UNC Campus Sustainability Day

Please come! Hundreds of students, staff, faculty, and administrators are expected to gather at Rams Head Plaza from 11:00-2:00 on Oct. 26 to celebrate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Campus Sustainability Day.

The following is a press release that I am posting here at the request of Cindy Shea, UNC Sustainability Coordinator. She wanted to get the word out and invite the community to UNC Sustainability day, to be held next Wednesday (I've suggested she post this info on the UNC community webpage, too).

The basics:
What: Campus Sustainability Day
When: Wednesday, Oct. 26th
Where: Rams Head Plaza
Why: exhibits, information booths, and free local and organic food; the chance to meet and talk with those involved w/ campus sustainability efforts.

For more info, you can visit sustainability.unc.edu or call their office at 843-7284.

Campus Sustainability Day to feature awards, exhibits, food, report

CHAPEL HILL -- Hundreds of students, staff, faculty, and administrators are expected to gather at Rams Head Plaza from 11:00-2:00 on Oct. 26 to celebrate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Campus Sustainability Day.

Rams Head Plaza, which opened in March 2005, is the site of the first “green” or vegetated roof on campus. Formerly a surface parking lot in a bowl south of Kenan Memorial Stadium, this space now hosts a three-level parking garage, topped with a grassy plaza planted with trees. A dining hall and recreation center are on the plaza level, and the second largest campus grocery store nationwide is located at street level.

Some 8,000 residential students live within a half-mile walk of the facility. The total number of parking spaces on the site also increased from 398 to 707. “Sustainable policies, practices and curricula represent smart business,” said Nancy Suttenfield, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. “We want to educate our students for current and future challenges and demonstrate good stewardship in our daily operations and planning.”

Suttenfield will receive the 2005 Campus Sustainability Report at the Oct. 26 event, and she and Roger Perry, a member of UNC's Board of Trustees, will present awards to people and programs that have contributed significantly to UNC's sustainability efforts.

Other activities planned for the ceremony are exhibits, information booths, and free local and organic food.

The report references many campuswide accomplishments in sustainability. For example, at the request of students, a sustainability minor has been developed and is working its way through the approval process. Courses would include environmental science, public policy, business and planning.

At Kenan-Flagler Business School, master of business administration students learn environmental and social impact management through selecting the popular concentration in sustainable enterprise. The core “sustainable strategy” class is now offered in the executive MBA program and will soon be available to undergraduate business students. Graduate students in planning and public health are among the first nationwide to study how community design can encourage physical activity.

Among other sustainability-oriented developments at UNC and mentioned in the 2005 report, new construction projects are applying Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The School of Nursing's Carrington Hall Addition, site of another vegetated roof, is the first campus project to register for LEED certification in the 16-campus University of North Carolina. UNC's N.C. Botanical Garden is striving for a LEED platinum rating – the highest level available – for its planned Visitor Education Center.

Recycling rates at UNC have reached 41 percent, the report said. By keeping bottles, cans and paper products out of the landfill, the university avoids $210,000 in transportation costs and landfill tipping fees annually, said Cynthia Pollock Shea, director of UNC's Sustainability Office. Recycling lead and non-PCB lighting ballasts avoids another $88,000 in disposal fees, she added.

On construction projects, the 2005 report said, contractors submit recycling figures with their invoices. At least 50 percent of construction and demolition debris is recycled on every project.

UNC students have twice voted to raise student fees $4 per semester in February 2003 and 2005 to invest in renewable energy infrastructure. During a six-year period beginning in 2004, the students will invest $1.1 million in renewable energy technologies. The first project funded will provide solar-heated water to students in the renovated Morrison Residence Hall. The fee also introduced biodiesel fuel into the Point-2-Point bus fleet that serves students at night.

The report mentions fare-free transit, begun in 2002 and funded by the University, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Since 2002, bus ridership has increased 61 percent. Chapel Hill has among the highest per capita bus usage nationwide. More than 5 million rides are provided annually.

Additionally, an estimated 3,500 members of the university community participate in the free Commuter Alternatives Program, which provides emergency rides home and discounts from local merchants. At least 700 on-campus parking spaces have been released as a result, saving commuters $300,000 annually in parking costs alone.

“Achieving the triple bottom line of environmental quality, economic vitality, and social justice is a process of continuous improvement that applies to all organizations. At UNC-Chapel Hill, this challenge is embraced by both the academic and operational sides of campus,” said Shea. “Students, staff, faculty, and administrators are applying their intelligence, creativity, and good will to make Carolina a sustainability leader.”



second largest campus grocery store nationwide

We need to go for the gold and try to get a grocery store for Lot #5 instead of a bunch of 800 sq/ft. boutique shops. The space could be designed in such a way that if the grocery store flops, it could be retargeted for commercial/office/residential.

If UNC can make a go of it (and continue to turn campus into a bit of a bubble) why can't we encourage a business venture that by its very nature will entice residents from local neighborhoods and campus to come downtown?

Will, be careful of commenting on turning campus into a bubble. In the 1973 council campaign, Alexander Julian advocated putting a bubble over the campus. I think he was trying to be funny, but it got quoted in the press like it was a real statement and it popped his campaign bubble.


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