At the University of Arkansas, we believe that creating a prosperous future for our campus, our state and the world requires a new way of thinking about connections and change. We know that our challenges are big: expanding population, limited resources, fragmented communities, and loss of biodiversity, to name a few. We understand that a prosperous economy depends on a vibrant, diverse community; that both the economy and community require a stable, resilient, and productive ecosystem. We value the science of sustainability as a tool to expand human prosperity while confronting resource limitations and biosphere impacts.
Our vision for a prosperous future for Arkansas is comprehensive. Innovation resides in the spaces between the humanities and technology, the arts and engineering, design and analysis. We work together to create a culture of innovation and creativity, where new ways of thinking about human enrichment and fulfillment are explored, tested, and implemented. Students, staff, faculty, administration, and Arkansans are all partners in this journey. The Office for Sustainability has engaged the University of Arkansas community in addressing these challenges through the UA Sustainability Council, an executive committee of representatives from each academic and auxiliary unit, in addition to student government, and community leaders.
In 2014 the Office for Sustainability expanded campus sustainability goals, grew participation in sustainability academics, and created more student opportunities through sustainability programs. Sustainability by the Numbers showcases the dramatic improvements across sustainability metrics at the University of Arkansas. We continue to make strides toward our goal of greenhouse gas neutrality, achieving our 2015 goal a year ahead of schedule. We adopted a goal to generate zero land-fill waste by 2021. Student enrollment in the Foundations of Sustainability minor increased 25%. Student interns implemented 47 projects, including food recovery, integrated pest management, measuring ecosystem services across U of A lands, piloting a Green Revolving Fund, and waste audits of key facilities. Finally, OFS sponsored six campus-wide sustainability events in 2014, reaching more than 5,000 students, staff and faculty. This report summarizes each of these activities, and celebrates the generous collaboration that created a monumental year in sustainability at the University of Arkansas.