UNO recognized for environmental efforts

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By Josie Loza

UNO has been recognized as a leading school by the National Wildlife Federation for its efforts to develop an environmentally sustainable campus.

The NWF released *The State of the Campus Environment: A National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability in Higher Education* earlier this month.

Surveys were sent to more than 3,900 college campuses nationwide. The federation based its results on findings from 891 colleges and universities across the country.

The report provides green grades in more than 20 categories, ranging from curriculum to transportation and also highlights exceptional schools.

UNO was recognized in four categories for its efforts and programs on campus.

UNO was named a Leading School for Doing More with Energy Efficiency and Conservation; a Leading School for Recycling, Solid Waste and Materials Flow; a Leading School for Land and Grounds Management Programs; and a School with Environmental Accountability Standards in All Campus Units.

Julian Keniry, a manager for the NWF Campus Ecology Program, said UNO’s efforts were remarkable because only a handful of colleges were recognized as leading schools.

Keniry also explained that in order for a school to be recognized in a category, they must meet certain environmental standards.

For example, UNO received a leading school honor for recycling. So, UNO not only had to recycle, but also had to encourage student participation through programs that are practiced campus-wide.

Keniry said UNO was named a leading school for its future plans of “doing more” with energy efficiency and conservation.

“The fact that UNO was listed four times is exemplary,” Keniry said. “I can’t think of another campus that made the list more than that.”

Even though NWF has worked with many college campuses across the country, this was the first survey conducted by the federation.

“We have a long history,” Keniry said. “We’ve worked on environmental issues with college campuses since the late ’80s.”

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