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VU grades well in environmental focus

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on November 03, 2010 with No Comments

Valparaiso University’s commitment to sustainability on campus – including construction of green buildings, investments in clean energy and use of recycled materials – has been recognized in the “College Sustainability Report Card 2011.”
The report card, prepared by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, profiles the campus and endowment sustainability policies of 322 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Valparaiso University is one of 11 Indiana colleges and universities profiled in the fifth edition of the annual report card.


President Mark Heckler said Valparaiso University’s sustainable business operations and policies align with its commitment incorporating environmental stewardship into its academic and extracurricular programs.
“Valparaiso University is preparing graduates who, as thoughtful leaders, create change through their confidence to lead and their wisdom and concern for others,” Heckler said.
“The Valparaiso University community takes seriously its responsibility to care for the world as part of this concern. This includes encouraging environmental stewardship that conserves our natural resources, promotes a healthier environment for people and supports a high quality of life for our community.”
Valparaiso University’s overall grade in this year’s report card rose to a “C+,” with improvements in three of nine categories – climate change and energy, green building and endowment transparency. The university received an “A” in the investment priorities category, with the report citing its investments in clean energy initiatives through private capital spending.
In the green building and climate change and energy categories, Valparaiso University received “B” grades, and the report noted that Valparaiso University has achieved an 8 percent reduction in building energy consumption per square foot since 2005 thanks to improvements such as more efficient heating and cooling systems, high-efficiency lighting and energy management systems. 
Valparaiso University’s sustainability efforts also include:
Development of three rain gardens on campus, with a forth to be completed during the coming year, that reduce the amount of pollutants entering local waterways.
Construction of five buildings to LEED Silver standards, including Harre Union and the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources. Two facilities now under construction also are being built to LEED standards.
Purchase of fair trade coffee and bananas in dining services operations, in addition to offering biodegradable to-go food containers.
A residence hall that is piloting a composting program.
Support for the city of Valparaiso’s V-Line bus system, which allow students to take advantage of public transportation.
Valparaiso University also is one of the nation’s first universities to offer an MBA program with a concentration in sustainability, teaching future business leaders how taking care of the environment can create new business opportunities and raise profits.
The University also offers an undergraduate major in environmental science and many undergraduate students participate in environmental research projects as part of their Valparaiso University experience.
Heckler notes the university continues to look for additional opportunities for improvement, and an environmental sustainability committee was created two years ago leading campus-wide efforts.
“We will continue pursuing sustainability throughout the University’s operations and academic programs,” Heckler said. “We are grateful for the recognition of our progress during the past year and look forward to continuing our efforts in the coming years.”
For more information on Valparaiso University’s commitment to promoting environmental friendliness, call 464-5000, or visit www.valpo.edu.

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