With the goal of improving campus life and the natural environment, the University of Houston Office of Sustainability serves as the hub for UH sustainability efforts.
Initiatives led by the Office of Sustainability include:
- Fostering collaboration on campus and in the community
- Facilitating educational and outreach programs
- Collecting institutional sustainability data
- Managing the campus community garden
- Communicating about sustainability topics
- Recommending campus sustainability improvements
- Supporting sustainability governing bodies
- Driving institutional sustainability progress
- Encouraging sustainable actions in individuals’ daily lives
Individual projects are led by the student sustainability team, which include communications, engagement, outreach, events, training, governance support, institutional research, waste diversion and minimization, gardening, and biking. On-campus initiatives include a campus community garden, single-stream recycling, water bottle refill stations, a solar array, educational events, car sharing and commuter clubs. The Cougar Woods dining hall is LEED silver certified and the Keeland Design Center features the only sloped green roof in Houston.
About the university
The University of Houston is a major public research and teaching institution, serving more than 39,800 students annually, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional degree programs. We are located in the nation’s fourth-largest city and the energy capital of the world. UH is the second most ethnically diverse major research university in the United States.
UH sustainability history and background
Being in the energy capital of the world—a city that is not generally associated with sustainability—people are commonly surprised that the University of Houston is consistently rated as one of the nation’s greenest colleges. The city of Houston, under the direction of Mayor Annise Parker is also making strides in sustainability, and for the third consecutive year, is the top municipal purchaser of renewable power in the nation.
In 2008, the sustainability movement at the University of Houston began with the creation of the sustainability task force and the campus-wide recycling program. Since its inception, sustainability at the university has made many strides. The operational group was initially spearheaded by passionate staff, faculty and students who implemented initiatives as side projects and called GreenUH. In 2011, full-time sustainability coordinators were hired in Facilities Management and Auxiliary Services, and in the fall of 2012, the Office of Sustainability was created. A program manager was hired in March 2014 to re-launch the Office of Sustainability with the goal of uniting all sustainability efforts on campus. The office is situated within the Division of Administration and Finance.