History of Sustainability

A Timeline of Student Sustainability Milestones at UVA

1973-’77: first wave of student environmentalism at UVA

1988: The first environmental student group, Student Alliance for Virginia’s Environment (SAVE), is founded. One of the founders, Toni Nelson (’90), remembers her experience

2001: Environmental Thought and Practice major created

2002: Conservation Advocates program started (name changed to Sustainability Advocates in 2010)

2003: Program in Environmental and Biological Conservation (EBC) established

2004: Green Grounds Organization founded

2004: Student Alliance for Virginia’s Environment (SAVE) and Students for Environmental Action (SEA) passed this referendum during student council elections by 85%: “Would you be willing to pay an extra $7 per semester as a Renewable Energy Fee for UVa to buy 33 MILLION kilowatt hours of clean, renewable wind energy each year to offset our use of fossil fuels, thereby reducing pollution and improving public health?” (Initiative was not enacted because the language of the referendum was ‘not actionable.’)

2006: Global Development Organization founded

February 2007: UVA begins entering in nationwide Recyclemania competition- finishes 9th in total amount of materials recycled

April 2007: Student Council votes to create Environmental Sustainability Committee, which begins in Fall of 2007

August 2008: UVA Dining & SCESC agree to remove trays from dining halls

August 2008: President’s Committee on Sustainability created (later renamed “University Committee on Sustainability”)

February 2009: Student body chooses “Environmental Sensitivity and Sustainability” as the theme for University Unity Project

2009: Green Dining Group Started- Kendall Singleton put in charge.

2009: Global Development Studies major approved by Arts and Sciences Faculty Senate

February 2010: 76% of Student Body supported creation of Green Initiative Funding Tomorrow (GIFT)

April 2010: Nina Morris hired as first Sustainability Outreach coordinator by facilities

April 16-23, 2010: Unity Project coordinates Earth Week with over 40 events and drew nearly 2000 students

Summer 2010: Sustainability Assessment 2010 survey reveals: “Student interest was cited far more often than other options as ‘one of the biggest drivers’ in encouraging sustainability initiatives at UVA”

September 2010: UVA Green Challenge launched

October 6, 2010: Student Leaders from different groups in Sustainability meet for first time to begin collaboration to provide more cohesive communication amongst the 45+ groups (double the number of groups from 2008)

November 19, 2010: SustainaUnity.wordpress.com created as a hub of information for all students interested in sustainability

January 28, 2011: Sustainability Minor is approved by the Office of the Provost. The 2-year student-led initiative to create the minor will be housed in the school of architecture

March 3, 2011: President’s Committee on Sustainability creates Student Subcommittee to bridge communication gap between administration, faculty and students and to document student initiatives

March 27, 2011: SustainaUnity Newsletter launched

June 1o, 2011: Board of Visitors approves Sustainability Resolution, which includes first ever carbon reduction plan of 25% below 2009 levels by 2025. Second-ever Sustainability Assessment released in September

October 13, 2011SustainaUnity Poster - gives overview of student engagement in sustainability at UVA. See the Appendix for further explanation

March 27, 2012: Student Council votes 21-0 in support of a Student Sustainability Vision and Resolution, sparking conversations around the University on prioritizing sustainability as a strategic objective and increasing support to sustainability in the curriculum.

(if you have a significant date, please post it below)

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