The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has just closed its entry deadline for the 2009 “Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming” competition, and we won’t know the winners for several months.
Here, though, is a look at this year’s winners, a group of colleges working to change the future:
Butte College, Oroville, Calif., is on track to be carbon neutral by 2015, according to college officials. The college is working to offer a degree in Sustainability Studies. Butte College runs the largest community college transportation system in California. It recycles more than 75 percent of its waste from operations and obtains 28 percent of campus electricity from a solar panel. In August of next year, the college will sponsor its third annual Sustainability Conference.
Cascadia Community College and the University of Washington, Bothell, are co-located on a single campus in Bothell — a campus that contains an expansive stretch of restored urban wetlands and incorporates sustainable initiatives.
The University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., has achieved zero global warming pollution emissions growth while expanding the university. Since the inception of its energy conservation program in 1990, total campus energy use has been reduced by 19 percent while campus space has grown by nearly 60 percent.
The Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., has implemented a global warming pollution emissions trading system that provides students with economic incentives for reducing pollution.
The University of Montana, Missoula, operates a student-run university transit system, which has both increased student ridership and reduced global warming pollution emissions.
Berea College, Berea, Ky. and Daemen College, Amherst, N.Y., created green videos. Berea’s video shows footage of the college’s 8,400-acre sustainably managed forest that offsets carbon emissions and of an educational farm that demonstrates sustainable farming techniques
Daemen’s video showcases a new green building with a geothermal system, an eco-trail that provides a natural habitat for students to study, energy audits performed by the student body and a campus recycling initiative.
College students, of course, are the next business leaders. Look for graduates of these colleges to bring their green habits to the workforce. If your company isn’t yet on board, take some inspiration from these green campuses.