There are many partners in the university's efforts to achieve sustainable operations. The following departments collaborate to preserve resources and improve efficiency. If you are looking for academic initiatives, faculty, or research, search our Academic Directory.
Campus Planning | Division of Housing and Food Service | Document Solutions | Environmental Health and Safety | Facilities Services |
Intercollegiate Athletics | Office of Sustainability | Parking and Transportation Services | Project Management and Construction Services | Recreational Sports | University Unions | UT Staff Council | Utilities and Energy Management
Campus Planning encourages holistic thinking in setting sustainability goals throughout the management of a variety of planning initiatives: campus master planning, district master planning, the strategic master planning of schools and colleges, and during the budget and scope formation of large capital projects. Campus Planning promotes setting goals and budgets which support the incorporation of sustainability elements in the subsequent design and construction phases, enabling design teams to later be able to bring innovative solutions and synergies that maximize potential environmental benefits and cost savings, while balancing the relationships between buildings, people and their environment.
The Division of Housing and Food Service at The University of Texas at Austin seeks to foster a living and learning experience of environmental stewardship and sustainability awareness. They develop students and staff who are engaged citizens of the world by increasing their understanding of sustainable living practices and underlining how these practices affect the world around them. Flagship programs include Green Corps, on-campus gardens, Eco-to-Go reusable takeout containers and a full pre- and post-consumer food waste composting program.
Document Solutions is dedicated to using eco-friendly products and reducing our environmental impact through various green services, products, and tips. Clients can choose soy-based inks and a variety of Forest Stewardship Council-certified papers for their print jobs, and Document Solutions also supports ink and toner recycling throughout campus.
Environmental Health and Safety provides health and safety oversight, and prevents and eliminates environmental, chemical, biological and radiological hazards on campus. Their mission is to promote safe and compliant facilities and ensure environmental quality for the university community. They support recycling of potentially hazardous materials such as rechargeable batteries and light bulbs. EH&S also leads the campus in two Waller Creek Cleanups per year.
Facilities Services is responsible for about 19 million gross square feet of building space at the university, and serves the 427-acre main campus, the 476-acre J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the 445-acre Brackenridge Tract, the 96-acre Montopolis Research Center, and several other specialized sites.
Their staff actively reduces consumption, supports Zero Waste, protects the environment, and restores resources in day-to-day operations and supports other campus community sustainability efforts. All of them play important roles in diverting our waste stream and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions resulting from landfill contributions or fuel consumption.
- Our tree conservation program has earned the university a Tree Campus USA designation every year since 2007.
- A low-impact grounds management strategy reduces or eliminates all pesticide applications except in worst-case situations.
- A new irrigation system conserves water and is estimated to save the campus 100 million gallons of water per year compared to a 2009 baseline.
- Facilities is home (since 2012) to UT’s Energy Stewardship Program and the Building Optimization Team. These programs have resulted in a 16% energy consumption reduction in our buildings to date, against a 2009 baseline.
- Our national award winning OS1 cleaning system uses reduced packaging, reusable cleaning implements and thousands of gallons less water than traditional cleaning.
- All paper towels and trash bags replaced by Custodial Services contain recycled content.
- All single-roll toilet paper holders are being switched to large-roll holders, resulting in fewer roll changes and tons of paper saved.
- This team also includes the Furniture Shop, University Surplus, and Solid Waste and Recycling.
Athletics has rapidly accelerated its sustainability initiatives in the past three years, implementing large-scale recycling and composting on football game days and expanding recycling options at the Erwin Center and the baseball and softball stadiums. Athletics was one of the first major departments on campus to begin internal monitoring of its energy use, and adjust automated settings to conserve energy use. The stadium and other facilities have completed major retrofits of lighting arrays, and are smart-sizing print runs of programs, brochures, and internal documents.
The Office of Sustainability was established in 2009 to promote sustainable campus operations and to initiate new collaborations among students, faculty and staff. In addition to facilitating partnerships between operational and academic units, the Office of Sustainability administers the Green Fee program, the Academic Directory, hosts an annual Sustainability Symposium, and organizes an annual lecture series.
Parking and Transportation manages alternative transportation for the campus including: bicycle programs, a car-sharing initiative with ZipCar and UT-Austin’s relationship with Capital Metro to provide campus shuttles. They house UT’s Automotive Repair Shop and Fleet Management for the entire campus. Fleet Management tracks fuel consumption and assists with the transition to cleaner, alternative fuels for the more than 600 vehicles owned by the university.
Project Management and Construction Services is committed to green building and sustainable design solutions. The university, a US Green Building Council member since 2004, is committed to LEED Silver certification on all new construction and integrates sustainable building principles into campus standards.
The Division of Recreational Sports has served the campus community since 1916, making it one of the oldest and largest collegiate recreational programs in the country. A total of 90 percent of the student population, or more than 45,000 young men and women, participate in RecSports programs and activities, accruing more than 3.21 million hours of participation annually. The Division is composed of Intramural Sports, Fitness/Wellness, Outdoor Recreation, Sport Clubs, the Instructional Program and Informal Recreation. Facilities managed by RecSports include over 500,000 square feet of indoor and 40 acres of outdoor space.
The University Unions are committed to student input at all levels. Based on recent student interest in consumption and waste stream in the Unions’ many eateries, the Unions plan to implement a comprehensive recycling and composting plan in 2014 and 2015. The Student Activity Center is one of the most prominent LEED-certified buildings on campus, and all management staff are LEED-certified and work actively with UT’s Energy & Water Conservation Program to reduce energy use and maximize the building’s efficient features. In the Student Services Building, University Health Services launched a pilot study in 2013 to reduce clinical waste, which has been successful and plans to continue.
UT Staff Council partners with the Office of Sustainability to keep staff informed about resources and activities from all the partners on this page and takes on projects of its own to support staff interest in sustainability and the environment.
Utilities and Energy Management (UEM) is part of the Planning, Energy and Facilities (PEF) unit within the University Operations vice-presidential portfolio. UEM is responsible for providing reliable and cost-effective electricity, chilled water, steam, deionized water, compressed air, emergency power, and elevator services. By increasing efficiencies and system monitoring techniques, UEM has handled campus growth since 1996 in a carbon-neutral manner: there has been virtually no increase in the amount of natural gas purchased to power the campus. UEM is also supporting (where viable and necessary) the addition of solar power and heat to campus buildings, such as the Manor Parking Garage and the Norman Hackerman Building.