Black Hills State University, SD Sustainability Initiatives

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Black Hills State University, SD, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


BHSU was the first university in SD to sign the Presidential Climate Commitment. Since that time, SDSM&T and USD have also joined the commitment. BHSU has taken the following steps toward meeting this commitment:

1. Currently gathering information to establish a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions, including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air travel. (See our Carbon Footprint booklet)

2. Began discussions on how to become climate neutral, including the addition of the wood-fired boiler to campus.

3. Initiated interim actions to reduce greenhouse gases while working toward climate neutrality by adopting the following policy statements:

a. All new campus buildings will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard or equivalent.
b. BHSU will only purchase energy efficient appliances with Energy Star or equivalent certification, if available.
c. BHSU encourages all faculty, staff, and students to consider the impact on the environment before printing any materials and to limit any printing or copying to double-sided materials when possible.

Other Sustainability Initiatives at BHSU

1. Movement toward a comprehensive recycling program to include paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard and glass.

2. Sponsor Green Day activities in the Fall and Earth Day activities in the Spring to promote overall awareness of this issue and our commitment to it.

3. Apply for a grant from the Kresge Foundation to support green building components in the Student Union.

4. Add a green roof to the Student Union to help keep the building cooler.

5. Continue to incorporate energy efficiency components into building projects

a. window replacements
b. retrocommissioning
c. motion sensors on the lights in classrooms and other areas

6. Issue an RFQ (Request for Qualification) to pursue other energy efficiency projects through a performance contract.

7. Installed solar panels at two of the BHSU stone entry signs to provide lighting.

8. Highlight recyclable products for sale at the BHSU Bookstore.

9. Provide discounts at Dining Services for refillable mugs for drinks.

10. Provided an environmentally beneficial swale in the new student parking lot, which recaptures storm water and uses it for irrigation in the parking lot rather than filling up the storm sewers.

11. Apply for federal funding for the wood-fired boiler.

12. Established a sustainability committee.

13. Identified sustainability as the key direction for the Madelaine Young Speakers’ program.

14. Offer sustainability workshops in the Summer 2008.

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