Awards

UNH has received a number of accolades and awards for its commitment to sustainability. Below are just a few examples.

UNH Received STARS Gold in 2011 UNH Won the Inaugural Business NH Magazine Lean and Green Award in 2008  UNH a "Cool School" in 2013 UNH in top ten eco-friendly US News and World Report list

Overall | Curriculum | Operations | Research | Engagement


OVERALL

  • Top in 2013 Sierra Club "Cool Schools" List: UNH made the top 15 list of campuses in SIERRA magazine’s seventh annual ranking of the nation’s “Coolest Schools,” a salute to U.S. colleges that are helping solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably. UNH has made the list since 2009.
  • UNH on Princeton Review's "Green Honor Roll" of Top Sustainable Colleges 2008 - 2014: For the seventh year in a row, in 2014 UNH was named one of the nation’s most sustainable colleges by the Princeton Review. UNH was chosen based on its commitment to sustainability in academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities, and career preparation. UNH is included in the free downloadable book “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges: 2014 Edition." In 2009, UNH was one of 15 universities nationwide named to The Princeton Review's 2009 "Green Honor Roll." UNH received the highest possible score - 99 - in the company's ratings of how environmentally friendly institutions are. In 2008, UNH was one of 11 universities nationwide to receive the top score in the first Princeton Review 2008 "Green Honor Roll." 
  • Overall Judges Award Winner in 2008 Business NH's "Leanest And Greenest" Awards. In March 2008, UNH received the top honor in Business NH Magazine's first-ever "Lean and Green" Awards. UNH led the winners with the Overall Judges Award, which recognizes the school's extensive sustainable practices, from its cogeneration plant and reuse of purified landfill gas to power the Durham campus to transitioning its extensive public transit system to alternative fuels. "This Lean and Green Award further recognizes that sustainability is one of UNH's core identities and strengths," says UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. "I'm proud of our motivated and engaged faculty, staff, and students who work together in new and innovative ways to advance this common goal." Other winners were Abigail's Bakery in Weare, Bruss Construction in Bradford, Wire Belt Company of America in Londonderry, and Monadnock Paper Mills in Bennington (Green Processing awards); New Hampshire Audobon's McLane Center in Concord (Green Building award); and the BioVu line of inks produced by EFI VUTEk in Meredith (Green Product or Service). Learn more. Read the Business NH Magazine's March 2008 article on UNH's "Lean and Green" Award (PDF)
  • Profile in second issue of "Sustainability: The Journal of Record": UNH and its chief sustainability officer, Tom Kelly, were the second profile in the April 2008 Sustainability: The Journal of Record. (Arizona State University was the first.) UNH is the first Northeast institution to be profiled. Learn more.
  • Inaugural guest perspective on sustainability in higher education: In April 2008, UNH President Mark W. Huddleston wrote the inaugural guest perspective for the new Solutions for Our Future.orgHis topic? Embracing sustainability of course! Learn more.
  • UNH Makes List of 25 Cutting-Edge Green Schools in 2009 Kaplan College Guide: Produced by Kaplan Publishing, the Guide features UNH as one of 25 private and public colleges across the nation advancing sustainability in the classroom, around campus, and in student's lives. Learn more.
  • KIWI Magazine 2008 Review: As in 2007, UNH was one of 50 colleges around the country named in KIWI Magazine’s 2008 ‘Green College Report.’ KIWI, a magazine dedicated to helping families live natural and organic lifestyles, cited UNH for its dining and composting initiatives, its climate change focused courses, and its University Office of Sustainability.

Back to the top


CURRICULUM

  • 1st Dual Major in EcoGastronomy in US higher education: Integrating UNH's strengths in sustainable agriculture, hospitality management, and nutrition, a new Dual Major in EcoGastronomy was launched in fall 2008. The dual major offers a unique academic program emphasizing the interdisciplinary, international, and experiential knowledge that connects all three fields. And as a dual major, the program provides a complement to any primary major. The dual major is a unique partnership between the Whittemore School of Business & Economics and the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, in collaboration with the University Office of Sustainability. Learn more...
  • Award-winning environmental engineering & business student teams: Since 2005, UNH engineering and business students have taken first place in their task at the annual International Environmental Design Contest (EDC) sponsored by the Waste Management Education and Research Consortium (WERC). From 2005 to 2007, the UNH team also won the prestigious overall Intel Innovation Award. In 2007, UNH’s WERC team’s (MicroCellutions’ Inc.) goal was to provide farmers with innovative solutions to waste management for the betterment of the environment and the safety of the farmer. In 2008, UNH's WERC team (Retrolutions) retrofitted an existing commercial building to reduce its environmental footprint.

