Green Campus Initiatives

The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) addresses global warming through institutional commitments to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, accelerated environmental research and increased climate education. North Carolina colleges and universities participating in the ACUPCC include:

  • Appalachian State University
  • Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute
  • Carolina College of Health Sciences
  • Carteret Community College
  • Catawba College
  • Central Carolina Community College
  • Davidson College
  • Duke University
  • Durham Technical Community College
  • Guilford College
  • Haywood Community College
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Wilson Community College

The ACUPCC recently funded the creation of “Climate Planning for Campuses: A How To Guide,” in the form of a wiki. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education published the 12-part, 100-plus page guide, as a type of road map for colleges. The guide includes details on a variety of greenhouse gas mitigation strategies and tactics, sections on creating an institutional structure to support a climate action plan, determining a baseline carbon footprint, setting emissions targets and measuring progress, financing climate action, and implementing the plan.

North Carolina Postsecondary Green Initiatives

Recent News:
Wake Tech Wins Green Building of America Award, 7-1-2009

Appalachian State University
Appalachian State offers both B.A. and a B.S. programs in Sustainable Development, with concentrations available in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture; Community, Regional and Global Development; or Environmental Studies.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
ABTech's Global Institute for Sustainability Technologies offers Continuing Education workshops and short courses on: the NC Green Business Fund, passive solar, building a green home, solar electric systems, becoming an energy rater and more.

Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute
The Institute of Sustainable Technology offers Continuing Education courses aimed at those in business, manufacturing, and construction and consumers/homeowners. Courses include: Building Operators Certificate, Go Green 101, Green Tax Advantage, Marketing Green Products, Go Lean to Green, Sustainable Development, Intro to Sustainable Design, Renewable Energy Technology, High Performance Building Technology, and Advanced HVAC Technology.

Catawba College
The Center for the Environment is committed to educating the community and region about environmental stewardship and sustainability, the Center offers extensive resources on campus and community "greening," clean air, water quality, and wildlife conservation. The 21,000 foot facility was built on the college's 189 acre wildlife preserve using green, energy-efficient technologies and materials. Catawba offers several Bachelors degree programs in Environmental Education.

Central Carolina Community College
The Chatham County Campus offers Continuing Education in Green Building and Renewable Energy Construction on the program's new home, the Sustainable Technologies Lab and Classroom Building—built to LEED standards—will begin soon.

Davidson College
The college concentration in interdisciplinary Environmental Studies. In addition, ten students live at Eco-House, a cooperative residence focused on environmental stewardship including food selection, recycling, shorter showers, reduced transportation use, etc.

Duke University
The Center on Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness
Provides forecasts on green jobs in North Carolina and reports on engineering and entrepreneurship.

Durham Technical Community College
The Global Citizen program, a certificate created by the Arts, Sciences, and University Transfer Department, requires 27 course hours (six of which may be electives) and an involvement with a college program. Students are required to participate in monthly activities and volunteer in their community. For more information, contact Peter Wooldridge, Associate Dean of Arts of Sciences at 919-536-7223, x8046.

Elon University
Elon irrigates its campus with reclaimed stormwater, hosts intra-dorm energy competitions and offers courses such as Green Design: Envisioning a Sustainable Future.

Guilford College
Guilford has established a Sustainability Council consisting of faculty, staff and students that meets each semester to approve the implementation of green technologies and procedures on campus, including rainwater collection and passive solar. For information, contact Guilford's Environmental Sustainability Coordinator, Jim Dees at 336-316-2923. The college also has a helpful website describing campus environmental initiatives. Students may pursue an environmental studies major (as an interdisciplinary dual major).

