Furman University has made the list of overall “top performer” schools in environmental sustainability, placing eighth among baccalaureate institutions, according to a newly released report by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
The report, known as the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index, recognizes high-achieving colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability areas related to curriculum, community engagement, campus operations and administration.
“Over the past few decades, Furman has established itself as a sustainability leader in higher education, both in terms of its curriculum and its campus operations,” said Weston Dripps, executive director of the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, in a news release. “Being recognized as a top sustainability performer nationally speaks to our ongoing hard work, efforts, and sustainability achievements.”
Since 2007, for instance, Furman has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent through operation efficiency, heating and cooling systems, and solar generation, according to Jeff Redderson, the university’s associate vice president for facility and campus services.
The university more recently constructed a $1.7 million solar farm on six acres along Poinsett Highway. The 743-kW solar farm, which went online earlier this year, is expected to reduce Furman’s electricity expenditures by up to 5 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by at least 3 percent.
“Furman takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, and we’re proud to be a leader in our sustainability programs and renewable energy systems,” said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis.