UNCP ramps up sustainability programs for savings and education

Last updated: August 18. 2014 11:04AM - 810 Views
By Scott Bigelow



Contributed photo | A Zipcar representative explains the program to a student s on Earth Day at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Contributed photo | A Zipcar representative explains the program to a student s on Earth Day at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
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PEMBROKE — In support of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s ongoing sustainability programs, UNCP is preparing to install two electric car charging stations in front of Lumbee Hall.


Students are getting involved too, as members of the newly formed Greener Coalition attended the recent Appalachian Energy Summit in Boone on Appalachian State University’s campus.


UNCP is the first university in North Carolina to sign the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge. The plug-in vehicle charging stations will come online during the fall 2014 semester and will be free. A two-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system is being installed to offset energy consumption. It is the first of a series of moves to position the university to be carbon neutral by 2050.


Earlier this summer, two parking spaces next to the Health Sciences Building were reserved for qualifying low-emission, fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. All it takes is a free decal that may be picked up at the Campus Police office. The Health Sciences Building is UNCP’s first LEED Silver building, certification pending.


On Tuesday, students, faculty, staff and local residents may jump into a Zipcar. Two Zipcars (one a hybrid) will be parked in the lot in front of Lumbee Hall. The cost typically runs $7 to $8 per hour.


Bicycle rental and shuttle van programs are also available. Bike use on campus has soared as the university has grown. The shuttle will help freshmen and other students without cars to get needed food and supplies.


The announcements were made by UNCP’s sustainability Director Jay Blauser.


“As the demand on campus increases for more stations and more Zipcars, plans are to install more to meet the need,” he said. “This is another step toward our university-wide goal of becoming a carbon-neutral campus.”


Three UNCP students, Jonathan Miller, Stephanie Sellers and Julie Sem — all members of the campus’ sustainability club, the Greener Coalition — attended the Appalachian Energy Summit.


In addition, students experienced a great professional development opportunity, interacting one-on-one with industry and business partners of the AES to get input on what these employers are looking for from recent graduate applicants.


At the conference, accolades were given to UNCP Chancellor Kyle Carter by UNC System President Tom Ross for the campus’ recent sustainability and energy management accomplishments. Some of those noted were, the new campus garden, signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, the self-imposed student green fee and being the first college in the state of North Carolina to become a partner with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge.


UNCP became a member of the AES in the summer of 2012. All 17 UNC System universities are signatories. The long-term goals of AES signatories include educating students to be the leaders of tomorrow and reducing and stabilizing the university’s average annual energy expenditures, currently equaling $1,000 per student.


There are many more initiatives underway and planned for the future. So, stay tuned and think green.


Scott Bigelow is the public information officer for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.


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