Haywood Community College
The Building Construction Technology program offers a Green Building Concentration. Coursework includes: Survey of Green Building, Building Science Software, Intro to Residential Energy Audits, Advanced Air Sealing/Insulation, Sustainable Building Design, and Intro to Home Energy Rating. Additionally, the college's Small Business Center, Student Government Association and the HCC Foundation hosted a Sustainable Development Expo.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Sustainability Office has launched a range of activities covering buildings, climate change, energy, campus grounds, institutionalizing sustainability, materials and recycling, purchasing, student-led efforts, transportation, and water conservation and protection.

University of North Carolina - Coastal Studies Institute
The institute's research focuses on four main areas: Estuarine Ecology and Human Health, Estuarine and Coastal Processes, Coastal Sustainability and Maritime History. While the institute emphasizes northeastern North Carolina in its outreach and education programs, its research draws on the resources of the entire region. The Harvey's Sound Access Sustainable Design Demonstration exhibits examples of sustainable coastal development practices, including raingardens, cisterns, and radiant solar water heating.

Wake Technical Community College
Wake Tech's Northern Wake campus is the first college campus in North Carolina to meet LEED standards. Extensive documentation about the campus, including the Phase I Building Manual, can be found on their LEED website. The college also hosts websites describing energy management and recycling initiatives.

Wilson Community College
In October 2008, Wilson Community College, completed construction of its new LEED-certified Student Center Building. The college's Growing Green website includes documentation of strides toward meeting the seven indicators of sustainability in higher education, an environmental glossary, extensive information about green building, tools such as energy-use calculators and much more. For information Wilson's sustainability efforts contact Rob Holsten, Dean of Continuing Education and Sustainability at 252-246-1254.

Other Green Campus Initiatives

Coconino Community College (AZ)
The Construction Technology Management program offers a certificate and AAS degree in Alternative Energy Technology. For information, contact Joseph Costion at 928-526-7696.

Lake Tahoe Community College (CA)
The Green Sustainable Education program is an interdisciplinary, stand-alone department emphasizing experiential learning. Course topics include ecotourism, green marketing, and the history of water acquisition and use in the American West. For information, contact Rosie Hackett at 530-541-4660, x463.

Los Angeles Community College District (CA)
In renovating their nine campuses, the district's Sustainable Building Program is incorporating green materials and technologies throughout the system.

Rainy River Community College (MN)
The college offers a diploma or AAS degree in Green and Sustainable Construction Technology. For information, contact Jeff Wickstrom at 800-456-3996, x235

Additional Organizations and Resources

The 2008 Green College Report
This report describes how 50 colleges and universities around the country are going green through green buildings, local food, alternative energy plans and environmental degree programs.

Going Green: The Vital Role of Community Colleges in Building a Sustainable Future and Green Workforce
This 2009 publication from the Academy for Educational Development and the National Council for Workforce Education examines the growing role of community colleges in a low-carbon, clean energy economy. It provides examples of innovative strategies and practices, offers information on the fastest growing sectors and jobs in the green economy, and provides useful web links and resources for further exploration.

Association for Advancement of sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
AASHE is an association of colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada working together on sustainability issues. The organization sponsors an annual Greening of the Campus conference.

National Wildlife Federation
The NWF's Campus Ecology Program promotes climate leadership and sustainability among colleges and universities by providing resources and technical support, creating networking opportunities and organizing education events. Their Campus Environment 2008 report presents the findings of a comprehensive national campus survey on environmental stewardship, sustainability activities and related curricular offerings in higher education.

Clean Air-Cool Planet The on-line Campus Climate Action Toolkit is a resource for students who want to making their educational institution more "climate friendly." The toolkit contains suggestions for action, hyperlinks to technical resources and case studies. Featured in the Toolkit is the latest version of the Campus Carbon Calculator, a tool to measure campus emissions and examples of completed inventories from various colleges.

American College Personnel Association Task Force on Sustainability
This site offers resources for colleges to develop and expand sustainable programs and efforts on their campuses. Included is a list of Student Learner Outcomes.

"CE Goes Green" from InFocus, the newsletter of the University Continuing Education Association

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