UNCG has been ranked in Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools each of the last 3 years. This year UNCG ranked 76th out of 164 rated schools. Though down from 39th in 2012, that was out of only 96 participating universities. UNCG has done well, there are areas for improvement. There is a possible 1000 points to earn in 11 categories (Co-Curricular, Energy, Investments, Food, Innovation, Research, Planning, Transport, Purchasing, Water, and Waste) and our total points reached 580.07.
UNCG has already implemented many actions that help the university become more sustainable. These include creating the student group UNCGreen, having sustainable related classes, constructing nine LEED Buildings, providing “trayless” dining, and supporting the Creative Sustainability Initiative. As successful as we have been in recycling, building and transit issues, however, we did not do as well in areas such as innovation and purchasing.
There are many ways that you can become involved and help raise the score of UNCG. One is speaking out about what you would like to see done on campus and another is learning from faculty and staff about how they can help your ideas come to life. Some ways the top Cool Schools have made the list include constructing alternative energy projects, having stormwater cisterns, hosting an on-campus farmer’s market, and purchasing more local food for their dining halls.
Here at UNCG, we have the world at our fingertips. We are here to learn and to make the world a better place for now and for our future. UNCG is giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunities to come up with ideas and ways to create a better tomorrow by doing something bigger altogether.