The second survey of Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) -- the 2014 HBCU Green Report -- was recently released by the Building Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University.
The report finds a "green revolution" is underway at HBCUs, despite the fact that these efforts are not sufficiently covered in mainstream higher education, sustainability, or media outlets. Forty-three institutions participated in the survey that yielded the data for the report. These institutions are active in the five focus areas covered: administration, green building, student involvement, food and recycling, and climate change and energy.
The report found that HBCUs are also recognizing that strategic sustainability plans can benefit the bottom line. Highlighted projects include UMD Eastern Shore's solar farm - the largest concentration of PV panels on one site in Maryland, a LEED Gold renovation at Spelman College, a new Sustainability Institute at Florida A&M, the conversion of the football field to an organic farm at Paul Quinn College, and a commitment to a 20% reduction in energy use over 5 years at Clark Atlanta.
CAU President, Dr. Carlton Brown states in the report: "Long before the world fully grasped the urgent need to address climate change, Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) Environmental Justice Resource Center provided leadership in documenting and addressing industrial pollution practices that disproportionately impacted communities of color... This work evolved into a global movement for climate justice. Climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing the global family today and special mission institutions like CAU have a unique role to play in crafting triple bottom line solutions that transform challenged under-served communities into healthy, vibrant livable neighborhoods."
The Building Green Initiative's report is a great source for learning more about how HBCUs across the country are working to do just that.