“The hydroelectric generating plant shows that local green initiatives like this one can be financially feasible and create reliable sources of income and acceptable rates of return on investment,” said Berea College President Lyle Roelofs. “At the same time, it displays to our students and everyone else both the College’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the viability of state-of-the-art renewable energy technologies.”
Berea College is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review’s 11th annual Guide to Green Colleges. The guide, which profiles 416 colleges, is a resource college applicants can use to identify schools with exemplary commitments to the environment and sustainability.
The Princeton Review chose schools based on a survey of administrators at 695 colleges in 2019-20 about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The company’s editors analyzed more than 25 survey data points in the process of choosing schools for the guide.
Berea College is now certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program.
Long known as a leader in sustainability and stewardship of natural resources, Berea College is the 85th educational institution in the nation to achieve certification of its efforts in creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet.
Berea College was recognized by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) with the 2019 Outstanding Service to Environmental Education by an Organization award for incorporating environmental education into its sustainability initiatives.
Berea College is one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, according to The Princeton Review, the education services company that just published the 2019 edition of its Guide to Green Colleges.
Known as a leader in turning the Bluegrass state “green,” Berea College is one of 413 schools profiled in the new guide.
The guide is based on a survey the company conducted in 2018–19 of administrators at hundreds of four-year colleges about their institutions’ commitments to the environment and sustainability. The guide states, “Berea College is a model for sustainability in higher education for the Appalachian region and beyond.”
Berea College announced that the newly-built Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building (MAC) has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certiﬁcation and full project certification by the Forest Stewardship Council.
The LEED rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to assess and recognize buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human-health performance. The Forest Stewardship Council, which promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of forests worldwide, certified the full project.
“Gaining LEED Gold is no easy task to accomplish with any building, much less one as large and complex as the MAC,” said Derrick Singleton, vice president of operations and sustainability at Berea College. “This building continues to support Berea’s mission to promote an environmentally safe and sustainable way of life.”
Berea College achieved LEED certiﬁcation for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“We also received the Forest Stewardship Council’s Full Project Certification for the MAC,” said Richard Dodd, LEED AP, director of Project Management at Berea College. “This certification requires a full audit of all wood products used in construction and verified to have been sourced with ecological responsibility.”
“This makes Berea home to five of eight such FSC certified projects in the U.S. and one of only 85 worldwide. These are testaments of our efforts to ‘tread softly’ on the environment while still making big impacts,” Dodd continued.
LEED promotes environmentally- and socially-responsible construction and operation of green buildings in order to improve quality of life. Berea College had both the first LEED-certified building in Kentucky (Lincoln Hall, the College’s administration building) and the first LEED certified hotel (Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant). Berea’s campus is also home to several LEED certified residence halls.
“Achieving LEED certiﬁcation is more than implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and inﬂuencing others to do better,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Berea College demonstrates their leadership through their LEED certiﬁcation of The Margaret A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health project.
Berea College received Full Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Project certification for its latest construction project, the newly built Margaret A. Cargill (MAC) Natural Sciences and Health Project building. FSC certification verifies that FSC-labeled products come from a forest and supply chain managed in an environmentally, economically and socially responsible way. Currently there are a dozen FSC buildings or projects in the U.S. Five of them are on Berea College’s campus. Continue reading Forest Stewardship Council Awards Full FSC Project Certification to Berea College →
Wendell Berry among Featured Speakers
Berea College will host a horse-logging conference at its Forestry Outreach Center October 29 through November 3. To culminate the week-long event, the public is invited to a free day of demonstrations and presentations on Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Speakers include noted Kentucky author and sustainable forestry advocate Wendell Berry. The event is open to people of all ages and takes place at the Berea College Forestry Outreach Center on Highway 21, just east of Berea. Continue reading Horse Logging Conference Features Demonstrations →
For the fourth consecutive year, Berea College will host the Carbon Neutral Basketball “Green” Game on Feb. 7 to bring awareness to the responsibility higher-education institutions have to help reduce global carbon emissions.
