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Furman named among U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools

Bell tower at Furman University.

Last updated April 22, 2020

By Tina Underwood

Furman University has been named a 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee. Furman is one of only five higher education institutions in the country and is the only university in South Carolina to receive the award this year.

Nominated by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) in partnership with the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education, Furman was recognized by the Department of Education for reducing environmental impact and costs, improving health and wellness and offering effective sustainability education.

Furman representatives will receive a plaque for the award Aug. 4, 2020, during a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“Furman is truly honored to be named among the 2020 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools,” said Weston Dripps, executive director of the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities.

“Embracing sustainability in higher education is a win for everyone,” he said. “We strive to find innovative ways to reduce our environmental impacts, improve the health and wellness of our campus community and train the next generation of sustainability leaders.”

Furman has made institutional sustainability a priority for decades, Dripps said. Some of the tangible benefits on campus and in the community include:

  • The Community Conservation Corps (CCC), a university-led initiative that partners with Piedmont Natural Gas and Habitat for Humanity to provide free energy efficiency weatherizations for underserved homeowners, which reduces energy consumption, promotes financial stability and increases environmental awareness;
  • The Student Sustainability Fellows Program, which engages Furman undergraduate students in sustainability research and action around campus- and community-based sustainability projects and has supported more than 325 student fellows with 30 different community partner organizations;
  • A degree in sustainability science, the only Bachelor of Science degree in sustainability science in the country that’s offered at a liberal arts institution; and
  • Furman’s organic campus farm, which provides fresh produce for, and uses composted pre- and post-consumer waste from, the university’s dining hall.

More information about the 55 honorees can be found at this link.

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