College Planning & Management

MAR 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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Trends in Green SUS TAINABLE INNOVAT IONS ON C AMPUS Green Ambassadors HBCU Green Ambassadors answer President Obama's call to tackle climate change. BY EDR EA DAV IS A S PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA REITERATED the need to fight climate change during his State of the Union Address last month, "Green Ambassadors" were already doing their part to tackle climate change by promoting sustainable lifestyles to students and staff at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Selected and trained by UNCF Special Programs (UNCFSP) Building Green Initiative ( and Toyota Green Initiative, some 52 students on 27 HBCU campuses serve as "Green Ambassadors." Currently the ambassadors are competing in the 13th annual RecycleMania, a competition to see which college campus can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most on-campus waste. The eight-week contest raises awareness about waste reduction programs on more than 500 campuses. The UNCFSP Building Green Initiative has created a diverse network committed to increasing green building, energy efficiency, student engagement, curriculum development, research, and campus-wide sustainability for black, Hispanic-serving, tribal, and Asian Pacific Islander institutions. The UNCF Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) Green Report surveyed sustainability activity at 52 MSIs. Contributing to Success "Sustainability is not a new concept for black colleges; efficiency, conservation, and innovation have been central to institutional survival," says Felicia M. Davis, director, UNCFSP Building Green Initiative. "Recycling is an important first step on the road to sustainability. RecycleMania is a great way to encourage students and staff to reduce, reuse, and recycle while providing exposure to green economy principles and sustainable lifestyles." The Green Ambassadors also participated in the Toyota Green Campus contest (, where winners are selected based on their proposals for campus green projects. Several of the students are finalists in the competition, including Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Green Ambassador Daniel Crudup. Crudup will present his winning recycling project abstract at the Health Sciences Health Disparities Conference. Jainaba Fye, a Spelman College junior, says, "In my role as a green campus ambassador, my goal is to encourage students to adopt sustainable habits in order to make sustainability a way of life for the Spelman woman. In turn, students are expected to introduce these sustainable habits to their own communities." Davis adds, "Jainaba Fye captures the essence of a program that reverberates far beyond campus boundaries. Special mission institutions exist to prepare students to make productive contribu- 82 COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / MARCH 2013 tions in the emerging global green economy. It is imperative that these students learn about and participate in the green economy as innovators, leaders, and advocates." A Growing Initiative In 2012, the Building Green Initiative teamed with Toyota North America to create the Green Ambassador program in order to focus on student engagement and leadership development. Initially launched by UNCF, the program focused primarily on LEED-certified green building, energy efficiency, and green infrastructures. The program is now housed within UNCF Special Programs. In addition to providing training, resources, and other technical support to help campuses limit emissions and use resources more efficiently, the Building Green Initiative releases an annual Earth Day report. The MSI Green Report released in 2011 was the first and only sustainability survey of minority-serving colleges and universities profiling existing green efforts. The report dispelled the myth that minority-serving institutions were not interested in sustainability initiatives. Released in 2012, Sustainable Campuses-Building Green at Minority Serving Institutions is a compilation of provocative essays, case studies, and commentary covering leadership, finance, and facilities. On Earth Day 2013 the Building Green Initiative will publish results from an HBCU energy benchmarking pilot study sponsored by Verizon Foundation, a sustainability assessment of five leading private HBCUs and outcomes from the Green Ambassador program. The Building Green Initiative works in concert with virtually all national higher education sustainability organizations, a wide range of industry partners, and several federal agencies to make the program a success. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium and Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities lead in outreach to tribal and Hispanic-serving institutions, respectively. A major grant from the Kresge Foundation funded planning grants, learning institutes, training, and publications. Intimate partnerships are ongoing with Second Nature, Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps, U.S. Green Building Council Green Schools, National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program, and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. New partnerships include Keep America Beautiful and Planet Forward. CPM Edrea Davis has worked in all areas of communication management. She produces the community site, and can be reached at WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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