University of North Texas
The University of North Texas is an institutional leader in environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Since signing the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment in 2008, UNT has pledged to promote sustainability in areas of research, outreach, operations, and teaching – seeking to serve as an exemplar of collegiate sustainability and a powerful agent of change.
UNT has experienced significant sustainability achievements in all areas of university life and operations. In the past five years, UNT has implemented numerous emission reduction & energy efficiency initiatives. Most notably, UNT has constructed three LEED Gold certified buildings and the nation’s first LEED Platinum certified collegiate football stadium – Apogee Stadium. A component of Apogee Stadium’s overall green design can be attributed to the three community-scale wind turbines installed next to the stadium. Funded by a $2.2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office, the wind turbines account for one-third of the energy needs of the stadium. Viewed by nearly 8.5 million motorists annually, the wind turbines are a testament to UNT’s commitment to sustainability and innovation. Beyond the estimated 450,000 kWh produced annually by the turbines, the intrinsic value and social impact of such technology in close proximity to a collegiate athletic complex is invaluable.
In addition to the green building policy and on-site renewable energy, UNT has implemented a performance contract with Schneider Electric to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and offset emissions. Known as the SMART Project (Save, Measure, Achieve, Reduce, and Track), the performance contract is one of the most significant green initiatives on campus. With guaranteed savings of $3 million annually, and projected emissions reductions totaling 206,939 metric tons of CO2(e), the SMART project was awarded “Infrastructure Project of the Year” in 2013 by the U.S. Green Building Council North Texas Chapter.
In addition to these operational efforts, UNT provides numerous opportunities for students to participate in campus sustainability. The We Mean Green Fund provides students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to develop projects that promote environmental stewardship and contribute to campus sustainability. Ultimately, the green fund enables students to leave a lasting legacy at UNT. Some of the past projects funded include:
Filtered water stations, Recycling receptacles, Electric vehicle charging stations, Tree replacement program that replenishes trees that have died due to drought or have been removed due to construction projects, Hand dryers that eliminate paper towel use in restrooms, Bike repair stations, Rain water harvesting system, and Natural dye garden that produces natural dyes for the College of Visual Arts and design to replace synthetic dyes.
Beyond participating in the We Mean Green Fund, students can take advantage of other sustainability efforts including the nation’s first completely vegan dining hall, annual Earth Week activities, sustainability focused curriculum & courses, and service on the Sustainability Council & subcommittees.
UNT has a strong legacy in environmental stewardship – one that is bolstered by participation in collegiate sustainability organizations, a continued commitment to lead by example, and a growing campus culture of sustainability. At UNT we really Mean Green!