Back to the top


OPERATIONS

  • Early developer of a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for higher education: In the winter of 2000, the UNH University Office of Sustainability partnered with Clean Air – Cool Planet to develop a novel greenhouse gas emission inventory that adapted national and international inventory methodologies to the unique scale and character of a university community. Data have been reported from 1990-2003, and a 2004-2005 update was released in September 2006. Over 2,300 colleges and universities across North America have downloaded the greenhouse gas emissions inventory and “calculator.” Learn more.
  • In 2013, UNH was honored by EPA New England for our composting program. Other college and uiversities honored by EPA with Food Recovery Challenge Achievement Awards include Harvard University, Clark University, MIT, Suffolk University, Middlebury College, and Keene State College. "These New England colleges and universities are setting a great example by preventing more than 2528 tons of food scraps from disposal by using them for higher and better uses, including food donation and composting," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. "Food Recovery Challenge Achievement Award winners are using food to feed people, not disposal facilities."
  • In 2012, UNH was named Outstanding Community Tree Farm by the New Hampshire Tree Farm Committee for its role as a working forest that serves to educate the public on sustainable forestry.
  • 2008 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award (OCEA) for EcoLine™ landfill gas project: Forging an innovative and aggressive path to a clean energy future, starting in spring 2009 UNH will receive up to 85% of the energy used by the campus from the EcoLine™ project, a landfill gas-to-energy project that uses methane gas from a nearby landfill. The methane will be the primary fuel to operate the University’s cogeneration plant, which provides electricity and heat for the main campus buildings. UNH is the first university in the country to use landfill gas as its primary fuel source. UNH will sell the associated renewable energy certificates (REC's) to help finance the capital costs of EcoLine™ and to invest in additional energy efficiency projects on campus. EcoLine™ and selling RECs are part of UNH’s aggressive climate action plan called “WildCAP,” which will outline how the university will lower its emissions to basically zero and secure its leadership position in climate protection as part of its broader sustainability commitment. EcoLine™ won the 2008 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award (OCEA) by the American Society of Civil Engineers - New Hampshire Section. Learn more...
  • "Most creative renewable power" recognition from Plenty Magazine: UNH's EcoLine™ project was recognized as the "most creative renewable power" effort in higher education by Plenty Magazine. Learn more...
  • Renovation of Thompson Hall recognized: Thompson Hall was honored for outstanding restoration as part of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance’s Preservation Achievement Awards, which recognize restoration and renovation projects and groups that saved critical New Hampshire landmarks. Learn more...

Back to the top


Research

  • 1st commercial-scale organic dairy research farm at a land-grant: Responding to a need by farmers for scientific research to support organic dairy efforts, UNH is the first land grant university to have a commercial-scale organic dairy research farm. Learn more...
  • Unique agroecosystem research: In spring 2008, UNH researchers received a significant grant to study UNH's organic dairy research farm as a sustainable closed agroecosystem, exploring viable strategies for becoming energy independent. The $380,000 three-year grant, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education (SARE) program, aims to explore whether closing energy and nutrient cycles could help small family dairy farms in the Northeast survive economic vulnerabilities. The study comes as rising energy, feed and capital investment costs shrink the already narrow profit margin of dairy agriculture in the Northeast, threatening the regional sustainability of the industry. Such an ecosystem-level approach to a commercial organic dairy production is unique, at least in the United States. Learn more...
  • UNH scientists awarded for UN global ecosystem-human health study: In March 2007, Four scientists from UNH were among the authors of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) awarded the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, considered to be the largest and most valuable environmental prize worldwide. Professors Charles Vörösmarty and George Hurtt, former research scientist Ellen Douglas, and former Ph.D. student Manoel Cardoso received the award for their part in helping author the four-year, $21-million effort, which was called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000. The assessment cataloged the condition of the globe’s ecosystems and their life-giving services. The five-volume MEA report brings into focus the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and establishes the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and their contributions to human well-being. Learn more...
  • UNH students, faculty, and local industry partner with research grant: In June 2007, two UNH chemical engineering students, the Biodiesel Group in the UNH Chemical Engineering Department, and MBP, Bioenergy, LLC of Conway, NH, won a $40,000 matching grant from theNew Hampshire Industrial Research Center to automate MBP's patent-pending processor that turns waste vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel that can be used in diesel-powered engines or as heating fuel. Learn more...