Following the Green Game, the Sustainability Office staff will calculate the total carbon emissions emitted from the energy used in Seabury Center Gym during the home game, plus emissions from the opposing team’s transportation. This calculation will determine the number of trees volunteers and staff must plant later in the spring to offset the carbon put into the atmosphere during this basketball game. Continue reading Berea to Host Fourth Annual “Green” Basketball Game and EcoChallenge →
Travelers have ranked Berea’s historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant as sixth in the top ten Eco-Friendly Hotel in America. USA TODAY just concluded a four-week travel award contest during which voters named vote for their choice among 20 U.S. hotels that have gone above and beyond to promote environmental sustainability. Continue reading Boone Tavern Ranked #6 in US Top Ten Eco-Friendly Hotels →
Known for a longstanding commitment to sustainability, Berea College has been named a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School. The recognition was announced by Managing Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Christy Goldfuss and U.S. Secretary of Education John King. Continue reading Berea College Named 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School →
Earth Day at Berea College includes trees and ducks this year. The College’s students, athletes, administrators and city officials, including Berea’s Mayor, Steven Connelly, planted trees on Friday, April 22, at 9:30 a.m. on the Berea College campus. The College’s Office of Sustainability sponsored this event. Continue reading Students Plant Trees and Hunt Ducks on Earth Day 2016 →
Published Originally in the winter 2009 issue of Berea College Magazine
By LeAnna Kaiser, ’12
As a child, Megan Naseman, ’07, was a voracious tree climber, searching out high branches around her house. Her passion for trees was so strong that her parents imposed a height rule. She could only climb trees that she could both get up and down. But when her mother spied Megan stacking chairs on a wagon to reach a high limb, they realized her passion to explore nature was instinctive. As an adult, Megan has focused this passion on fighting environmental injustices. Continue reading From Treetop Vistas to VISTA Volunteer →
The grounds crew of Berea College’s facilities management hosted an Arbor Day tree planting on April 9. With the help of volunteers, 20 new oaks, maples and other flowering trees were planted on campus to replace those trees that were destroyed during two summer droughts and this winter’s ice storm. “The last couple of years have been tough on some of the larger trees on campus,” said grounds coordinator Matthew Partain. “The grounds team feels that it is important not only to renew a Berea College tradition of Arbor Day recognition and tree planting, but to give the students, faculty and staff a chance to participate and learn in the process.”
Boone Tavern, the historic hotel owned by Berea College, has been nominated for the Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence as Best Small Historic Inn/Hotel in the category for hotels with less than 75 guest rooms. Boone Tavern’s Dining Room also has been nominated as Best Historic Restaurant in Conjunction with a Historic Hotel. The Historic Hotels of America Awards of Excellence recognize and celebrate the finest historic hotels and hoteliers across the nation. Continue reading Boone Tavern Nominated for “Best” in Historic Hotels of America Awards →
At #17, Berea College’s farm has just been named among the nation’s 40 “best” college farms by College Ranker, a group that researches colleges all across the U.S. to determine the best features of these schools and to “. . . let you know who’s doing it right.” Berea’s high ranking was determined based on factors such as hands-on experiences, community outreach, and degree options. Continue reading Berea’s Farm in Top Twenty “Best College Farms” in U.S. →
Another building on the Berea College campus has achieved Gold-level certification from Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), in recognition of its eco-friendly renovation. Built in 1913 specifically for teacher training and student observation, Knapp Hall was hailed at the time as a state-of-the-art facility for teacher training. The College’s Education department continues to occupy the renovated building. Continue reading Berea College’s Knapp Hall Earns LEED Gold Certification →
Berea College partnered with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky for a successful donation drive, collecting 3,237 pounds of donated items from students moving out of residence halls as the spring term ended. Continue reading Berea College, Goodwill Partner to Save Items from Landfills — More than 3,000 Pounds Collected →
In an article published March 22 by MarketWatch (NY) Berea College is called a “model of sustainability” and the College’s new “deep green” residence hall is cited for using “earth-friendly brick.” Article excerpt below: Continue reading Berea’s Deep Green Dormitory and its Earth-Friendly Brick →
Berea is the site of the world’s first Living Building-certified student residence hall and the only building
in Kentucky that meets the rigorous Living Building Challenge green standards.
Berea, Ky. —Berea College continues to turn the Bluegrass state “green” and, in the process, is receiving national acclaim. The recently-built “Deep Green” residence hall on Berea’s campus has earned Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, meeting all imperatives in four of the petals the College hoped to achieve. Continue reading Berea College ‘Deep Green’ Residence Hall Achieves Living Building Challenge Certification →
Hometalk, a blog for home and garden how-to’s, recently featured a piece about the US colleges and universities with the best sustainability initiatives and programs that are run by students or in which the student body is heavily involved. The editor was especially impressed by Berea College’s Ecovillage, which was included in the article. Read the blog entry here: http://www.hometalk.com/
Berea College continues to turn the bluegrass state “green” and is getting national accolades for doing so. In rankings focused on 50 of America’s “greenest” and most-affordable universities released by Best Choice Schools, Berea College was ranked Number One. Continue reading Berea Ranked Most Affordable & Ecologically-Sound U.S. College by Best Choice Schools →
“I’ve been to a lot of schools and seen a lot of programs and what we’re doing here is really quite unique,” says Cait McClanahan, sustainability coordinator for Berea College’s dining services. She is speaking of the college’s ability to fulfill food needs through the college farm—including returning kitchen waste back to the soil through the large-scale composting system. Yet it’s important to remember that this symbiotic relationship has only been re-established recently as a part of Berea College’s and several concerned students and staff members’ goals to drastically reduce the school’s carbon footprint. Continue reading Fresh, healthful and sustainable: Berea’s local foods →