The SEOE has been a campus leader in the integration of sustainability concepts into campus culture. Today, sustainability initiatives are becoming familiar components of curriculum, research, and campus living, and there is considerable momentum to enhance sustainability as a major university priority. The university administration has shown its support of these efforts through establishment of an Office of Sustainability and promotion of CarolinaGreen, which embraces the full range of sustainability activities. A recent development has been coordination of the Green Quad, with its Learning Center for Sustainable Futures, the Office of Sustainability, and a range of student organizations to form Sustainable Carolina, which mounts a range of events and activities for campus communities and the public. The Environment and Sustainability Program plays the central role in academic initiatives within the sustainability framework through its degree programs, and is frequently a prime participant in the range of interests of CarolinaGreen.
Sustainable Universities Initiative
The Sustainable Universities Initiative was a statewide network of faculty, staff, and students who share an interest in integrating environmental considerations into their work. It was most active between 1998 and 2005, and had 16 members. Activities and documents produced by SUI continue to be useful for newer sustainability initiatives, and the possibility remains to reinvigorate the SUI at some point in the future.
Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
The EMS is an environmental management tool that is used to improve regulatory compliance, waste reduction, employee environmental awareness, and overall business operations, and is the foundation of sustainable development planning. Faculty and students in the Environment and Sustainabiltiy Program have worked with multinational organizations, small business enterprises, and state and federal agencies in EMS development, implementation, and auditing.
International Sustainability Network
The International Sustainability Network is working to advance sustainability concepts at the global level through building international research and education linkages with students, faculty, and others working on global sustainable development. Faculty initiatives range from interdisciplinary research and training in the Rule of Law Collaborative to advancing the adoption of strong environmentally sensitive practices by industry and government through the International Sustainability Management Education (ISME) Summer School. International relationships are strengthened through cooperative research agreements with institutions in Iraq and Chile, which facilitate international exchange of students and faculty.
Carolina Intergrated Sciences & Assessments
The Carolinas Integrated Sciences & Assessments (CISA) team conducts applied research in North Carolina and South Carolina that incorporates climate information into water, health and coastal management and decision making.
- In its core activities, CISA seeks to
- advance scientific understanding of climate processes and impacts in the Carolinas
- provide decision support through the development of targeted and tailored information
- advance climate adaptation in the region
- support and foster climate information networks