Every time UNC students flush a toilet in the Genome Sciences Building, they’re using water that fell on its roof.
And innovative water practices like these are only one aspect of UNC’s sustainability initiative.
The UNC campus was recently ranked eighth in the world for sustainability programs by Universitas Indonesia in the annual Greenmetric report for the second year in a row.
The Greenmetric report ranks universities on six categories: setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation and education.
Cindy Shea, director of UNC’s Sustainability Office, said one area UNC is well recognized for is innovative water practices. Shea also said that the University’s reclaim water system saves 175 million gallons of potable water annually.
“The water that falls on the roof of the Genome Building is held underground and is used for flushing toilets in Kenan Stadium and Genome Building,” said Shea.
Shea said the pan-campus water theme, “Water in Our World,” which started last academic year has been extended into the 2014-15 academic year due to its success. UNC has reduced water consumption by 60 percent since 2000, Shea said.
Jaye Cable, chairwoman of the curriculum for the environment and ecology, said the greatest success of the UNC sustainability movement has been bringing together groups of people who haven’t ordinarily talked — the arts with the sciences with the humanities.
“Everyone can think about the environment and see connections to their daily life, research and classes they take,” said Cable.