UNC Greensboro has been recognized as a top performer in the subcategories of public engagement and water in the 2016 Sustainable Campus Index.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) was established in 2005 to help coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts at regional and national levels, and to serve as the first North American professional association for those interested in advancing campus sustainability.
AASHE recognizes colleges and universities that achieve the greatest level of success with green initiatives on-campus and within their surrounding communities. The association gauges these efforts using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a voluntary system that allows different colleges and universities to report trends and track their sustainability efforts. Four different STARS ratings ― platinum, gold, silver, and bronze ― may be awarded to various establishments, companies, and organizations across the country.
The Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) is an annual publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) which rates institutions based on how sustainably they use their water resources.
SCI recognizes top-performing academic institutions in each of the seventeen Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) subcategories and highlights innovative and high-impact initiatives.
UNCG was ranked No. 3 in the United States and Canada for its efforts in engaging with the local community and No. 5 for effective water conservation and rainwater and wastewater management.
Out of 39 greenest universities of 2016, UNCG was ranked No. 14 by BestColleges.com.
“Greensboro, as its name suggests, is rich in greenery. The third-largest city in North Carolina, this campus is located in the Piedmont Triangle halfway between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Two hours west are the Blue Ridge Mountains, while the Atlantic Ocean is three and a half hours to the east,” BestColleges describes. “Greensboro features more than 170 parks and gardens, as well as miles of greenways perfect for hiking, biking, golf, tennis. UNCG wants to keep green living in the foreground for a new generation of students.”
UNCG offers a broad, interdisciplinary degree in environmental studies and sustainability. Students will study ecosystems, climate, pollution and natural resources alongside topics like public policy, economics and ethics. A sustainability minor is also available.
Students at UNCG pursuing environmental and sustainability studies take part in an exciting range of internship opportunities, including state parks, Greensboro Natural Science Center, the Piedmont Environmental Center, the Piedmont Land Conservancy, the North Carolina Sierra Club and the Office of Sustainability at UNCG.
“Recognition as a top performer in two categories is an exciting reflection of our focus on multiple aspects of sustainability,” said Dr. Shanna Eller, sustainability coordinator in UNCG’s Office of Sustainability.
Top performers were determined based on the percentage of points earned within a STARS subcategory and adherence to credit criteria. AASHE staff reviewed data submitted from institutions identified as top-performing candidates to make sure that the content met credit criteria.
This rating means that UNCG is contributing not only to the local but national community as well in terms of conservation of precious and limited resources.