UT realizes the importance of large-scale systematic changes in its goals to become greener. Here are some of the policies aimed at doing so:
Campus Environmental Policy
This groundbreaking policy states that UT will aspire to serve as a model of sustainability, stewardship, and intergenerational responsibility. The Committee on the Campus Environment (CCE) drafted the policy in 2004 and worked with the Office of the Chancellor to enact it that year. In 2011, CCE and the Office of Sustainability helped to revise the policy so that it emphasizes the university’s commitment to environmental compliance and pollution prevention.
Signed by then-Chancellor Loren Crabtree in 2007, the Talloires Declaration is a broad statement by higher education leaders around the world in support of ten key environmental principles that range from a commitment to sustainable campus practices to placing a priority on environmental education as part of the curriculum.
Sustainable Building Policy
Also established in 2007, this policy establishes the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system as the standard for new construction and major renovation projects at UT that cost more than $5 million. Under the policy, all such projects must be designed to meet the minimum requirements of LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED-NC). Small-scale renovations utilize the LEED for Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI) rating system as applicable.
Presidents’ Climate Commitment
In 2007, then-Chancellor Loren Crabtree signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), joining UT with other colleges and universities in a pledge to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations and to promote sustainability and climate change research and education.
- As an ACUPCC signatory, UT must fulfill five requirements:
- Complete a GHG emissions inventory.
- Within two years, set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral.
- Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions.
- Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and make it part of the educational experience.
- Make the action plan, inventory, and progress reports publicly available.
In 2010, Chancelor Cheek upheld the ACUPCC commitment by signing and making available UT’s Climate Action Plan. This plan outlines the steps UT will take to achieve climate neutrality. Please view the plan here.
Energy Conservation Policy
Enacted in 2008, this policy identifies energy conservation as a significant issue for UT and outlines steps to manage and reduce campus energy consumption. The policy establishes that, during normal occupied hours, target indoor air temperatures in campus buildings shall be 68 degrees Fahrenheit for heating and 76 degrees Fahrenheit for cooling. In addition, the policy sets guidelines for energy-efficient purchasing, computing, lighting, and water use by UT faculty, staff, students, and visitors.