Managing our energy efficiently is one of the most effective ways our campus incorporates sustainability in to our operations. Since 1999, Facilities Management has been aggressively improving our energy performance and has saved the university over $6 million as a result. This saves us money and reduces our environmental impact!
UNTHSC has co-mingle recycling on campus which means that all general recyclable items can be collected together. Furthermore, since 2012, we have expanded our recycling to include a separate and additional program called Recycling 2.0 which includes ink cartridges, batteries and cell phones. Since 2012, we have recycled almost 5000lbs of ink cartridges and over 1600lbs of batteries! In addition, Facilities Management recycles all the lamps used on campus and our Police Department provides a Drug Take Back Box to provide safe and eco-friendly disposal of unused and discarded medications. Learn about what we recycle, why we recycle, etc. by visiting our recycling page.
In 2014, the UNTHSC Community Garden was founded with funds from the Environmental Service Fee as voted on by the Sustainability Committee along with several donations from local businesses. The community garden has 35 plots and donates 25% of its yield to a local food bank. As of August 2015, the garden has donated over 170 lbs of fresh produce! The garden’s sustainable features include rain barrels, compost bins, and upcycled picnic tables from old pallets. Students, staff, faculty, and community members are all invited to manage plots, and the garden has several volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
UNTHSC offers e-passes or discounted annual bus and train passes to it employees and students at savings 50 to 90% off regular prices, and students qualify for reduced fare pricing year-round. In addition, students and employees who drive eco-friendly cars can also qualify for a 20% discount off of parking! brief Interested in biking around Fort Worth? UNTHSC receives discounts off the annual memberships with the Fort Worth Bike Share, a city-wide network of bike stations that provide affordable, healthy and eco-friendly transportation around the city.
UNTHSC has 24 quick-fill water stations on campus that minimize plastic bottle waste and promote healthy and sustainable practices by providing cold, filtered water to a refillable bottle in a quick and convenient way. The Office of Sustainability even offers a free water bottle to employees and students for taking the Sustainability Pledge. To date, the water stations have filled bottles 701,476 times! Learn more here.
UNTHSC has a commitment to build all new buildings to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED standards. LEED is a green building certification program designed to conserve resources, be better for the environment, and promote human health and well-being. We currently have one LEED Gold building on campus, the Medical Education & Training Building. Furthermore, the campus as a whole has adopted more sustainable operations including green cleaning practices and products that promote safety and health for our employees, visitors, and students.
We are continually looking for ways to promote sustainability and involve our campus community in the efforts. The Office of Sustainability is launching the Lab Efficiency Action Program or LEAP in fall 2015. This is a new incentive program encouraging labs to be more sustainable through efficiency, conservation, safety and collaboration. Labs will even be awarded grants for varying levels of participation!