Tennessee Private Colleges Collaborate to Save the Environment
Nashville, TN - The
By working together, member institutions of the
The Environmental Protection Agency has begun to more closely monitor activities on college campuses, and has embraced a program under which campuses can join together to conduct “peer audits” as a way to ensure compliance with EPA standards, avoid fines, and be responsible stewards of the environment. Thirty colleges in
Brian Foshee, Director of Physical Plant at
The cornerstone of the TICUA Go Green! Project is voluntary peer-audits of campus facilities. These audits enable campuses to be proactive in developing protocols and procedures in line with acceptable environmental standards.
Campuses involved with the program have experienced success through expanding environmental consciousness into many aspects of campus life. In the classroom, students are learning the most current environmental standards, which they will then bring with them to the workforce. Institutions are increasing recycling and reducing waste as part of administrative policy decisions such as going “trayless” in cafeterias, using low-energy light bulbs, and relying on electronic transmission of material rather than printing documents.
Most importantly, this program involves all levels of campus personnel, and more so than any top-down approach has had the effect of motivating individuals on campus to be environmentally conscious. “
TICUA campuses have taken the peer-audit process one step further and have addressed the sustainability of sound environmental practices and policies. In January 2009, the TICUA Go Green! Project sponsored the first of a four-part training series on Environmental Management Systems. This two-year training process offers information to increase campus’ ability to review and maintain policies and procedures beneficial to environmental stewardship. Through these efforts, campuses will sustain the positive changes they have made as a result of the peer audits. Since the institutions are pooling their resources, each campus pays roughly three times less than had they contracted on their own to provide this training.
In fall 2008, TICUA member colleges and universities throughout the State enrolled more nearly 69,000 students. TICUA membership includes 31 four-year colleges and universities, and 3 professional colleges. TICUA engages