University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899
The iconic Broyhill Wind turbine, installed on campus in 2009, is 153 feet tall and generates enough electricity to meet the demands of 11 typical American households.
The iconic Broyhill Wind turbine, installed on campus in 2009, is 153 feet tall and generates enough electricity to meet the demands of 11 typical American households.

Sustainability Accolades

Appalachian State University has consistently received national recognition for its leadership in sustainability, with such publications as The Princeton Review and SIERRA magazine naming App State among the country’s top institutions for championing sustainability initiatives. Below are some of App State’s notable sustainability accolades.

App State named among world’s ‘Green Colleges’

App State is one of the most environmentally responsible institutions of higher learning in the world, according to The Princeton Review. The university is among 420 national and international colleges and universities included in the publication’s 2022 “Guide to Green Colleges,” released in October 2021.

Out of a possible Green Rating score of 99, App State earned a score of 97. More than 25 survey data points were analyzed by The Princeton Review editors to tally Green Rating scores for the schools on a scale of 60 to 99. Colleges that earned a score of 80 or higher were named to the guide.

A ‘Cool School’ for more than a decade

For more than a decade, Sierra magazine has named App State in its annual “Cool Schools” rankings, recognizing the university for helping solve climate problems, making significant efforts to operate sustainably, and shaping future environmental citizens, workers and leaders.

View the complete list of Sierra’s “2021 Cool Schools” rankings.

More than $1 billion in NC energy costs avoided

App State’s Appalachian Energy Summit (AES) has led the way in showcasing the economic benefits of sustainable business practices. Its ninth annual conference reported that University of North Carolina System institutions, together with industry partners, have saved North Carolina more than $1 billion in avoided energy costs between 2002–19 and are on track to realize $2 billion in avoided costs by 2025. App State’s proportion of these savings was $30,376,000.

Learn more about the summit and its history.

App State ranked a top-performing institution for sustainability

App State was recognized in the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) 2021 Sustainable Campus Index, which recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 sustainability impact areas related to academics, engagement, operations and administration as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

App State placed fourth among the nation’s overall top-performing master’s institutions, moving up three positions from its No. 7 ranking in the 2020 index.

The university received its initial Gold rating from AASHE in 2012 and earned Gold again in 2015 and 2019.

Carbon Neutral Commuters offset tons of carbon emissions

App State’s Carbon Neutral Commuter program, which allows students, faculty and staff to purchase carbon offsets along with yearly parking passes, has helped offset about 15,000 tons of carbon emissions since it began in 2014.

$1 million-plus in locally sourced food purchased

In the 2019–20 academic year, Campus Dining purchased 26.71% — or the monetary equivalent of more than $1 million — of its food from local sources. Campus Dining establishes lasting and beneficial relationships with local farmers and producers, and helps develop a stronger local economy by supporting North Carolina businesses.

Learn more about Campus Dining’s sustainability efforts.

Zero Waste Stadium

App State diverts an average of 75% of the waste produced during Kidd Brewer Stadium events from local landfills.

Learn more about App State’s Zero Waste Stadium initiative.

Food Hub provides 7,000-plus meals during 2020, expands locations

App State’s Mountaineer Food Hub provided a total of 7,025 meals, primarily to students, during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic (March–November 2020). The hub also opened three satellite locations in 2020.