By Gerry Hamberg
For Arizona State University (ASU), being a leading force in sustainability and a “greener” way of life is an extensive part of its accomplishments; the same can be said for its leaders who can be accredited with the actions and engagement of the community to save the environment.
In 2011, ASU became a member of the Founding Circle of the “Billion Dollar Green Challenge”, a leading organization that will pave the way for future developments. In addition, ASU is proposing more than 310,000 square feet of solar panels on the sunny Tempe campus.
Furthermore, numerous buildings on campus are LEED Silver, Gold, and even Platinum. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an ecology-certified program that concentrates on human and environmental efforts. It is run under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), thus showing how ASU is leading in the green takeover.
In campuses spread through the valley, the clear influence of water conservation is displayed with low-flow sinks, toilets and showers. ASU buildings also have water fountains and stations, making an effort for students and staff to avoid bottled water.
The Food and Drug Administration does not approve of some plastic in bottles— when numbers three, six and seven are located on bottom of the water bottles, they are labeled as harmful due to risks for certain cancers.
According to the Princeton Review, ASU has made the Green Honor Roll once again, with the students adding to the effort by buying farm produce at the Tempe Campus.
A statement from Betty Lombardo, the ASU Manager for the University Sustainability Practices, remarks that ASU “does not statistically track student interest in sustainability projects and organizations.” However, student-commenced projects like “The Sustainability House” at Barrett, the Honors College houses 200 students that take common concern in developing and acting upon a range of issues, proof that environmental ethics are an integral part of campus life.
At ASU, the Campus Student Sustainability Initiatives plays a big part in putting on events for students. In the kitchens, ASU has established food initiatives, using farmers’ market produce. Moreover, students from the Tempe campus can buy farmer produce at markets in the area.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession of environmental scientists is estimated to grow by 28 percent between 2008 and 2018. ASU contributes to this growth by offering classes in environmental and earth sciences.
Clearly, environmental ethics and policies are implemented at ASU as support for the green community continues to grow.