Annual reports summarizing sustainability initiatives at UofL are produced at the end of each fiscal year.
Annual UofL Sustainability Reports
2020-21 Sustainability Milestones for UofL
- President Bendapudi re-signed the Carbon Commitment, pledging that UofL would continue onward in its march toward carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Joined the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), hosted three PLAN fellow students and produced a comprehensive Zero Waste Audit (Atlas Stage 1) and Strategic Vision for Zero Waste. Achieved an overall Zero Waste score of 58.2% and was ranked #7 in PLAN’s first annual list of Top 10 Zero Waste Campuses in the United States. Also hosted a Students Taking on Oil & Petrochemicals (STOP) Fellow through PLAN.
- Launched new partnership with Employee Success Center to offer spring and fall sustainability Learning Cafés: “Five Ways You Can Live Green While Working Remote” and “Ethical Purchasing.” Launched new partnership with Get Healthy Now to offer three sustainability HRTalks Wellness trainings each semester – fall 2021 schedule: “Simple steps to going green,” “Active Transportation” and “Plant-Based Diets.”
- Launched new Dual Credit program with JCPS to offer college-credit SUST101 courses for high school students interested in majoring in Sustainability.
- Launched a UofL Sustainability TikTok account @uoflsustainable.
- Reopened the UofL Free Store in new, convenient location in SAC near Cardinal Cupboard and hired new student staff to operate the store.
- Finished relocating the Garden Commons out of the way of the new Belknap Residence Hall to high-visibility location at Strickler Hall, with greenhouse and rain barrels reinstalled at Urban & Public Affairs Garden. Offered weekly workdays and monthly workshops at the Garden.
- Installed a new campus apiary, solar generator systems, and building aquaponics system at UofL Community Composting Project to offer educational opportunities around beekeeping, renewable energy, and fish farming.
- Sustainability Council’s Internship program greatly expanded to two dozen interns working in 13 different project areas, including seven entirely new positions: Ethical Purchasing Intern, Campus Apiarist, EcoReps Interns, Renewable Energy Intern, Aquaponics Intern, and Sustainabilty Living-Learning Community Coordinator.
- Relaunched the annual Cards Commuter Challenge in Fall 2021. From Aug. 30 – Sept. 30, participants logged 1,094 trips on foot, bike, bus, or car/vanpool, covering 11,246 miles, preventing 8,137 pounds of carbon pollution, saving $5,505, & burning 101,600 calories.
- Awarded Josh Smith Memorial Sustainability Award for community partners to Shauntrice Martin in 2021 and Shane Tedder in 2020.
- Achieved "Coolest School" in Kentucky ranking from Sierra magazine in both its 2020 and 2021 Cool Schools rankings. In 2020, UofL ranked in the Top 100 “Coolest Schools” (out of a record large pool of 312 colleges & universities surveyed) with a rank of #97 (65.79 pts.).
- Featured in the Princeton Review’s 2021 & 2022 Guide to Green Colleges. In 2021, UofL received a nearly perfect Green Rating of 97 out of 99, representing an increase in our rating of 88 in 2018.
- Achieved Tree Campus USA status from the Arbor Day Foundation for 11th straight year.
- Reconvened the UofL Bicycle Advisory Committee and submitted data to League of American Bicyclists for recertification as a Bicycle Friendly University.
- From May through September, Team UofL pedaled a total of 24,840 miles on 1,871 rides, with 478 bike commutes preventing 2,083 pounds of carbon pollution during the 2020 National Bike Challenge, co-sponsored by Get Healthy Now and UofL's Sustainability Council. In 2021, Team UofL increased participation, pedaling 36,689 miles on 2,333 rides, including 2,850 miles of bike commuting that prevented 1,831 pounds of carbon pollution. Justin Mog finished as the 7th Top Commuter in the nation with 1,677 miles of bike commuting over 123 days.
- In the 2021 Campus Race To Zero Waste, UofL finished #1 in the ACC, #2 in the state, and #21 in the nation, with an overall Recycling Rate of 45.6% during the 8-week competition. After rolling out a new customer-facing composting collection in UofL Dining, UofL continued to improve our dominance in composting, finishing 1st in Kentucky and 15th in the country in the Food Organics category. In the all-important Waste Minimization category, UofL improved our performance from 2020, finishing 2nd in the state, with total waste production down to just 18.32 lbs/person over 8 weeks.
- Radically increased participation and recognition in Ecolympics during spring 2021, with eight weekly winners receiving a unique sustainability-themed prize pack, the Grand Prize winner pedaled home on a Cardinal-colored folding bicycle, and all winners received an experiential prize on Earth Day 2021 - an insider's sustainability tour of UofL's LEED Gold Student Rec Center, including a climb up to the roof to see the solar water heaters.
- Secured grant funding for Anthropology’s Engaged Ethnography Lab to launch a new research project called “Campus Sustainability, Community Context: Applied Ethnographies to Advance Stewardship at UofL.” Both undergraduate and graduate students are engaging with the objective to better understand the relationship between students, staff, administrators, and faculty within sustainability initiatives at UofL. This research examines the engagement, efficacy, and impact of campus actors within various programs.
- Launched Anchor Mission Initiative workgroup to explore and facilitate new ways to encourage local purchasing, cooperative incubation, and support for minority-owned businesses. One year later, UofL Procurement releases new policy to support Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses.
- UofL selected for U.S. Department of Energy efficiency program and for participation in the 2021 Solar Decathlon Middle East.
- UofL contracted for over 15% of its electricity needs from new 125-megawatt solar facility planned for western Kentucky.
- Hosted the Ohio River Basin 2020 Summit: “Bridging Visions to Protect Our Health, Economy and Environment in the Ohio River Basin” with the Ohio River Basin Consortium for Research and Education (ORBCRE) and the Ohio River Basin Alliance (ORBA).
- Integrated sustainability into new virtual Student Orientation for both 2020 and 2021, including a “Choose Your Topic” Sustainability module featuring a new five-minute, student-produced and student-voiced video about sustainability on campus and how to get involved.
- Relocated Sustainability Living-Learning Community to take over the entire sixth floor of Louisville Hall, including the Model Green Dorm Room.
- Secured a $1500 A&S Mentored Undergrad Research Grant for work to develop a new Sustainability Culture and Literacy Assessment survey piloted in summer 2021 as project for Sustainability Council’s three STARS Interns.
UofL Sustainability Annual Reports
Other UofL Sustainability Reports
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Since our inception, the UofL Sustainability Council has been structured around the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System developed by AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) and use it as the primary tool to measure our progress and engage in strategic planning.
- UofL was a Charter Participant in STARS, having submitted our first STARS report in January 2011, the 10th school in the world to do so. Since then, we have submitted a new STARS report roughly every three years, and continue to improve our score each year as we push toward Platinum.
- Access all of our STARS Reports online here.
- UofL also regularly reports to a variety of organizations for other sustainability ratings and rankings. Find them all online here.