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Accomplishments

The Vanderbilt University Sustainability and Environmental Management Office’s (SEMO) mission is to initiate, promote, coordinate, evaluate and encourage environmental management and sustainability initiatives that improve Vanderbilt’s impact on the community and environment.

Notable Achievements facilitated by SEMO:

  • Ranked #21 on Princeton Review’s Green Colleges list in 2018;
  • Increased recycling almost 42-fold from 250,000 pounds to 10,432,000 pounds between 2007 and 2017;
  • Completed a $29 million conversion of the VU power plant to all natural gas fuel, eliminating coal use on campus in November 2014 and reducing power plant greenhouse gas emissions 25% in two years;
  • Certified 19 projects under the environmental requirements of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program;
  • Diverted 47% of waste from landfills;
  • Initiated Earth-Friendly Move In, Earth-Friendly Move Out, and Green Commencement programs including the elimination of 25,000 water bottles each year, recycling of cardboard, styrofoam, unwanted items and appliances during Move-in and Move-Out, recycling of Commencement gowns, programs, and fans as well as donation of leftover strawberries to the Nashville Zoo animals each year;
  • Initiated the Vanderbilt Green Fund, sustainability component of the Commons Cup, Commons Unplugged, Greenest Group on Campus competition with Athletics, and VU Park(ing) Day outreach events as well as Aspiranaut and Team Green annual campus sustainability tours;
  • Received the 2016 and 2018 TN Sustainable Transportation Award from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation;
  • Awarded multiple awards from Nashville PARK(ing) Days in 2017 and 2018