Our Sustainability Strategic Priorities:
1– Emissions and Operations - Aggressively reduce global-warming emissions and our overall environmental impact while simultaneously increasing our social and economic impact in all operations and activities.
2– Education and Engagement - Produce and prepare more educated graduates needed to lead the changes necessary to resolve the world’s social, environmental and economic challenges, while simultaneously coordinating sustainability learning opportunities for and with all students, faculty, staff, stakeholders, the community and all other partners.
3- Fiscal and Stakeholder Strength - Positively impact the campus and local economy, create and sustain jobs and foster win-win-win partnerships that result in environmental, social and economic benefits for the campus, local community and the State of North Carolina.
- Accountability - Innovation
- Collaboration - Integrity
- Communication - Service
"Changing Lives Through Education"
Compelling Numbers and Facts
Global warming is mainly the result of CO2 levels rising in the Earth’s atmosphere, currently at 400 ppm. Both atmospheric CO2 and climate change are accelerating. Climate scientists say we have years, not decades, to stabilize CO2 and other greenhouse gases and lower the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere back down to 350 ppm--the widely accepted "safe" limit.
- Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health, i.e., clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter
- Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress
- The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between $ 2-4 billion/year by 2030
- Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution
- In 2015, UNCP avoided $200,000 in energy costs
- 93% of the world’s largest 250 corporations report on their sustainability performance (Global Reporting Initiative, 2015)
- In 2015, the Princeton Review surveyed 9,650 college applicants and 2,412 parents of college applicants in its “College Hopes & Worries Survey,” and found 60% said having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would impact their decision to apply to or to attend a school. Even closer to home, in September 2016 over 10% of our campus population participated in a survey and 254 or 60% of responding UNCP students said "a business's or university's or other organization's sustainable practices and commitment to protecting people, our planet and economic security" is very important to them….another 158 or 37% of responding UNCP students said it was “somewhat important” to them.
- In 2014, UNCP students taxed themselves $5/year for a sustainability green fee—they agreed to raise it to $7 in 2015
- Over 685 universities across America, including UNCP, have agreed to work towards carbon neutrality and publically signed the Presidents’ Climate Commitment
Definition of Sustainability
Sustainability is based on a simple principle: everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. –Adopted from the US EPA.
*AASHE defines sustainability in an inclusive way, encompassing human and ecological health, social justice, secure livelihoods, and a better world for all generations.
*Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
"We do not inherit the land from our fathers. We borrow it from our children." -Native American Proverb
Guidance and Commitments for Sustainability at UNCP:
- NCGS 130A-309.14 Recycling Program (1989)
- NC Executive Order 156 (1999)
NC Utility Savings Initiative (2002, also includes NCGS 143 Articles 3B & 8C)
UNC-System Sustainability Policy (2009)
- Signatory: UNC Energy Leadership Challenge - Appalachian Energy Summit (2012)
- Signatory: Carbon Commitment, formerly the ACUPCC via Second Nature (2014)
NC 10% Campaign (2014)
- Partner: US Department of Energy's Workplace Charging Challenge (2014)
- AASHE STARS (2016, Bronze Rating)
- Campus Strategic Energy & Water Plan (2017)