SMU has earned a “B” for its campus sustainability efforts, the highest score among DFW-area colleges and universities and a significant improvement over previous SMU scores.
The ranking was assigned by the College Sustainability Report Card, a comparative evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at 332 colleges and universities with the largest endowments in the United States and in Canada.
“We are really very pleased with this score,” said Michael Paul, SMU’s executive director of Facilities Management and Sustainability. “I think it reflects a serious and growing commitment here at every level to preserving the environment and our resources.”
Data collection for the College Sustainability Report Card 2011 took place from June through August 2010. The profiles of the schools were created using information gathered through independent research as well as through voluntary responses from school administrators and students. In total, 290 of the 300 schools (more than 96 percent) responded to at least one survey out of four that gathered information about sustainability in campus operations, dining services, endowment investment practices and student activities.
SMU’s “B” grade for 2011 is a significant increase from the “C+” score earned on its 2010 report card. Increasing the campus commitment to sustainability and raising awareness of green practices on the Hilltop is the mandate for the SMU Sustainability Committee, a group composed of faculty, staff and student members.
The University has reduced greenhouse gas emissions more than 6 percent since 2005. Energy efficiency technologies, including economizers and high-efficiency motors, have been installed in many campus buildings. A demonstration photovoltaic array generates renewable energy, and SMU purchases some electricity from renewable sources.
SMU’s high marks also are attributed to such things as its commitment to LEED green building practices, aggressive recycling programs and waste reduction in campus dining services.