As the single largest user of electricity and water in state government, the University has an obligation to lead in managing its impact on the environment and natural resources. Substantial enrollment growth projections over the next 10 years for UNC and population growth over the next 20+ years for the state of North Carolina will have a profound effect on the environment. While various levels of sustainable practices have been introduced on UNC campuses since the early part of this decade, driven by Executive Order 156 on Environmental Sustainability (1999), issues of concern about environmental sustainability rose during the course of the UNC Tomorrow Commission’s work. By strategically managing its growth and impact and by providing vision and direction, the University can provide leadership to the State.
In response to the UNC Tomorrow recommendation that the University assume a leadership role in addressing the state’s environmental challenges, The University of North Carolina Board of Governors adopted the UNC Sustainability Policy on October 9, 2009. The Board’s policy establishes “sustainability” as a core value guiding institutional operations, planning, capital construction, and purchasing practices.
A 44 person committee including facilities staff, faculty, students and a few state agency representatives, incorporated growing campus support, previous efficiencies identified under the PACE initiative, the UNC Tomorrow recommendation and recent energy legislation (including legal mandates requiring sequential reductions in water and energy use through 2015, including a 30% reduction in energy consumption), into sustainable principles through which we would funnel our decisions into the future.
The Policy will be officially rolled out to the campuses, to further engage campus support and an Implementation Guideline will be developed to provide direction where needed.
Campuses have been moving forward, at varying degrees, to implement sustainable practices over the years and what better venue than our campuses, which are living and learning environments.
For more information, please contact Sustainability Committee Co-Chairs :
Shari Parrish, Associate Vice President Finance, UNC-GA: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cindy Pollock Shea, Director – Sustainability Office, UNC Chapel Hill: Cindy.Shea@facilities.unc.edu