BHSU was the first university in SD to sign the Presidential Climate Commitment. BHSU has taken the following steps toward meeting this commitment:
- Currently gathering information to establish a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel.
- Began discussions on how to become climate neutral, including the addition of the wood-fired boiler to campus.
- Initiated interim actions to reduce greenhouse gases while working toward climate neutrality by adopting the following policy statements:
- All new campus buildings will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard or equivalent.
- BHSU will only purchase energy efficient appliances with Energy Star or equivalent certification, if available.
- BHSU encourages all faculty, staff, and students to consider the impact on the environment before printing any materials and to limit any printing or copying to double-sided materials when possible.
Other Sustainability Initiatives at BHSU
- Movement toward a comprehensive recycling program to include paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and glass.
- Sponsor Green Day activities in the Fall and Earth Day activities in the Spring to promote overall awareness of this issue and our commitment to it.
- Apply for a grant from the Kresge Foundation to support green building components in the Student Union.
- Add a green roof to the Student Union to help keep the building cooler.
- Continue to incorporate energy efficiency components into building projects
- window replacements
- motion sensors on the lights in classrooms and other areas
- Issue an RFQ (Request for Qualification) to pursue other energy efficiency projects through a performance contract.
- Installed solar panels at two of the BHSU stone entry signs to provide lighting.
- Highlight recyclable products for sale at the BHSU Bookstore.
- Provide discounts at Dining Services for refillable mugs for drinks.
- Provided an environmentally beneficial swale in the new student parking lot, which recaptures storm water and uses it for irrigation in the parking lot rather than filling up the storm sewers.
- Established a sustainability committee.
- Identified sustainability as the key direction for the Madelaine Young Speakers’ program.
The American College and University President's Climate Commitment is a consortium of over 600 universities across the nation dedicated to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate. BHSU has committed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To begin this process, we've developed a Climate Action Plan and analyze our carbon footprint annually. You can view our carbon footprint reports here: 2013, 2012, 2008, 2007.
As part of our commitment in sustainability, BHSU has enrolled in The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a voluntary self-reporting system for colleges and universities to assess progress in meeting sustainability goals and sustainability leadership. On Earth Day 2014, BHSU received a STARS Silver rating. BHSU is the first and only university in the state of South Dakota to achieve a STARS rating.
STARS ratings are based on three main categories: Education and Research; Operation such as buildings, climate, dining services energy, grounds purchasing,transportation, waste, water; and Planning, Administration and Engagement. Our hope is to engage the entire campus community in this effort and lead the way to a sustainable future.
At BHSU, all new buildings and major renovations are built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver or higher standards. The David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union was the first state building to earn this standard, earning LEED Gold after its 2009 renovation. The Student Union is used as a model for demonstration of energy efficiency and an educational tool for BHSU students and others in the community. Some of these components include a green roof, wind turbine, compost collection of food waste at The Hive, and energy efficiency. Since then, The Black Hills State University Rapid City campus and the Life Science Lab at our main campus have both achieved LEED Silver. We are currently aiming for LEED Silver while constructing the new Crow Peak Residence Hall.
Our campus dining hall, The Hive, and coffee shop, The Buzz Shack, both achieved Green Restaurant Certification in 2014. Produce from our campus garden is used for meals in The Hive in late summer and early fall.
Contact: Petrika Peters
BHSU Sustainability in the News:
Locally grown food program gets $100K in seed money
Local food hub coming to Spearfish
Spearfish Local aims to grow business
BHSU plants trees, educates students during Arbor Day celebration
BHSU furthers sustainability efforts with Climate Action Plan
Spearfish Local, a BHSU sustainability initiative, continues to grow
BHSU collects more than 200 pounds of waste during Recycle Mania event
Balancing our small town charm with steady growth - part 4 of 7
Spearfish Badging Program Brings Community Together for Local Produce
Spearfish Local puts consumers, businesses together (KOTA TV interview)
Growing Green: A golden opportunity for sustainability at Black Hills State University (p. 53)
BHSU receives $49,000 SD Department of Agriculture grant for Spearfish Local program
Where does our food come from?
BHSU to encourage change during 2014 Sustainability Day
BHSU art students' dog sculptures help Humane Society
BHSU receives national APPA 2014 Sustainability Award
Sting’s Eco Explorers Day Camp focuses on sustainability
Spearfish Local chooses advisory council at local summit
BHSU kicks off local food initiative with workshops and community supper
BHSU receives recycling bins through national Coca-Cola grant program
BHSU first university, third restaurant in state to earn green certification
BHSU achieves silver STARS rating for sustainability performance; first university in South Dakota
BHSU strives to go green
BHSU making strides towards becoming a greener campus (video)
BHSU collects more than 300 pounds of waste during nationwide recycling competition
BHSU continues to reduce its carbon footprint
Lisa Bike program
BHSU art students create life-size bug self-portraits
Read our 2015 Climate Action Plan and submit your comment!