By Susan Buchanan
High school students choosing colleges these days are often considering a new angle: is a school green? With limited funds, sustainability programs for higher education facilities must be focused on ROI. By approaching projects realistically and incorporating sustainability into a holistic capital planning process, these institutions can achieve more in the long term. Such is true with sustainable facilities at Salem State University.
One of the top 50 universities in the U.S. “that will help your kids help the planet,” Salem State is committed to modifying its existing facilities (and planning new facilities) that are both sustainable and within budget. Simple approaches such as retrofitting existing light fixtures with high efficiency models, replacing old heating and cooling controls, and maintaining an efficient recycling system are just some of the ways in which the university has improved existing facilities.
The good news is that these initiatives are accessible to all higher education institutions willing to jump in with smart and realistic planning. By gathering detailed information about the costs and benefits of potential green investments, your school can receive additional funding, increase efficiency, and present itself as a responsible, green organization, which is very appealing to today’s savvy college applicant.