APUS is a finalist for a Second Nature Climate Leadership Award! As part of the competition, finalists were asked to create a one to three minute video highlighting their sustainability efforts. During the month of April, the public voted for these videos on the PlanetForward.org website. Though the number of votes received does not determine the winner, it is part of what a panel of judges will consider before announcing the winners in each Carnegie Classification in late spring.
In December 2012, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded LEED Gold certification to the Academic Center. Adjacent to the Academic Center is the school’s most recent addition to the Charles Town campus, the 105,000-square-foot Finance Center. Attached to that building is the school’s solar array, containing 1,660 solar panels; it is the largest array in the state of West Virginia and constructed of all American-made components. The Finance Center, opened last year, is currently in the LEED certification process.
The university also has a comprehensive recycling program, including battery recycling through The Big Green Box program and a technology recycling program that benefits local public schools through donations. Employees may utilize an employee carpooling program and the university uses only environmentally-friendly cleaning products in its buildings.
Students participate in our sustainability initiatives as well! If you’ve attended commencement in the last three years, you’ve worn Oak Hall’s GreenWeaver green gowns, each of which is made from 23 recycled plastic bottles. The gowns look and feel like all other commencement regalia and to date, Oak Hall estimates that it has saved more than 17,000,000 plastic bottles from landfills.
These are only some of the many sustainability initiatives ongoing at the university. To learn more about our sustainability initiatives, read the Sustainability Committee’s blog, or join the discussion by liking the committee’s Facebook page.
Contributed by Elizabeth Gray