Environmental Sustainability

The Many Ways We Keep It Green

Environmental Sustainability


In recognition that academic institutions must demonstrate leadership in their communities by modeling sustainable practices and exploring those practices with students, Hollins University created an Environmental Advisory Board in 2006 composed of students, faculty, staff, and trustees to provide the university president with advice and leadership regarding identification, assessment, creation, and implementation of environmental planning and policies for the university.

We Are Committed to Reducing Carbon Emissions

In 2007 Hollins became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Agreement, documented its greenhouse gas emissions, and developed a plan in May 2009 for reducing campus carbon emissions. As part of this commitment, an initial benchmark was set to reduce the carbon footprint by 15% by the end of the 2013-14 academic year, a goal that was met the end of the 2012-13 academic year, when the university reduced its footprint by 19%, one year and 4% ahead of schedule. The dramatic reduction in emissions came primarily from the university’s 8.8% decrease in electricity consumption. Hollins is committed to renewable energy initiatives, including the purchase of landfill gas to further offset our carbon footprint.

We Promote Sustainable Practices

Hollins has initiated projects to promote sustainable practices, including adopting campus-wide conservation guidelines and a recycling program, installing geothermal wells with new construction, and establishing a Green Revolving Fund to implement additional cost-effective energy conservation projects. Hollins also maintains growing academic programs in environmental studies (B.A) and environmental science (B.S.).

Led by Assistant Professor of Biology Elizabeth Gleim and Dennis McCarthy of the Va. Dept. of Forestry, and assisted by Roanoke Tree Steward volunteers, Hollins students, faculty, and staff joined forces on March 28 to plant ten tree saplings in different locations around campus. The plantings combat the adverse effects of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer and offset the loss of trees that may have reached the end of their natural lives. Funding provided by the Green Revolving Fund. 

We Are Among the “Most Environmentally Responsible” Colleges

Hollins University is one of the nation’s 375 most environmentally responsible colleges, according to the 2017 edition of The Princeton Review Guide to 375 Green Colleges.”We strongly recommend Hollins and the other colleges in this guide to the many environmentally minded students who seek to study and live at green colleges,” said Rob Franek, Princeton Review Vice President/Publisher Robert Franek.

“At Hollins, the trees are our Peers.”

Hollins University Tree Guide and PDF. Map and descriptions of 30 notable trees on the Hollins campus. Written content by Anna Copplestone ’06; design by Sharon Meador.

Tree Campus USA

Hollins University has received the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2016 Tree Campus USA® recognition for the institution’s commitment to efficient urban forest management. Hollins celebrated the designation during its Arbor Day observance on April 28. Highlights included the placing of the Tree Campus USA plaque on campus, a tree planting, and a screening of the documentary, City of Trees. More

Photo: Johnny Vest, Virginia Department of Forestry, President Nancy Oliver Gray, Anna Copplestone ’06

For more information, contact:
Brook Dickson
Executive Assistant to the President