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UofL receives overall Zero Waste score of 58.2 percent in Post-Landfill Action Network assessment


By Jill Scoggins
University of Louisville

The Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN) has awarded the University of Louisville an overall Zero Waste score of 58.2 percent, resulting from 864.5 points out of a total possible 1600.5 points. This puts UofL’s score above other campuses PLAN works with, which average between 40 and 50 percent.

The score comes from a November 2020 comprehensive Zero Waste Atlas Assessment designed to help campuses assess and streamline campus systems for materials management.

Justin Mog, center, works with student interns Jacob Foushee, left, and Lily Stewart in organizing donations. (UofL photo)

“As we continue to progress as a great place to learn, to work and in which to invest, we strive to achieve the highest level of sustainability possible,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “The Post-Landfill Action Network designation, along with other recognitions UofL has received, affirms our success in meeting our goals as a green campus.”

For Scope 1, surplus property and hard-to-recycle materials, UofL scored 63.4 percent (451.75 out of a total possible 712 points). For Scope 2, food waste and single-use materials, UofL scored 53.9 percent (479.25 out of a total possible 888.5 points).

This assessment was conducted with the help of UofL’s Zero Waste interns and laid the groundwork for the development of UofL’s first Zero Waste Plan, which the UofL Sustainability Council will begin to work on in 2021.

The PLAN ranking follows two other designations earned by UofL for its sustainability efforts:

• At No. 97 with a score of 65.79 points, UofL ranks in the Sierra Club’s Top 100 “Cool Schools” in the United States out of a pool of 312 colleges and universities surveyed. UofL also is the “Coolest in the Commonwealth” – four other Kentucky schools made the list below UofL: Berea College at 127 with 63.69 points, University of Kentucky at 234 with 49.17 points, Western Kentucky University at 251 with 48.12 points and Eastern Kentucky University at 283 with 40.06 points.

• UofL is included in the Princeton Review of Green Colleges’ 416 U.S. colleges and universities. The designation recognizes colleges and universities that exhibit a commitment to renewable energy, recycling and conservation programs, the availability of environmental studies in academic programs and career guidance for green jobs. More than 25 survey data points were analyzed by The Princeton Review editors to tally Green Rating scores for the schools on a scale of 60 to 99. Colleges that earned a Green Rating of 80 or higher made it into the guide. In the 2021 Guide, UofL received a nearly perfect Green Rating of 97.

“UofL is committed to integrating sustainability into everything we do – from how we manage our facilities, finances and people, to what we teach in the classroom and what we research in the lab,” said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. “Our vision is to create a university that is itself a living laboratory for sustainability and a campus community that leads by example and educates as much by what we do as by what we say.

“The recognition we have earned shows that we are achieving our goals.”


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