UNT ranked among global green schools

UNT ranked among global green schools

February 05
23:42 2013

Olivia Sylvain / Intern

In the process of making UNT’s campus more “green,” the university was recently named the No. 110 school in the world for the most sustainable universities of 2012 in the University of Indonesia’s GreenMetrics rankings. for the most sustainable universities of 2012.

UNT’s ranking makes it the No. 2 school in Texas, only trailing the University of Texas at No. 73.

This year, 215 schools from 49 countries applied online. They were evaluated based on five different categories: waste, setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, water and transportation.

Several factors contributed to UNT’s achievement. The We Mean Green Fund has helped sponsor several projects such as water filtration units, electric vehicle charging stations and additional recycling infrastructures.

The three wind turbines near Apogee Stadium were installed in 2011 with the help of a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office. Efforts like this are important to maintaining UNT’s reputation as a leader in campus sustainability.

“UNT has consistently done well in many ranking systems,” Assistant Director of the Office of Sustainability, Lauren Helixon said., “We have been committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability for many years now.”

Even though UNT was ranked as the No. 36 in the country in 2011, geography senior and Sustainability Tour Coordinator, Codi Knaupp, said this isn’t an indication of a decrease in sustainability or eco-friendly projects. The GreenMetric ranking is meant to enable university leaders to evaluate their efforts and find areas that need improvement.

“You can’t quantify a lot of the work we do,” Knaupp said. “Using any ranking system allows us to check and see how well we’re doing.”

The Office of Sustainability has worked to create a more environmentally conscious campus through several different campaigns and programs. The university’s recent achievement reflects the efforts of the Office of Sustainability, said Special Projects Coordinator, Brandon Zitar.

“It is demonstrative of the level of commitment that UNT’s students, faculty and staff have towards creating the individual behavioral change that is the backbone of any sustainability effort,” Zitar said.

The OOS also conducts tours to provide information about the many “green” projects UNT has completed, and those that are underway. Local residents and schools in the Denton community have shown interest in spreading and contributing to an environmentally conscious culture.

“We focus on the education aspect and how to get the information out to the community,” Knaupp said.

The university also has a 20-year contract with Schneider Electric that will save $67 million, or about $3 million per year, in terms of buildings on campus and their energy usage.

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