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Certified Sustainability

UWEC's commitment to sustainability goes beyond internal planning and tracking. We have multiple certifications from an array of organizations who share our values. Learn more about these certifications below!  

STARS Logo for Announcement - The Association for the Advancement of  Sustainability in Higher Education

Coming Soon: STARS Ranking

From 2023-2024 UWEC will be collecting data to submit our first STARS report!

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. Categories include academics, operations, engagement, planning & administration, and innovation & leadership. As such, data collection will extend across colleges, campuses, and departments. 

Sonnentag Center rendering

Coming Soon: LEED Building Certification for the County Materials Complex & Sonnentag Fieldhouse

LEED certified buildings save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions and create healthier places for people. They are a critical part of addressing climate change and meeting ESG goals, enhancing resilience, and supporting more equitable communities.

To achieve LEED certification, a project earns points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor environmental quality. Projects go through a verification and review process by GBCI and are awarded points that correspond to a level of LEED certification: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59 points), Gold (60-79 points) and Platinum (80+ points).

Logo saying

Committed to carbon Neutrality by 2050:

In 2007 Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, establishing the goal of net zero campus carbon emissions.

Since our first carbon footprint report in 2008, UW-Eau Claire has reported the campus carbon footprint to Second Nature reporting while working towards this goal. In 2018 we published our first climate action plan. 

Group Photo with Tree Campus USA sign

Tree Campus USA: 

Tree Campus Higher Education was founded in 2008 to foster that tradition of excellence. The program provides a simple framework for colleges and universities to grow their community forests, achieve national recognition, and create a campus their students and staff are proud of.

To maintain our Tree Campus USA certification UWEC's landscape architect runs a committee, works with students completing service learning to track tree growth, and submits an annual report. In 2022:

- 75% of trees on campus where native to Wisconsin

- Campus trees sequestered 25 tons annually of carbon Dioxide: that is equivalent to removing 2,540 Gasoline powered automobiles driven for one year!

Staff stand next to the solar water heater on the roof of Davies Center. The heater is two long black rectangular panels reaching across the roof.

Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges:

UW-Eau Claire is among hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. that the well-known education services company included in the 2023 Guide to Green Colleges, which highlights schools that are committed to the environment and sustainability. 

UWEC has been included in this list since 2010.
ArbNet Accredited Arboretum Level 1

Certified Level 1 Arboretum: 

ArbNet offers an Arboretum Accreditation Program which requires a set of standards including strategic planning for campus trees, a minimum number of 25 species of trees, public access, and other criteria. 

The most common tree species on campus are Pine, Oak, and Maple, which together compose 43% of trees on campus.

UWEC is also participating in a National Science Foundation funded research project studying the adaptiveness of tree species in varied climates. 

A deer peers at you from behind trees in Putnam Park

National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat:

In 2022 UWEC's main campus became a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Our campus, including Putnam Trail, provides food (berries, nectar, nuts, sap, pollen, and more), Water, cover (wooded area, evergreens, meadows, etc.), and places to raise young (mature trees, meadow, dense shrubs/thickets, etc.).
We also complete sustainable practices such as capturing roof runoff, integrated pest management, elimination of chemical fertilizers, using native plants, and other tactics. 

Monarch Waystation badge

Monarch Waystation: 

Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to mountains in central Mexico where they wait out the winter until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. Monarch Waystations are places that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.

At UWEC we have numerous nectar plants which support Monarchs, including milkweed plants, bee balm, black-eyed Susan, violets, and more. 
We also complete sustainable management practices such as using natural fertilizers, removing dead stalks before the next growing season, and mulching around plans to reduce weeds and water use. 


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