FSU takes further steps to help the environment

FSU was named among the most environmentally friendly colleges for the 8th time by the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, according to an FSU press release.

The guide surveys nearly 700 schools, and 413 were placed on the list, according to the Princeton Review press release.

In the press release, Rob Franek, the publication’s editor-in-chief, said, “These schools are standouts for their exemplary commitments to sustainability.”

FSU’s “Climate Action Plan,” created in 2010, is updated yearly, said the FSU press release. 

FSU currently utilizes the 10th edition of the plan.

According to the plan, the University calls for “new investment; consolidation of environmental campus concerns; changes in lifestyle; coordination of policies, purchasing and curricula; and for the University to improve the use of its existing resources.”

Carl Hakansson, primary author of the Climate Action Plan and University sustainability coordinator, said, “I just hope that we can keep our eye on the ball going forward.

“It’s even more important now than when it started given the times that we live in,” Hakansson added.

“A lot of our focus, at least in the Climate Action Plan in the last few years, has been through adjusting the various curricula to include environmental issues and environmental conversations in regard to climate change and other things,” he said. 

“When people think of this, most of the time, they think in terms of science courses,” Hakansson said.

He explained FSU is now able to have classes in economics, geography, English, and communications arts in which the curriculum allows students to engage in conversation pertaining to climate change and the environment.

The curriculum is important “because it reaches a whole different range of students that may not be part of that conversation if it were not diversified in the different programs,” he added.

Hakansson said, besides budgeting, one of the biggest challenges the University faces is how to “decrease our carbon footprint from transportation,” given a large portion of students are commuters. 

“I would like to have a campus-wide discussion about that,” he added.

The FSU press release explained some of the steps the University has taken “to reduce energy consumption.

“Eliminating lunch trays in the dining hall to conserve water; installing water-saving dishwashers; altering class schedules to reduce the number of days commuter students have to drive to campus; and installing a University vegetable garden,” said the press release.

The press release also described the University’s latest construction projects that received Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design gold or silver certification, “including North and West residence halls and the Hemenway Laboratories science addition.”

According to the press release, “A solid majority (64%) of the 11,900 teens and parents that the company polled for its 2019 ‘College Hopes & Worries Survey’ said that having information about a college’s commitment to the environment would affect their decision to apply to or attend the school.”

In an email, President F. Javier Cevallos said, “We are very proud of the efforts we have done over the years to reduce our carbon footprint and be better stewards of our environment.”