October 10, 2008

UW Remains a Leader in Sustainability

Posted by Karin Hoffman

The College Sustainability Report Card, published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, awarded the UW an A- for the second year in a row, recognizing it as one of the top 15 universities in the nation committed to sustainability practices. The Princeton Review also recognized the UW for its efforts, naming it as one of ten universities on its’ Green Rating Honor Roll.

Below are some of the ways in which the UW was successful in devising sustainable practices:

- The UW purchases electricity from 100% renewable resources and has teamed up with Seattle City Light by installing solar arrays on Merrill Hall and the Mechanical Engineering Building. By employing energy conservation projects, the UW saves over 43 million kilowatt-hours per year.

- The UW has declared that all state-funded new building and major renovations will be, at a minimum, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver-certified. This approach focuses on sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

- In addition to supporting the UPASS program, which encourages students, staff, and faculty to use alternative transportation, the UW maintains a fleet of over 300 alternative-fuel, hybrid, and electric vehicles.

- 26 percent of the 2007 food services budget was spent on locally produced, organic, and natural foods. By installing receptacles for the composting of postconsumer food waste and offering compostable dishware, the UW is working towards a goal of zero waste.

Thanks to the students, faculty and staff in continuing to help the UW reach these sustainability goals. Check out the Environmental Sustainability Web site for more information about the UW’s commitment to sustainability.
Photos: (Left) Merrill Hall, which houses the Center for Urban Horticulture, is one of the first buildings in Seattle to be considered “green.”