Green Workplace

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single-use plastic items on a beach

UVA's Single-Use Plastics Reduction Strategy

In March 2021, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 77: Virginia Leading by Example to Reduce Plastic Pollution and Solid Waste, which requires all state agencies, including institutions of higher education to cease buying, selling, and distributing single-use plastic and polystyrene food service containers, single-use plastic straws and cutlery, disposable plastic bags, and single-use plastic water bottles by July 21, 2021.The order also calls for agencies to phase-out the use of of all other single-use plastics by 2025. This order is a positive step toward making our whole Commonwealth cleaner and our economy more sustainable. It also aligns closely with the University’s own sustainability goals and work that has already been underway to reduce single-use plastics.

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panorama of a green workplace in facilities management
Sustainability is about finding “win-win-win” solutions that are good for the planet, people, and the bottom line. As the coronavirus pandemic has swept through and challenged the typical modes of operation for our University, extra emphasis has been placed on keeping people safe and reducing costs. Fortunately, many environmentally green solutions can also save some “green” and help us be good stewards of UVA’s resources during this tough time.
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Across Grounds, faculty and staff have committed to making UVA more sustainable. Several offices and departments have sought to incorporate sustainability into the work setting through the Green Workplace Program, including the International Studies Office (ISO). Read more about ISO's commitment to UVA's sustainability efforts!
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The Green Workplace Program (GWP) engages UVA employees in actions that conserve resources, save money, and advance sustainability.

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Students working together at the School of Architecture

The Office for Sustainability hosts sustainability programs and services that help address UVA’s environmental footprint through buildings & operations as well as pan-university sustainability engagement and communications programs to accelerate sustainability awareness and action. To learn more about a specific program or service, please email sustainability@virginia.edu

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Flowers on a tree branch hanging over a brick wall

Green Workplace

The Green Workplace Program (GWP) engages UVA employees in actions that conserve resources, save money, and advance sustainability.

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Cabell Courtyard with grey skies and greenery

Land & Buildings

With over 550 buildings encompassing over 17 million square feet, the University of Virginia has the opportunity to use the operation of its facilities to demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability. The design, operation and maintenance of Grounds require significant resources. To ensure UVA’s diversity of buildings are optimized for performance and energy efficiency, UVA works to ensure that new construction and existing buildings are held to robust sustainability standards.

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Building with sunset next to the railroad tracks

Climate Action & Energy

In 2011, the University set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2009 levels by 2025. We achieved that goal in 2019, six years ahead of schedule, and are now aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil free by 2050.