Earlier this year, UT’s Office of Sustainability was recognized as a STARS Silver Institution and a Top Green Power User by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment and Rating System is a self-reported measure of green performance in academics, student and community engagement, operations, and administration.
The university was recognized for its dedication to campus-wide sustainability and innovative green programs, including Zero Waste Game Days, the Food Recovery Network, its VOLstarter program, and the Green Revolving Fund.
In addition to the STARS Silver rating, UT led the Southeastern Conference in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partner Challenge. UT was recognized for having the largest green power purchase in the SEC, using 91,372,000 kWh of sustainable energy during the 2015–16 academic year.
“Few institutions have made UT’s commitment to sustainability,” said Facilities Services Associate Vice Chancellor Dave Irvin. “From the student green fee and the Green Revolving Fund to incorporating sustainability into the classroom, to our steam plant conversion, to major improvements in energy conversation and reducing our carbon footprint—it’s exciting to be a part of a university that is backing up its sustainability promises with dramatic game-changing action.”
The EPA also listed UT as one of the top 10 green power universities in the United States, claiming over 36 percent of its power as green via renewable energy credits. Currently, UT is poised to claim 100 percent green power this fall, positioning UT as the number one green power university in the nation.
“This is an affirmation that the efforts our students, faculty, and staff take toward being a more sustainable campus are not only working, but leading the region and SEC in many regards,” said Sustainability Manager Preston Jacobsen.
The institution received STARS recognition for the first time in 2011 and has been ranked as a Top Green Power User since 2014.
“I would like to thank everyone for bringing UT to the forefront of sustainability, not only in the SEC but the region as a whole,” Jacobsen said.