Sustainability in the Residence Halls
Accomplishments and Recognition

The University of Maryland is a well-established leader in sustainability – among colleges and universities worldwide, and on behalf of citizens and businesses throughout the state of Maryland.

2010 UM is one of 18 universities receiving the highest possible score on the Green Rating Honor Roll of The Princeton Review's most "environmentally aware and responsible" colleges and universities, and is cited for our campus quality of life, for preparing our students for citizenship and employment "in a world defined by environmental challenges," and for responsible policy-making.

UM's first LEED Gold Certification, signifying that a higher standard for sustainability has been met in planning and construction, is awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for the 368-bed South Campus Commons apartment building #7, which opened for undergraduate students in January 2010.

2009 UM is named "America's Greenest Campus 2009" by Climate Culture, a social networking site dedicated to clean-energy issues and activism by college students, after a Student Government Association-led event registered the most participants (more than 2,250 UM students, faculty and staff) in a nationwide competition to reduce individuals' carbon footprints.

UM formally adopts its Climate Action Plan (link to for achieving carbon neutrality (no net emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases from vehicles, air travel, energy production, purchased electricity, waste and refrigerants) by the year 2050.

University Sustainability Council is created to advise the President and campus community on issues related to the integration of sustainability into campus operations.

UM's Department of Residential Facilities has the first university housekeeping program in the nation – and one of only 12 cleaning organizations in the U.S. and Canada – to receive the inaugural Cleaning Industry Management Standards Green Buildings (CIMS – GB) certifications with Honors.

2008 UM's 10-year Strategic Plan sets its goal to be "a national model for a Green University."

UM is among the first campuses in the nation to be designated as a "Tree Campus USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation.

UM's first storm water irrigation system (Washington Quad) circulates rainwater captured in an underground cistern to perennial garden beds near several South Hill residence halls.

UM's first green roof (Cumberland Residence Hall) has about 8,000 square feet of plant material that reduces storm water run-off, helps insulate the building from summer heat and winter cold, and attracts birds, butterflies and other wildlife.

UM professors are recipients of the 2008 Greater Washington Green Business Award for their invention of a more efficient and environmental-friendly method of producing ethanol.

2007 UM ranked among Top 15 Green Campuses in the U.S. by Grist, an online environmental magazine.

Entire UM campus is designated an arboretum and botanical garden by the American Public Garden Association.

UM adopts U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building standard for all new construction and major renovations. Achieving the Silver standard requires meeting or exceeding benchmarks for site development, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials use and indoor environmental quality.

UM is a charter institution of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations and eventually reach a point where no new net emissions will occur in any given year.

2005 UM adopts campus Environmental Stewardship Guidelines.

UM's new system (2003) for providing electricity and steam to campus buildings is a recipient of the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and Department of Energy 2005 ENERGY STAR Award, in recognition of the "energy efficiency and pollution reduction qualities" of this combined heat and power CHP system.

2003 UM's 150-acre golf course, a haven for dozens of species of birds, mammals, amphibians, trees, butterflies, wildflowers, and wetlands grasses, is named an Audubon International Certified Wildlife Sanctuary.

UM is awarded Green Campus Recognition by the National Wildlife Federation upon conversion of its coal-burning Central Steam Plant to an energy-efficient and cost-efficient combined heat and power plant.

2001 UM's Facilities Master Plan 2001-2020 incorporates guidelines for ensuring stewardship of the campus's built and natural environments.