Sustainability Strengths & Successes

UNK was a reporting institution for STARS v1.0 in 2012, which included a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for performance year 2010. Impressively, since the year 2005, UNK’s energy use intensity has decreased and its greenhouse gas emissions have decreased significantly. Additionally, Facilities Management and Planning

  • Has earmarked $1.5 million for lighting upgrades.
  • Has eliminated most T12 fluorescent lighting throughout campus (the new Health Science Education Complex is 100% LED) and installed new windows in two buildings.
  • Plans to submeter all or most buildings and add digital control improvements.
  • Has upgraded the central plant and made thermal efficiency improvements.

LED lighting in the Health Science Education Complex and the upgraded central plant

LED lighting in the Health Science Education Complex and the upgraded central plant

The 2015 UNK Utilities Master Plan emphasizes superior envelope performance, improved light source efficiency (i.e. LED), and plug load occupancy sensors.

The 2013 Campus Landscape Master Plan emphasizes efficient irrigation, water-efficient plants, and displacement of city water with well water.

In 2011, Dining Services transitioned to trayless dining, and as of winter 2015, UNK has installed 21 water bottle refill stations throughout campus. Efforts such as these have prevented thousands of water bottles and much food waste from going to the landfill.

Water bottle refill station in the Health Science Education Complex

Water bottle refill station in the Health Science Education Complex

UNK established a sustainability committee in 2009. The Residence Hall Association, Enactus, and Honors Program have collaborated with the UNK Sustainability Committee, Dining Services, and Custodial Operations to implement sustainability programming, e.g. Project: Clean Plate and Waste Audit Dumpster Dive. These programs have helped UNK to better understand and improve its landfill diversion. Additionally, Custodial Operations has collected reusable items during residence hall move-out and donated the items to local organizations.

Project Clean Plate and Waste Audit Dumpster Dive engage students in efforts to reduce landfill waste.

Project Clean Plate and Waste Audit Dumpster Dive engage students in efforts to reduce landfill waste.

Since the sustainability master planning process began in 2015, UNK has already implemented several exciting new sustainability strategies such as an overhaul of the recycling system, the Zagster bicycle sharing program, and the Enterprise CarShare program.