Campus Sustainability: Your Quick Guide to Getting Started

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Campus sustainability is a buzz phrase that gets plenty of attention these days.
And, while important to both the environment and your organization, selecting and implementing a green initiative for your organization is  daunting.

However, creating a sustainable campus has a dramatic impact on the planet.

Are you interested in increasing sustainability on your campus, but don’t know where to get started? This week, we’re bringing you some of our best tips for getting started with a campus sustainability project.

Let’s take a look at a few action steps for campus sustainability.

Set specific goals for your organization
First, determine, exactly you’d like to accomplish within the area of campus sustainability and set specific goals for your campus.

Here are a few great questions to get you started:

Is LEED Certification important?

LEED Certification, while prestigious, comes with a notable price tag (approximately $2000 per certification). However, most find the investment to be worth the cost of upgrades.

What areas of sustainability will be the focus on your campus?

Important areas of sustainability include:
Energy management
Water conservation
Eco-friendly cleaning supplies
Sustainable building materials
Innovative Design
Indoor environmental quality

Once you’ve determined your overarching goal for your campus, create a SMART goal.

SMART stands for:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely

(Read more here for more on creating SMART goals at your organization)

Once you have a plan for campus sustainability in place, create a plan for success.

This begins by getting your organization’s key stakeholders on board. Without high stakes buy-in and employee cooperation, green initiatives will be rendered dead in the water.
And, the bigger the campus sustainability project, the more people you’ll need on board with the undertaking.

When it comes to employee and customer buy-in, it pays to begin with a public relations campaign for your initiative.

Help them imagine a campus following the implementation of your project, and let them know, in specific ways, how a greener campus could benefit them.

Once you have buy-in, create a budget for your project. If you’re seeing LEED certification, be aware the certification and paperwork will cost you about $2000. However, most find the expense well worth the investment. The energy efficiencies gained after implementing LEED standards generally recoups the cost of the initiatives – and then some.

If you’re looking for a few more ways to increase campus sustainability check out these articles on campus energy efficiency.

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