The UW-Whitewater Sustainability Office strives to improve the education and awareness of environmental sustainability issues in our academic curriculum, student life, campus operations, and local community.
Educating the campus and communities we serve about the global challenges we face and the role sustainability solutions can play in addressing them, while pursuing tangible sustainability projects to improve campus operations, allows the UW-Whitewater Sustainability Office to help our university address the three values of sustainability (environmental stewardship, economic feasibility, and promotion of social justice) in meaningful ways.
Sustainability best practices on campus are brought directly to students through guest lectures, themed tours, and hands-on student projects that leverage the campus as a “living laboratory” for studying sustainability issues and solutions. Students are also encouraged to engage in activities and events designed to foster consideration of their own daily choices and environmental impact. The Sustainability Office organizes or participates in many class visits, tours, and other hosted events that have generated thousands of direct campus and community engagements with sustainability messages and programming. Working with a wide range of campus and community partners, students engaged with the Sustainability Office have also accomplished hundreds of volunteer hours on a variety of community service projects.
UW–Whitewater also strives to improve our operational efficiency by integrating sustainability best practices into areas like buildings/grounds management, energy/water efficiency, local and sustainable dining options, green cleaning, alternative transportation, and improved recycling and waste management. For example, the Sustainability Office has documented and supported $2.6 million in energy efficiency projects that have yielded $1.6 million in cumulative savings to date. Various certifications have been achieved or are being pursued to provide a consistent framework for operations best practices and to promote these efforts by UW-Whitewater staff.