5 Universities Going Greener & Cleaner

June 10, 2015. Image credit: Unsplash

Sustainability efforts, energy savings, and greenhouse gas inventory metrics are all high priorities to a college or university, and more importantly, to their students. When engaging in a master energy plan or energy savings renovation project, there is an excellent opportunity to build student support around campus sustainability.

Energy improvements occur mostly out of sight so raising awareness of these projects can hold real benefits, including encouraging desired behaviors on how a campus building can and should be used to contribute to a college’s carbon footprint reduction goals.

1. Harvard University is a founding member of the Million Dollar Green Challenge.

Image credit: Joseph Williams
Image credit: Flickr upload bot.

Recently, Harvard allocated $300,000 from the Green Revolving Fund to finance an efficiency upgrade in the Northwest Lab Building to reduce energy consumption for the air handling system.

2. Loyola University reduces energy with high performance windows and geothermal HVAC.

Image credit: By Paolo Zampella
Image credit: By Paolo Zampella

According to the university’s Office of Sustainability, the newly completed CSUL complex will contribute to a 50 percent decrease in energy consumption from the ASHRAE’s standard energy baseline.

3. Rutgers taps solar power as viable alternative energy source.


As one of the nation’s largest college renewable energy systems, the Livingston solar energy facility at Rutgers University was projected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,300 tons yearly and save the University more than $200,000 in its first year.

4. UC Santa Barbara pilots program to reduce energy consumption.


Image credit: By Carl Jantzen
Image credit: By Carl Jantzen

The University of California has set a goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and UC Santa Barbara has ramped up its sustainability efforts accordingly.

5. Iowa’s public universities ramp up energy conservation efforts.

University of Iowa
Image credit: Kevin Satoh

The University of Iowa (UI) plans to increase the “smart” scheduling changes enacted for 10 weeks last summer in select campus buildings to save energy.