The University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, is a community of 21,000 students and almost 13,000 faculty and staff. UVA’s Grounds feature Thomas Jefferson’s Rotunda within the Academical Village (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and over 525 buildings that house 11 schools and encompass 16.5 million square feet. The UVA Health System includes a 604-bed hospital and Level I Trauma Center, with 750,000 outpatient visits a year. This scale and history present incredibly interesting and promising opportunities, but also significant challenges.
UVA's Cornerstone Plan outlines a vision and strategic direction for the University. One of the principles for implementation in the Cornerstone Plan is collaboration. We view collaboration and progress through partnerships as paramount to successfully advancing sustainability at UVA. To this end, the University has actively sought means of bringing together students, staff, and faculty to contribute their interests and expertise to develop and implement sustainability-related initiatives, projects, and programs.
In 2015, UVA was one of nine institutes of higher education in the country to be recognized as a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. This award provides national recognition for the University’s comprehensive and high-level achievement in environmental stewardship, wellness, and sustainability education.
UVA achived a STARS Gold under an updated and more rigorous version of the AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS), a national benchmark for reporting progress in sustainability within higher education.