19 June 2007

NKU Wants to Have Less Impact...

...Ecologically, that is.

From the Post:

[NKU President] Votruba is a charter signatory to a new movement called the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment

Universities use a lot of energy, and the group's goal is to get as many universities as possible to do as much as possible to reverse global warming. At NKU, that will start with all new buildings constructed according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

NKU also will expand a partial recycling program to full recycling.

Votruba said he wants NKU to be a community leader when it comes to taking steps to reverse global warming.

After reading this, I wondered how other regional colleges stack up on efficiency and consumption. Turns out the Sustainable Endowments Institute keeps track of these things, and it recently released a College Sustainability Report Card.

NKU wasn't evaluated, but many other regional institutions were:

U of Michigan: B+
Case Western: C+
Oberlin: C+
Purdue: C
Michigan State: C
Renssalaer: C-
U of Cincinnati: C-
U of Kentucky: C-
U of Louisville: C-
Indiana U: D+
Notre Dame: D-

(Interesting how sustainability correlates with proximity to Ann Arbor).

Those crazy enough to read some of the reports of these schools might be confused as to what it takes to get an "A". Oberlin, for example, seems to have done quite a lot yet was graded "C+". To get an idea of what it means to go the extra mile, the reports of the "A" schools have to be read (there are only four: Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, and Williams).

The message seems to be: keep up the good work, because there's plenty of room for improvement.


Mark said...

Oberlin would ban the internal combustion engine on campus if this was true. I have a hard time believing Michigan has them beat. I'd bet my friends in Yellow Springs would score a Christmas Story-esque A-infinity-plus.

WestEnder said...

That's what I thought, too, which is why I was surprised. Oberlin was the first school I checked, figuring that if any school would get an "A", it would be Oberlin.

But the SEI evaluates many categories, so even though Oberlin scored high on the eco categories, it got a couple of "Fs" in the financial areas and that brought down the overall grade.