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Wednesday, August 04, 2021
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UW wins sustainability award, students call for further action

UW System President Tommy Thompson announced that UW-Madison won the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Award on Thursday. 

University initiatives — including the school’s 38% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, 19% reduction total building energy, nearly 20% reduction in potable water consumption and 13% reduction in total waste per campus user — are among reasons why the U.S. Department of Education honored UW-Madison. 

According to the Department of Education report, “UW-Madison continues to be a leader in environment and sustainability-related research, education and operations.”

UW-Madison is among five postsecondary institutions awarded for their reduced environmental impact.

“UW-Madison has been working hard with campus and community partners to address the many intertwined challenges of climate change in a way that makes us more sustainable and resilient, and generates new solutions to problems across the globe,” said Chancellor Rebecca Blank in the UW System press release. “We appreciate that the UW System has recognized our commitment and are very proud that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded us this prestigious designation.”

Despite these efforts toward building a more sustainable campus, many community members are still pushing for UW-Madison to take other steps to minimize its impact on the environment. 

On Friday, UW-Madison students organized a protest for an Earth Week Climate Strike to encourage the University and the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association to divest from fossil fuels.

This is one of multiple initiatives by UW-Madison community members pushing for divestment. Earlier this year, the Associated Students of Madison supported legislation in partnership with the UW Divestment Coalition demanding divestment from fossil fuels. Last month, the Faculty Senate passed a resolution calling for the University to develop a plan towards divestment.

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