UVM Among Top Ten 'Sustainability Stars'
Release Date: 07-26-2006
UVM was named one of 10 "Higher Education Sustainability Stars" in the June 2006 issue of University Business in an article that praised the selected institutions for "their efforts to respect the environment and the communities that surround them in economically feasible ways."
The article noted that UVM's "key accomplishment" has been "institutionalizing environmental concerns," which includes the university's goal of becoming the leading environmental university in the country. Gioia Thompson, coordinator of UVM's Environmental Council, one of the programs lauded in the article, agrees with that assessment. "Since President Fogel arrived," Thompson explains, "green practices are increasingly being institutionalized into official policies and programs, including LEED certification for new construction and major renovation, 100 percent recycled copier paper policy, free county bus rides with a UVM ID, comprehensive laboratory hazardous waste management, and the EcoReps program in which students encourage their peers to recycle and reduce energy use in the residence halls."
"Another important source of our reputation," Thompson adds, "is the culture and long history of activism at UVM. In the ten years I've been working with the Environmental Council, it's evident that UVM stands out as a result of the widespread attitude of environmental responsibility and commitment among faculty, students and staff. That attitude, combined with a certain Yankee thriftiness and ingenuity among staff, resulted in UVM informally adopting many best practices in campus operations such as recycling, energy efficiency and alternatives to pesticides."
Along with the Environmental Council and the EcoReps program, the article praises UVM's grant program which encourages environmental initiatives stemming from student and faculty work.
Joining UVM on the list of "sustainability stars" are California State University System, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Harvard, Tufts, the University of British Columbia, the University of California, Merced, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale.
The full article can be read on the magazine's Web site.