By: Ben Anderson
Warren Wilson College has received the national 2006 Campus Sustainability Achievement Award, in the category of four-year institutions with fewer than 1,000 students.
The award was presented Oct. 5 by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education at the AASHE conference in Tempe, Ariz. Stan Cross, education coordinator of the college's Environmental Leadership Center, accepted the award on behalf of the college.
Warren Wilson also received the 2006 North Carolina Sustainability Award from the organization Sustainable North Carolina, in the Environmental Stewardship category. The award was accepted Oct. 30 by Margo Flood, associate director of the Environmental Leadership Center, at Sustainable North Carolina's awards presentation and conference in Raleigh.
In the letter to the college announcing the national award, AASHE executive director Judy Walton wrote: "The judges were impressed with your across-the-board leadership in sustainability. We are excited about Warren Wilson's continued progress and we hope that other schools learn from and follow the wonderful example you have provided.
"We had a very impressive pool of applicants this first year, so winning one of these awards is a major achievement," Walton said.
Sustainable North Carolina, in recognizing Warren Wilson with the state award, noted that the college "is a leader in higher education sustainability practice and policy…. Students study sustainability issues, apply techniques in real-world work context and utilize the combined skills to serve the community."
The awards continue a string of recognitions the college has received for its leadership in conservation/sustainability practices and facilities. Within the past year, the college was selected to receive a "Standing Ovation" award from the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency; named Conservation Farm Family of the Year in the Mountain Region by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources; and became the first college or university in North Carolina to have a Gold Certified Building under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The LEED-certified Doug and Darcy Orr Cottage also received the Green Building Project of the Year Award from the Carolina Recycling Association, comprising both Carolinas.
According to its website at link, the AASHE is an association whose mission is "to promote sustainability in all sectors of higher education… through education, communication, research and professional development." Current N.C. member institutions are Duke University, N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill.
Sustainable North Carolina "works with business, government, and other non-governmental organizations to seek collaborative, non-confrontational approaches to the challenges facing our state today.