MADISON, Wis.— The U.S. Department of Education has named UW-Madison a 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee, University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson announced today.

The federal education department cited the university’s “deep legacy of environmental stewardship” and said it remains “a leader in environment- and sustainability-related research, education, and operations.”

“UW-Madison has been a leader in sustainability for a long time, and this recognition is very well deserved,” Thompson said. “I commend Chancellor Blank, her senior leadership, and the UW-Madison employees and students on the front lines of this effort for their commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

In its application, UW-Madison noted the following accomplishments from 2007-2018:

  • 38 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 19 percent reduction in total building energy consumption per square foot.
  • Potable water consumption reduction of nearly 20 percent.
  • 13 percent reduction in total waste per campus user and diversion from the landfill of 43 percent of waste.

UW-Madison’s sustainability efforts reach across all facets of the university: academic instruction, innovative world-class research, campus planning, landscape architecture, transportation, health and wellness, diversity, workplace safety, student services, and residential life among them.

“UW-Madison has been working hard with campus and community partners to address the many intertwined challenges of climate change in a way that makes us more sustainable and resilient, and generates new solutions to problems across the globe,” said UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank. “We appreciate that the UW System has recognized our commitment, and are very proud that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded us this prestigious designation.”

Across the country, 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions are being honored by the U.S. Department of Education for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

For more information:

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419