Back to the top


Engagement

  • NH Farm to School chosen as Northeast Regional Lead Agency for national Farm to School Initiative: A collaboration of UNH and the NH Coalition for Sustaining Agriculture, the NH Farm to School Program connects New Hampshire farms and schools by integrating agricultural production, school food procurement, and school curriculum with the goal of developing a healthy, community-based, community-supported school food system. To date, over half of the K-12 schools in NH are participating in the NH Farm to School Program. In the fall of 2005, the NH Farm to School Program was selected as the Northeast Regional Lead Agency to explore the establishment of a national Farm to School Initiative. This role included gathering information on farm to school programs in the northeast, as well as leading the process of assembling a set of recommendations for the development of a national initiative. Learn more...
  • NH Farm to School wins "Champions of Sustainabilit in Communities" award.  In 2008, the Sustainable Endowments Institute awarded UNH one of five national Champions of Sustainability in Communities Awards for the New Hampshire Farm to School Program. Learn more...
  • Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium (NECSC) founded at UNH: The first Northeast Campus Sustainability Summit (NECSC) was convened at UNH in 2004 and was designed to convene the growing network of higher education institutions, non-profits, activists, and community members working to advance campus sustainability in the northeast region and to represent a growing network of institutions of higher education from the northeast United States and Eastern Canadian Provinces. The Summit also actively anticipated the launch of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, which began on January 1, 2005. An annual Northeast Campus Sustainability Consortium Summit will be held through 2014 and will rotate locations throughout the region including returning to UNH for the final 2014 summit. Learn more...
  • Growing A Green Generation Project Wins Preschool Gardening Award: The Growing a Green Generation Project, an initiative of the University of New Hampshire's Child Study and Development Center (CSDC), has been awarded a 2008 Wuzzleburg Preschool Garden Award by the National Gardening Association and sponsor "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" One of only 75 recipients nationwide, the project was selected for its demonstrated commitment to creatively and actively engaging young children in the gardening process as a way to help them get off to a great start and to develop a lifelong love of learning. Learn more...
  • New Hampshire Estuaries Project awards: In 2008, the New Hampshire Estuaries Project (now the Piscataqua Estuaries Project) at UNH received a $50,000 Climate Ready Estuaries grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to initiate a pilot project in the Oyster River watershed to identify road culverts that are subject to failure during the increasingly extreme storm events projected for New England by climate change scientists. The NHEP is partnering with the Town of Durham and the Strafford Regional Planning Commission on a comprehensive inventory of most major road-stream culverts throughout the Oyster River watershed, including portions of the towns of Durham, Madbury, Dover, Lee, and Barrington. The project team will then develop recommendations for culvert improvements based on risk analysis and cost estimates. (Learn more...) In September 2008, NHEP also was awarded the annual Conservation Partner Award by the New Hampshire Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. (Learn more...)
  • Organic Garden Club wins Student Organization of the Year in 2007: Founded in 2003, the student-run UNH Organic Garden Club (OGC) was voted UNH’s Student Organization of the Year in 2007. The OGC maintains a two-acre site on a 30-acre, USDA certified organic parcel of land on the UNH Durham campus - the first certified organic land on campus. The OGC grows a variety of produce, which it sells to UNH Dining and at a weekly farm stand on campus. The OGC also hosts dinners at Portsmouth’s Cross Roads House and a monthly Durham community dinner at the Waysmeet Center. The mission of the UNH Organic Garden Club is to cultivate a campus-community organic farm focused on promoting social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Learn more...
  • UNH Cooperative Extension's Geospatial Technologies Training Center Receives National Award: Environmental Systems Research Institute, of Redlands, California, in August 2008 honored UNH Cooperative Extension's Geospatial Technologies Training Center with its 2008 Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award. According to ESRI, the Center "has demonstrated vision and leadership using ESRI's geographic information system (GIS) technology to better serve the world." Learn more...