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ERIC Number: EJ812078
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep-5
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Colleges Get Greener in Operations, but Teaching Sustainability Declines
Carlson, Scott
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n2 pA24 Sep 2008
More colleges are making sustainability programs a high priority, putting more resources into energy-conservation efforts, and setting goals to reduce carbon emissions, according to survey results released by the National Wildlife Federation. Given the popularity of all things green, that is not surprising. The surprising part of the federation's report had to do with how environmental sustainability fits into the central mission of colleges: Despite all the talk of climate change, environmental degradation, energy costs, and other issues related to sustainability, the advocacy group found that teaching and learning about sustainability has been in decline. The survey, which drew responses from 1,068 institutions, queried college administrators on a variety of subjects related to sustainability: campus transportation, energy efficiency, landscaping, staff involvement, and goals, among others. In most areas, particularly in campus operations, the responses reflected a commitment to sustainability deeper than those indicated by a similar survey the group conducted in 2001. In the new report, 65 percent of colleges had written commitments to sustainability or plans to develop them in 2008, compared with 43 percent in 2001. The federation gave colleges high marks for recycling programs, energy-efficiency programs, and green landscapes. Colleges were given low marks, however, in categories for generating green power. Strong gains could be found in the hiring of staff members to oversee sustainability programs. More than 90 percent of the colleges surveyed had hired or planned to hire an energy-conservation manager, compared with 42 percent in 2001. Half had positions for a green-purchasing coordinator, compared with 13 percent earlier. The federation expected to see green programs driven mainly by student interest, but it found that students and staff and faculty members held equal roles in pushing for sustainability.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A