[COVER STORY]Campus Sustainability an Easy Sell
So, why have smart campuses found sustainability such an attractive value proposition? In short, because our customers are demanding sustainability, because it saves money, and because higher education's ethical license to operate is at risk if we don't respond to a society beset with myriad unsustainable ailments.
[FACILITIES]Passive House, Actively Green
Unity College in central Maine is a small liberal arts college with a big voice in the national sustainability conversation. We take seriously our leadership role in higher education and across sectors, preparing our students for leadership roles of their own in a changing world. From our unique sustainability science focus throughout the curriculum, to our first-in-the-nation commitment to divest our endowment from fossil fuels, we aim to model viable approaches to sustainability education that improve learning, engage the community, and decrease environmental impact.
Everybody loves the idea of creating a clean, green world and passing that world on to future generations. People recycle competitively, monitor energy usage dashboards, and approach LEED certification with gusto. Security, on the other hand, is reactive. Most individuals don't really consider it until an event brings safety to the forefront. Yet both must co-exist on today's college campuses even though they may be at odds.
[TECHNOLOGY]The Greener Side of Tech
Sure, it’s easy to toss trash into the proper receptacles and to turn off the lights when leaving a room, but how does a university with thousands of personnel, administrators, and students on campus initiate a greener place to live, work, and study? Green initiatives for the higher education sector are everywhere, and there are so many ways that colleges can get involved, from implementing cleaner technologies that use less power consumption to offering vegan dining choices in the cafeteria to properly disposing of old, outdated printers.
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Reexamining Your Institution's Web Presence
In an age when digital has become such a key channel, the colleges and universities that embrace this concept will outpace those that don't. It's not a financial question anymore, a bifurcation of the haves and have-nots; it's more of a mindset issue. While having the vast resources of a major institution certainly helps, it doesn't matter how much money you throw at a website project if it's not seen as the central hub of your overall communication efforts. And if it isn't used as a chance to engage an inclusive set of stakeholders from across campus, it's a huge opportunity missed.
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