Sierra Club Lauds UConn’s Sustainability Efforts

Sourced from UConn Today

The University of Connecticut is again recognized as one of the nation’s most sustainable campuses by the Sierra Club — receiving top billing in the nation for water usage, in particular.

The university is among the top five of more than 800 schools in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2019 Sustainable Campus Index, which ranks colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas. The rating system looks at sustainability measures implemented in a range of areas including building design, food and dining, waste, water, and grounds.

A combination of efforts contributed to UConn’s first place in the water usage category, such as retrofitting buildings with low-flow faucets, toilets and showerheads, replacing aging steam system infrastructure, and maximizing use of our state-of-the art reclaimed water facility to use recycled wastewater in place of drinking water for certain high-demand purposes, says Richard Miller, director of UConn’s Office of Sustainability.

“UConn’s water conservation efforts over the past decade have been extraordinary and culminated last year in a 51% reduction in water use over that time period, even as our enrollment increased significantly,” says Miller.

UConn continues to set ambitious goals to work towards having an increasingly sustainable campus, he adds. Notable achievements since last year’s rankings include a student- and faculty-led effort to implement an environmental literacy general education requirement, and a united effort by environmental student groups across campus urging the Presidential Search Committee to consider only those candidates with demonstrated commitments to sustainability.

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