In 1868, Thomas Green Clemson wrote a letter that stated sustainable agriculture and a sustainable economy were his primary goals in establishing a college that focused on scientific education and research.
By 2030, Clemson University aims to be
carbon neutral. Princeton Review has named Clemson as one of the top 322 institutions in their 2014 green colleges guide, which evaluates schools for their commitment
During Jim Barker’s 14-year presidency of Clemson University, his most public and notable goal was to transition Clemson into a Top 20 University by 2020.
Part of that effort includes establishing a long-term plan for sustainability on campus.
Since 2004, Clemson’s campus has made efforts toward a greener campus, beginning with the first LEED-certified building (Leadership in Energy and
This LEED-certified building was not only the first on Clemson’s campus, but also the first in the state of South Carolina.
Since then, the Greek Quad has been LEED-certified, and the University is currently seeking LEED Silver, the next level of LEED certification, for all new construction and large renovations in the future.
Another aspect of former President Barker’s Top 20 by 2020 plan includes reducing the on-campus energy consumption by 20 percent by using temperature setbacks, demand management techniques and upgrading lighting.
Another university goal is to increase energy sourcing from renewable resources by 10 percent by 2025. Clemson University currently has a variety of sustainability projects in progress, including a biodiesel program, a composting facility and a wind turbine testing facility.
On April 22, Clemson University held an Earth Day Celebration event to promote sustainability. The event, which was sponsored by the Clemson University Undergraduate Student Government, included green-energy demonstrations by Clemson’s biofuels program, Gear Solar of Greenville and Richard Kay Superstore
University Dining Services is also involved with sustainability efforts on campus.
Cooking oil is converted to 100 percent biodiesel fuel, and a refillable soft drink and coffee mug discount program is in place at retail locations.
Each year, Clemson recycles 4,815 gallons of cooking oil and 13,000 pounds of paper.
Also, 35 percent of Clemson University’s food budget is spent on local or organic food, and 10 percent of the campus grounds are maintained organically.
In 2011, Clemson University created a sustainability committee, called the Eco Representatives Program (Eco Rep), in which representatives from various organizations on campus collaborate and work to increase sustainability.
“The Clemson Eco Reps’ goal is to promote a strong foundation of sustainable lifestyle practices within the Clemson university campus and community,” Eco-Rep president Rachel Brant said. “We seek to educate our peers about changes they can make to their lifestyle to be
“The Eco Reps promote attendance at the Clemson Farm-Fresh Market and [created] a Clemson Sustainability week. They also take pictures of people using reusable water bottles and riding bikes,” Jackie McSorley, an Eco Rep for her sorority, said. “I just organized and ordered 200 reusable water bottles . . . to promote sustainability within