University of South Carolina

The University is garnet, black, and green all over


Carolina's seven major academic initiatives will be celebrated during the week of each home football game this season. The seventh -- in the week leading up to the Carolina vs. Clemson game on Nov. 28 -- is the University's Impact on Sustainability.

As Gamecocks proudly don their garnet and black for the Carolina/Clemson rivalry game, there is a new Carolina color to be celebrated: green.

As a result of leadership, commitment, and student involvement, the University of South Carolina has emerged a leader in environmental sustainability. The University earned top green ratings from the Princeton Review and the College Sustainability Report Card this fall, placing the University among the most green universities and colleges in the Southeast.

Carolina has made major strides in sustainability in recent years. Under the leadership of President Harris Pastides, the University has strengthened its commitment and taken steps at every level of campus to create a community that is healthier and more engaged in environmental matters.

“Sustainability and support for environmental issues permeate all aspects of campus life, from the dining halls where we serve locally grown produce in biodegradable containers to the classrooms where our students are exposed to environmental topics in a variety of disciplines, to the residence halls where our students are encouraged to live in an environmentally-aware fashion,” Pastides said. “Sustainability is part of the fabric of life here at Carolina.”

Michael Koman, the University’s director of sustainability, said Carolina has much to celebrate in the areas of green building, education, transportation, climate change, food, recycling, and energy efficiency.

Some examples of Carolina’s green successes:

  • Green (West) Quad and the new Honors Residence are excellent examples of green building. The soon-to-be-built Darla Moore School of Business facility is expected to set a new standard for green building in the region.
  • Education extends beyond the classroom to include student eco-reps in the residence halls and a student body that is active in organizations and initiatives like Recyclemania.
  • The use of bio-diesel and ethanol-fueled campus vehicles will expand to the entire fleet by 2015.
  • An inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for the past five years and a climate action plan are setting climate change standards that are well ahead of the rest of South Carolina.
  • The bi-monthly Healthy Carolina Farmers Market and the purchase of local produce for dining halls promotes good health, supports local farmers, and eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions and fuel use associated with the traditional trucking of food.
  • Extensive recycling efforts include cardboard and other materials during campus move in and move out, construction waste, and 100 percent of recycling of electronics. Campus food composting will begin in 2010.
  • The replacement of all traditional light bulbs with energy- and money-saving compact fluorescent bulbs and biomass energy production have made the University more energy efficient. Plans call for additional renewable energy sources such as solar to be incorporated across campus.

Koman says the interest and involvement of students are a driving force behind many of the University’s sustainability efforts.

To learn more about the greening of Carolina, visit the University’s green Web site at

Posted: 09/14/09 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 08/09/11 @ 9:03 AM | Permalink