The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday September 29th

UNC makes the grade: Report shows the University is a leader in sustainable practices

When it comes to sustainability UNC is making the grade.

UNC earned a B-plus overall in the annual Campus Sustainability Report published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute which grades the 300 schools in the U.S. and Canada with the largest endowments.

While our marks are high overall there are still areas for improvement.

For example we received a D on endowment transparency.

 According to the Institute" being sustainable means ""meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.""

In other words" we are solving our short-term environmental problems without compromising our long-term ability to succeed.

We should be proud of the accomplishments to date.

The categories of the assessment were administration climate change and energy food and recycling green building student involvement transportation endowment transparency and investment priorities.

UNC was commended specifically for low carbon emissions a fare-free bus system investment in renewable energy and former Chancellor James Moeser's Climate Commitment.

We were also identified as a Campus Sustainability Leader meaning we had an average of A-minus in all the campus categories studied.

We are at the front of the pack of N.C. schools.

Duke also earned a B-plus but Wake Forest and N.C. State received a C-minus and C-plus respectively.

We are emerging as leaders in our region in the effort to form sustainable habits. We have become an example that other schools will be looking to emulate.

But we cannot rest on the success of the past administrations.

The University can continue to improve on reducing energy use in buildings and also switching to cleaner power sources.

An avenue for these improvements is through Leadership  in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED system is sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council and evaluates buildings and rates them based on national benchmarks for green factors.

We must continue as leaders in progressing toward the future.

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