Sustainability Efforts Grow with UT System and Campus

Thea Junt

It’s not always easy being green, but sustainability programs have made strides throughout the UT System and here at UT Dallas, thanks in part to policies that support green initiatives and encourage students, faculty and staff to engage in environmentally responsible practices.

“It has been exciting and extremely rewarding to see the increase in environmental initiatives on campus,” said Thea Junt, UT Dallas energy conservation and sustainability manager. 

UT Dallas has been recognized several times as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada in The Princeton Review's Guide to 332 Green Colleges. As one of only seven universities in Texas to make this year’s list, the University was commended for establishing an Office of Sustainability, which seeks to “mitigate UT Dallas’ footprint on the environment, to raise visibility and awareness of environmental issues on campus and our community, and to engage UT Dallas students, faculty and staff in developing sustainable policies and practices.”

The office works with other departments on campus to organize environmentally focused events, such as Earth Week, and supports organizations such as the Community Garden and Green People, a new student organization.

In addition to incorporating sustainable building practices and using only Green Seal cleaning products on campus, the University was applauded for its growing recycling and composting programs. UT Dallas recycles more than 1.5 million pounds of paper each year, in addition to collecting cardboard, aluminum, plastic, ink cartridges and other recyclable materials to minimize the amount of waste it sends to the landfill. Food scraps from the dining hall and landscaping debris are also repurposed to support the University’s internal composting program.

“The University's sustainability program started through Facilities Management and our green building projects,” Junt said. “Now, we have green student programming, like Earth Week, and continue to build sustainability into our course work.”

University Sustainability Policies

UT Dallas Document (PDF)
Systemwide Policy: UTS 169

The University is growing its sustainability-focused course offerings with research at the Renewable Energy and Vehicular Technology (REVT) Laboratory and classes such as Honey Bee Biology, Future Energy Resources and The Oceans. It has also made transportation alternatives available to the campus community, including the Zipcar vehicle sharing program, discounted DART transit passes and free Comet Cruiser and Comet Cab campus shuttles.

“Our hope is that, as the University continues to grow, our sustainability program will become even more comprehensive for students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for the Office of Administration. “In addition to enhancing our campus, it continues to be a competitive advantage because of the environment we’ve created and the impact it will have on the next generation.”

For more information, visit