Making 'Green' Transparent

10.04.2010 | Energy and Environment, Campus and Community
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The University of Dayton is going to make "green" transparent.

The University will become a charter participant in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's program to publicly report sustainability efforts in education and research, operations, and planning, administration and engagement.

"As a Catholic and Marianist university, we feel it's important to publicly show what we are doing to be good stewards of our environment," said Kurt Hoffmann, environmental sustainability manager. "This program will help us track progess toward sustainability goals, compare ourselves with other schools nationwide and work with those schools to develop better sustainability practices."

The Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) awards points in 67 categories including how sustainability is integrated into curriculum and research projects, energy conservation, waste reduction, how sustainability is integrated into the campus master plan, campus water usage and indoor air quality.

From lowest to highest, STARS recognition levels are bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Anyone can view the scoring criteria and data at the related link.

The University of Dayton will submit its first report by Jan. 31.

STARS is open to all colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. More than 200 schools, including the University of Notre Dame, Yale University, Pennsylvania State University and New York University, are charter participants in the program.

The association's mission is to empower higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. It provides resources, professional development and a network of support to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do, from governance and operations to education and research.

The University of Dayton's dedication to creating a greener campus paid off in the latest College Sustainability Report Card with a letter-grade jump to a B-plus. The University's overall grade tied for second among 16 Ohio schools represented in the study. Since the first report card in 2007, the University of Dayton has jumped two and a half letter grades.

A series of green initiatives last year helped the University save $612,329. The University reduced its natural gas use on main campus last year 5.7 percent and electric energy use 4.8 percent. Improvements included upgrading lighting systems, removing lights without compromising brightness in some places; installing occupancy sensors, closing buildings during the summer, and programming thermostats and heating and cooling systems to optimize savings.

Last fall, the University started what is thought to be Ohio's largest institutional food-scraps recycling effort and one of the largest university food composting efforts in the nation. The University diverted 200 tons of waste from landfills.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.