North Carolina State University
Environmental Sustainability Report
As North Carolina's only land-grant research university, NC State is
committed to the active stewardship of the state's human and natural resources.
It has a rich history of addressing environmental issues through its research,
undergraduate and graduate education programs, and traditional extension and
public service roles. NC State recognizes the importance of an
interdisciplinary approach to the solution of environmental problems which
transcend individual programs and boundaries. Over 400 NC State faculty
members address issues covering a wide range of topics, such as public policy,
environmental ethics and natural resource management. Other programs
integrate scientific and engineering problems associated with environmental
degradation, including molecular biology and bioremediation, surface and
subsurface water pollution, the treatment, transport and disposal of solid and
hazardous waste, and pollution of the atmosphere and coastal environments.
Nearly 500 environmentally oriented courses are offered at the undergraduate and
graduate levels. NC State students may major in over 50 disciplines which
address the most compelling contemporary environmental challenges.
NCSU Environmental Sustainability Task Force
On May 10, 1999, North Carolina State University officially
adopted a set of guiding principles that provided an overview of its commitment
to environmental sustainability. Prior to the official adoption of these guiding
principles, Chancellor Marye Anne Fox had appointed a campus-wide sustainability
officer, who, in turn, created the Environmental Sustainability Task Force.The Task Force was created to help the University respond to the mandate
from Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. to assure that all of state government is
contributing to a sustainable environment. It has a broad-based representation
from the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Senate, Physical Environment
Committee, several colleges, and several administrative offices. Over time, additional students and faculty members have joined the Task
Force out of personal or professional interest.
Task Force took on the responsibility of dealing with the set of guiding
principles that deal with NC State’s commitment to using and managing its own
physical environment in ways that lead to sustainability. As was recognized in the guiding principles, North Carolina
State University must be sure that it is applying the best ideas, technologies,
policies and practices on its own campus if it is to play a meaningful role in
helping society move to a sustainable mode of development.
To help guide its work, the Task Force conducted a campus-wide survey of on-going
initiatives that might contribute to the environmental sustainability of campus
operations. Most impressive is the
large number of current initiatives and programs at North Carolina State
University that relate to environmental sustainability.
Task Force recognized that all of the initiatives currently under way are
important. But it also wanted to
mobilize campus-wide interest and enthusiasm for sustainable operations on the
campus. Consequently, it decided to
identify a small number of initiatives that had a chance of truly affecting the
quality of the campus environment and that could capture the interest and
support of students, faculty, staff, the administration, and the general public. Much of the work of the Task Force has been devoted to identifying a few,
potentially highly visible, high pay-off activities that might serve as campus
rallying points for sustainable operations. The following recommendations are offered in this spirit.
Four of the sets of recommendations are specific to the North Carolina
State University campus in Raleigh, and one calls for state-wide leadership. The
Environmental Sustainability Task Force recommends that the Chancellor publicly
endorse these initiatives and assign the Task Force the responsibility to
monitor the degree to which they are being implemented.