Virginia Tech has received the 2018 Green Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Virginia Market Leadership Advisory Board.

The award was presented to the university at the USGBC Virginia Leadership Awards ceremony held in Richmond May 3.

The Green Leadership Award recognizes a Virginia organization who is a steward of the U.S. Green Building Council’s mission to transform the way buildings are designed, constructed, and operated through the use of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program. The certification program includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighborhoods that aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.

Virginia Tech was selected for the award for its commitment to the LEED certification program in its new campus construction and renovation projects. Since 2010, the university has added a total of 1.16 million gross square feet of LEED certified space on the Blacksburg campus.

In 2017, Pearson Hall became the 14th Virginia Tech facility to earn a LEED certification. A complete list of all LEED certified buildings can be found online.

“Virginia Tech is deeply committed to being a leader in campus sustainability,” said Vice President for Operations Sherwood G. Wilson. “As we continue to grow the university in Blacksburg, Roanoke, and in Northern Virginia with facilities that support our globally-recognized academic and research programs, our Climate Action Commitment specifies that all new construction and major renovation projects should seek a LEED Silver rating or higher.”

The Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment, which was approved in 2009 and reaffirmed in 2013, touches on all aspects of the university, including teaching, research, and campus operations and is intended to guide the university toward a greener, more sustainable future. An accompanying sustainability plan addresses how the university will reach its sustainability goals.

Among the 14 goals in the plan, Virginia Tech is committed to reaching a 50 percent recycling rate by 2020, improving energy efficiency where and whenever possible in campus buildings, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Earlier this year, Virginia Tech earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

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