A new sustainability index highlights Guilford College for reducing by more than half the amount of waste it sent to landfills between 2008 and 2014.
The 2016 Sustainable Campus Index, a publication released this week by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, describes several of Guilford’s waste-reduction initiatives and includes photos of sustainability projects at the College.
“We’ve been able to see these results due largely to our food waste composting efforts,” said David Petree, Director of Environmental Sustainability. “Through a partnership with Meriwether-Godsey, our dining services provider, we composted nearly 51,000 pounds of food waste last year alone.
“During the same period we launched our ‘Move Out Right’ campaign which focuses on capturing goods that might otherwise end up in the landfill during the time students are moving out of their dorms for the summer break.”
Since becoming a signatory of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, Guilford has taken many steps to promote sustainability.
The College has reduced its carbon footprint by 23 percent since then, in part by using thermal solar to capture 40 percent of the energy required to heat water for showers, laundry and cooking. All pre- and post-consumer food waste generated from dining services is collected, weighed and composted on campus.
Guilford also supports an on-campus farm that provides vegetables for dining services, shares for a community supported agriculture program and produce for select area restaurants and groceries. And beginning in the spring, a new major in sustainable food systems will challenge students to explore the intersection of food, society and nature.