With the growing impacts of climate change and sustainability challenges that we face today, now, more than ever, we must explore and develop innovative practices for sustainable systems. At the University of Vermont, we believe colleges and universities have the opportunity and responsibility to pave the way for sustainable communities by creating sustainable campuses and leading by example.
Sustainability is in our DNA. We began committing to climate action and energy conservation in the early 1990s. In 2007, UVM signed the President’s Climate Commitment, and in 2010, UVM committed to complete climate neutrality with the following goals:
- 100% renewable electricity starting in 2015
- 100% carbon-neutral thermal energy starting in 2020
- 100% carbon-neutral commuting, business, and air travel by 2025
Office of Sustainability
Our Office of Sustainability fosters sustainable development and promotes environmental responsibility at the University of Vermont by strategically bridging the academic activities of teaching, research, and outreach with the operations of the University. Everyone is responsible for sustainability at UVM. Initiatives include our Eco-Reps network, zero bottled water policy on campus, locally-sourced organic food in our dining halls, and comprehensive composting and recycling throughout our University community.
STARS Gold Certified
UVM’s award-winning green campus was recently honored with its second Gold rating from STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System for higher education.
Green Building Development
The UVM campus is home to more than one million square feet of green building space that meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s stringent Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines. We go beyond LEED and have designed innovative and unique solutions that will be showcased during the program.
The most successful part of the course was my new knowledge on building successful and engaging sustainability initiatives and efforts at my campus. It was great to see where my university stood to others and build a ladder of success that I could use at my institution. This is a great program to delve into the systematic thinking of sustainability in higher education. It helps to address the current issues universities are faced with surrounding sustainability.
– Caitlin Jillson, 2019
Everything was very well done. I loved that every style of learning was presented. It did not feel like we were sitting in a classroom being lectured all day. The guest speakers who came in were all very well spoken and excited to be there. I think the very hands on aspect of the course was extremely helpful. That is how I learn best and it’s rare to have so much of it in a program.
– Meg Lowe, 2019
The course exceeded my expectations with the breadth and diversity of its information and activities. I chose the course, because it covered systems thinking–I want to learn more about that, so will be purchasing some recommended books! As well as presentations, materials, and instructors, networking opportunities with other attendees were highly informative and fun. Thank you for a wonderful week that reassured me that my work and energies are right where they need to be!
– Wendy Olmstead, 2019