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Higher Education Facilities in the Sustainability Spotlight


By Dan Hounsell Green
campus sustainability

Sustainability has transformed many, if not all, areas of institutional and commercial facilities in the last decade. Nowhere is the transformation as evident as in higher education facilities, where active students and the threat of competition drive facility managers to make purchasing and project decisions that minimize the impact of their facilities on the environment.

Now, higher education facilities that have made the greatest strides toward sustainability have been recognized for their efforts. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education recently released its 2019 Sustainable Campus Index, which recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 sustainability impact areas as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.

Institutions that achieved the top spot in key sustainability topic areas include:

• Air and Climate – Colby College and Université Laval

• Buildings – University of California, Merced

• Coordination and Planning – Thompson Rivers University and University of Alberta (tie)

• Energy – Thompson Rivers University

• Grounds – Cascadia College and Chatham University

• Investment and Finance – University College Cork – National University of Ireland

• Public Engagement – Colorado State University

• Waste – New Mexico State University

• Water – Colorado College, San Francisco State University, University of Connecticut.

Dan Hounsell is editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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