transparency” and “shareholder engagement,” but still showed significant improvements from previous years.

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