UNC Pembroke's 2015 Sustainability Report Released


A quick glance at the annual report released by UNC Pembroke’s Sustainability Office reveals the university’s commitment to maintaining an eco-friendly campus and the surrounding community.

The 2015 Sustainability Report highlights the campus’s successes from reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions to donating “food overruns” from the cafeteria to local soup kitchens.

“We are making changes needed to reduce UNC Pembroke’s impact on the environment,” said Jay Blauser, Sustainability Director.

“We are improving our social impact and the overall health of the campus and the local community,” Blauser continued. “We are also getting a return on our investment by helping the university save money.”

The 2015 Sustainability Report can be viewed online at www.uncp.edu/sustainability.

The 41-page report details how the Sustainability Office is engaged in decision-making and collaborating across campus from the Purchasing Department, transportation to housekeeping.

“We are enhancing and integrating sustainable and best management practices in all operations on campus,” Blauser said.

For example, in 2015 the university certified its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver building, the Health Science building which uses 34 percent less energy than code baseline.

In addition, ground was broken on what is planned to be the campus’s first Green Globes certified building, the Health Services Building.

The report also touts the university’s success in increasing its capacity of on-site solar, plug-in electric vehicle charging, recycling programs and academic integration.

“We lowered energy consumption by 40 percent,” report reads. “And installed our first solar smart table (in front of the bookstore) which charges mobile devices with clean solar power.”

Blauser is especially excited to boast about the new, student-led Food Recovery Network chapter that was established in September 2015.

“The Food Recovery Network is made up solely of student volunteers and interns,” Blauser said. “They collect the food overruns from the cafeteria and deliver it to Pembroke Housing Authority, Sacred Pathways and Vertical Church. I think this is amazing. But this wouldn’t be possible without the partnership with the Community & Civic Engagement Office, who provides and oversees the volunteers and the dedicated staff with Campus Dining Services (Sodexo).”

Blauser said he hopes this report will encourage more students to become involved with the campus’ sustainability efforts. The Sustainability Office staff are working with faculty to offer a minor in sustainability to undergraduate students by fall 2016. Plans are also in the works to develop a graduate certificate in sustainability by 2017.

The Sustainability Office and the Sustainability Council, which were established in 2014, have made great strides in theirbrief existence on campus. Working alongside Blauser are Justin Duncan, Sustainability Coordinator, Terry Divine, director of Energy Management, and Debby Hanmer, associate professor in the Biology Department, is the co-chair of the Sustainability Council.

The office, located in Lumbee Hall, also employs two student interns, Kayla Cox and Jay Ritchie.

For more information about the sustainability efforts on campus or more about the Sustainability Office, call 910.775.4576 or 910.521.6509, or email jay.blauser@uncp.edu

UNC Pembroke is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system.  For more information contact Joanna Warner, interim executive director of University Communications and Marketing via email (joanna.warner@uncp.edu) or by phone (910.775.4587). Connect with UNC Pembroke online at uncp.edu or on social media to learn how the university is changing lives through education.