Design Operations and Processes for Sustainability

We want our campus to be a visual demonstration of how sustainability can happen. Below are examples of how CNU is changing the way we operate to become more sustainable to work toward this goal.

  • In 2018, the Student Government Association formed the Student Sustainability Commission, an outlet for students to participate in making change for sustainability on campus.
  • The University Sustainability Committee includes more than 20 members from across campus, including facilities, grounds, dining, purchasing, athletics, student affairs and residence life. The committee works together to implement sustainability projects.
  • The Academic Sustainability Committee includes over 25 faculty members who are committed to providing resources and support for faculty to include sustainability in their courses, research and study abroad opportunities.

  • All new construction and renovations are built to Virginia Energy and Environmental Standards (VEES) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver (BD+C or ID+C) standards.
  • Christopher Newport Hall and the 2018 Trible Library addition are both LEED silver-certified buildings.
  • Luter Hall, Greek Village, as well as the 2017 Regattas dining hall addition are all built to VEES.

  • We have conducted a baseline greenhouse gas audit and will continue to audit emissions every three years. The next audit is scheduled to be complete in 2020 using fiscal year 2019 data.
  • We have inventoried significant air emissions from stationary campus sources with the intention of targeting opportunities for reduction.

  • In the fall of 2018, the university hired an energy manager to explore opportunities for cost savings through energy efficiency.
  • A quarter of our buildings are maintained in accordance with an energy management or benchmarking program and all of our buildings are maintained according to American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers standards.
  • Energy management systems have been installed on all of our buildings and are centrally monitored through a third-party monitoring service. This service provides analytics on our energy management system to flag issues and reduce waste.
  • We widely use occupancy sensors to reduce wasted energy from lighting in unoccupied spaces.
  • Lighting replacements/upgrades look to install more energy-efficient fixtures/bulbs (e.g., LED retrofits in the parking garage and various academic buildings).

  • The Class of 2018’s senior class gift funded our first electric vehicle charging station, which allows us to support gas-alternative vehicles. The station is located in the Ferguson Parking Deck on the first floor outside of the parking office
  • Campus is interconnected by a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly system of pathways and sidewalks and all of our buildings have bike parking outside of most entrances/exits.
  • We have installed three bike-repair stations to support biking on campus.

  • We used the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Information for Planning and Conservation tool to conduct an inventory of possible endangered or vulnerable species and environmentally sensitive areas on university property. As of September 2016, FWS identified that CNU lies within the designated habitat area for the threatened Northern long-eared bat; however, no critical habitat areas were identified.
  • Our grounds are managed under a Stormwater Management Plan, which includes measures designed and implemented to control the discharge of pollutants from our storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable in a manner that protects the water quality in nearby streams, rivers, wetlands and bays.

  • The Grounds Department is transitioning our timed irrigation systems to moisture- and weather-triggered units that use potable water more responsibly.
  • Native species are used on campus to reduce the need for irrigation.
  • In our residence halls, most of our shower heads are low-flow rated to reduce water usage.

  • Through a collaboration with the student organization Food Fighters, leftover food from campus dining facilities is donated to Peninsula Rescue Mission, a local homeless shelter.
  • Our facilities are transitioning some disposable items to more sustainably sourced materials such as biodegradable, fiber to-go containers and plant-based, compostable hot coffee cups.
  • A trayless dining program has helped to reduce food waste in our dining facilities.
  • Dining Services recycles approximately 1,600 pounds of cooking oil per month.

  • In 2018 we increased the number of opportunities to recycle on campus by adding collections containers outdoors, at athletics fields and inside academic buildings.
  • Our warehouse operates recycling programs for printer and toner cartridges, scrap metal and electronics.
  • Our warehouse prioritizes reuse and resale of unwanted items instead of disposal in the landfill.
  • We conduct disposal training with our operations staff to ensure they have information needed to make the most sustainable choice for disposal.

  • CNU prioritizes purchases from small, local and women or minority-owned businesses.
  • We use green cleaning supplies in many of our residence halls and academic buildings, including recently switching to the Orbio engineered water system for floor cleaning.
  • Our warehouse purchases copy paper that is at least 10 percent post-consumer recycled content.
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