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Sustainability

Progress in Sustainability

Flowers blooming in the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum

Silver Rating in STARS™

Since 2011 UW-Green Bay has participated in the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating SystemTM (STARS). This is a voluntary evaluation process in which colleges and universities review their sustainability efforts against the STARS framework. This framework, similar in structure to LEED for buildings, assigns various level of credits to the topic areas and based on the number of credits accrued, a school achieves a reporter, bronze, silver, gold or platinum level. UW-Green Bay completed its initial STARS review in 2011 and achieved a silver level. In 2014 UW-Green Bay earned a silver level ranking for the second time in a row.

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Commitment to Carbon Neutrality with ACUPCC

UW-Green Bay’s former Chancellor, Dr. Bruce Shephard, signed the institution’s commitment to the goals of ACUPCC in 2008. The school has completed two greenhouse gas inventories, a Climate Action Plan, and one progress report as of June 2014.

"The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is a high-visibility effort to address global climate disruption undertaken by a network of colleges and universities that have made institutional commitments to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations, and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. Its mission is to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability by empowering the higher education sector to educate students, create solutions, and provide leadership-by-example for the rest of society. The ACUPCC provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to implement comprehensive plans in pursuit of climate neutrality. The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in educating the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming and help create a thriving, civil and sustainable society, [...]" from ACUPCC.org.


Energy efficiency

The University’s environmental perspective competes with the social and physical realties of a dependence on fossil fuels – both for operating campus facilities as well as for students, faculty and staff commuting to campus. The challenges are ongoing, but focused attention on areas contributing to greenhouse gas emissions has yielded positive results. Wisconsin Act 145, passed by the state legislature in 2006, directed state institutions to reduce total BTU energy usage by 20 percent by 2010 from a FY 2005 baseline. Over the last eight years, actions taken to make academic building systems more energy efficient have achieved great success with more than a 27 percent decrease in weather-adjusted BTU/GSF (see table below) through FY2013. 

Fig. 1. Percent Change from Base Energy Consumption (BTU/GSF) 2005-2010

More students are bringing cars to campus than ever before and offering alternative transportation options to change the behavioral dependence on cars is an important challenge. In collaboration with the Green Bay Metro, the University offers faculty, students and staff the U-Pass program, which provides free bus rides on the local transit system. In fall 2014, a car share program will launch providing students with easy access to a car without having to bring their own to campus.

With an environmental ethic as a core founding value, UW-Green Bay has a proud heritage that it will continue to build upon with its efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and enhance campus sustainability. By operating in a sustainable manner and by providing its students with an opportunity to develop a comprehensive understanding of climate change issues regardless of their major discipline of study, UW-Green Bay graduates can take their place in society and the economy armed with critical thinking skills to become active participants in battling climate change.


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