Sustainability at the University of Maryland

About this Website

In 2008, the University of Maryland established the goal to become “widely recognized as a national model for a Green University.” The University Strategic Plan (p. 36) helped create a vision for a greener campus by stating that the campus will cut energy use, reduce its carbon footprint, expand green spaces, and build and retrofit buildings to strict environmental standards. The plan also establishes that the University’s commitment to sustainability must be evident through its teaching, research, and service.

The tenets of a green university presented in the Strategic Plan are consistent with the Office of Sustainability’s conceptual framework for a sustainable campus, which centers on:

  • Campus – developing a carbon-neutral and resource-efficient campus infrastructure;
  • Culture – creating a culture of sustainability where students, faculty, staff, and visitors can experience living in a sustainable community;
  • Curriculum – integrating sustainability across the curriculum and addressing sustainability challenges through research; and
  • Community – engaging the broader community in sustainability through outreach and service.

This four-pronged strategy is a comprehensive approach for the University of Maryland to reach its ambitious goal of becoming a national model for a green university. The University has made great strides in each of these areas but to date the institution has had no systematic and comprehensive process for measuring progress. The framework provides a means of organizing diverse yet related activities, setting specific goals, and tracking activity campus-wide.

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