The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is among the 2017 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools. It is one of nine Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees in the nation.
UW-Stevens Point was selected as the top Wisconsin institution of higher education for Green Ribbon Schools and advanced for consideration at the national level. This award acknowledges the university's leadership in taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability.
"Sustainability is a thread in all UW-Stevens Point activities and operations, from those related to facilities and grounds to curriculum and instruction to health and wellness in and around campus," The U.S. Department of Education said in its Green Ribbon Schools report.
"Sustainability is a hallmark of our strategic plan and our way of life at UW-Stevens Point," said Chancellor Bernie Patterson. "Our faculty, staff and students have not wavered in their efforts to weave sustainability through campus. You will see in it coursework, in facilities and operations, in community initiatives and in a comprehensive commitment to lead sustainable lifestyles."
The U.S. Department of Education noted UW-Stevens Point's mission statement includes preparing students for a diverse and sustainable world. It also cited the university's role in:
- Being the first university in Wisconsin to have 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources. UW-Stevens Point is on the EPA's Top 30 College and University list of largest green power users.
- Creating a campuswide composting program and recycling center, using organic materials in grounds keeping and being Greenguard certified in cleaning products.
- Using water efficiently with water bottle refill fountains, a computer-controlled irrigation system, rain gardens and innovative stormwater systems in new parking lots and dual flush toilets.
- Helping students, as well as faculty, staff and community members, learn about sustainability and how they can make decisions for a sustainable future.
- Developing a new doctoral program in Educational Sustainability in the School of Education and offering a master's in Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems and natural resource management and environmental education degree programs.
- Supporting workplace wellness and student health through advocates, fitness facilities and programs, campuswide smoking ban and Schmeeckle Reserve, a 280-acre conservancy area on campus.
- Building and remodeling to meet LEED Gold standards.
- Signing on with other universities in making climate pledges and working toward being a carbon neutral campus by 2050.
Across the country, 45 schools, nine districts and nine postsecondary institutions will be honored in July for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
For highlights of all schools, districts, colleges and universities selected as U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools, see: https://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/highlights-2017.pdf