Saturday, January 21, 2017


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Howard University

Sustainability Leader

School details:
Full-time enrollment: 9,205
Part-time enrollment: 913
Location: Washington, D.C.


  • The Environmental and Sustainability Council, including faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and students, advises the school president on sustainable programs for the campus. It addresses reducing Howard’s carbon footprint, expanding the recycling program, and developing sustainability in education and research.
  • The director of capital planning focuses on implementing green initiatives, including overseeing the recycling program, coordinating sustainability events, encouraging green building, and writing grant proposals for future initiatives.
  • The university has a formal green purchasing policy that covers appliances, electronics, office supplies, paper products, and lighting.
  • Staff members are encouraged to attend seminars, training, and focus groups about sustainability, including programs run by the United Negro College Fund and the Alliance to Save Energy.

Green Building

  • To improve energy efficiency, all buildings feature electric metering, and some include lighting sensors, LED lighting, economizers, energy management systems, timers for temperature control, and variable speed drives.
  • Weather-informed irrigation allows the school to conserve water in landscaping.
  • Rather than constructing a new building, the university adapted Carnegie Hall from a library to an administrative building.
  • The Robert and Mary Church Terrell House is being renovated to meet LEED green building standards.

Climate Change & Energy

  • The Sustainability Council will complete a greenhouse gas inventory by 2011.
  • Howard retrocommissions building HVAC systems to improve efficiency.
  • Energy-saving tips are emailed daily to the campus community.


  • All traditional materials are recycled on campus, including aluminum, cardboard, glass, paper, and all plastics.
  • The school’s used computers and light bulbs are also recycled.


  • The dining halls serve local foods.
  • Fair-trade coffee, tea, and bananas are also served.
  • Excess food is donated.
  • Discounts are given to those who use china rather than disposable containers.
  • All trays have been removed from dining halls.
  • Howard’s dining services website offers information about where their food comes from as well as tips to reduce waste.

Student Involvement

  • Students can learn about sustainability through guest lecturers, environmental volunteer projects, and their Resident Assistants.
  • The Recycle ResFest competition offers prizes and dorm privileges for the residence hall that increases its recycling rate the most.
  • Students can work as recycling interns on campus and can serve on the Sustainability Council.
  • Howard hosts Earth Day celebrations twice a year.
  • The Environmental Society and the Energy & Environmental Law Society student groups both deal with sustainability issues.
  • Two student ambassadors at Howard work with Green for All, a national organization that seeks to combat poverty by creating a green economy.


  • Of the 60 vehicles in the university fleet, 3 are hybrids.
  • A free shuttle bus brings students around campus.
  • The campus has limited parking, and first-years are encouraged to leave their cars at home.
  • written by admin

Copyright 2011 UNCF ICB Building Green Initiative