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Sustainability Home


To read more about the sustainable practices at Winthrop University click on the individual topics listed above.  Each page contains general information about the various strategies implemented.  Clicking on the green highlighted items will link you to more detailed information.  


Sustainability & Operations . . .

Sustainability Committee

Winthrop's sustainability committee is composed of faculty and staff from various departments as well as a CSL student representative. The committee is chaired by the Sustainability Coordinator and works throughout the year developing various sustainable programs and initiatives.  In the past year, the committee developed at Sustainability Policy that was approved in May 2012.   Below are the members of the sustainability committee:

  • Chris Johnson, Sustainability Coordinator
  • Marsha Bollinger, Interdisciplinary Studies / Faculty
  • Mitzi Stewart, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Tim Hill, Set-up/Recycling Facilities Management
  • Cynthia Cassens, Residence Life
  • Laura Foster, Career and Civic Engagement
  • Craig Sauvigne, Computing & Information Technology
  • Pam Varraso, Administrative Specialist, Student Affairs
  • Pam Yurkovic, Dining Services
  • Chris Hodgdon, Central Receiving
  • Pam Purser, Asst. Director of Grounds/Custodial Services
  • DeeAnna Brooks, Events, Office of the President
  • Linda Campfield, Procurement/ Purchasing
  • Monica Bennett, University Relations
  • Julianne Schrader, Assistant Director Residence Life
  • CSL Student Representative (Currently vacant)

Facilities & Sustainable Buildings

Sun shades are used to lessen heat gain on Southern elevation of building.  Use of low cut off light fixtures prevents light pollution in the night sky.

Designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for the US Green Building Council (USGBC), the Lois Rhame West Center was constructed with and operates using leading-edge environmentally conscious features.  With its leading-edge environmentally conscious features, the West Center, which opened in September 2007, is both the largest and the most energy-efficient building on Winthrop’s main campus.  The design also provides health benefits to the entire Winthrop community including bicycle racks, shower facilities, and lockers for our bicycle commuters. 

As a state agency, Winthrop University must comply with Sustainable Construction Act of 2007 Section 48-52-800.  This legislation requires the application of green building or comparable standards to measures of energy efficiency and energy conservation to state-funded facility projects.  Specifically, Section 48-52-830.    (A)(1)    All major facility projects in this State, as defined in Section 48-52-810(10)(a)(i), must be designed, constructed, and at least certified as receiving two globes using the Green Globes Rating System or receiving the LEED Silver standard. All major facility projects in this State, as defined in Section 48-52-810(10)(a)(ii) or (iii), must be analyzed using a life cycle cost analysis comparing the cost and benefits of designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating the facility at the LEED Silver standard or two globes standard, or better, with certification; normal industry and regulatory standards as applicable; or some standard between the two that causes the project to be designed and constructed in a manner that achieves the lowest thirty-year life cycle cost.


Winthrop University Sustainability Policy

Sustainability is generally defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.  As a signatory of the Talloires Declaration and an institutional member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Winthrop University is committed to sustainability and to serving as a positive example through sustainable practices.  

This policy will guide the University in incorporating sustainability into decision making, simultaneously advancing economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare.   To reach this end, Winthrop University will:

  • Create mechanisms for input and advice on implementation of this sustainability policy;
  • Establish measurable sustainability goals within the university community;
  • Communicate and promote awareness of sustainability goals;
  • Foster an understanding of the University’s impact on sustainability at local, regional, and global scales;
  • Establish and maintain strategic partnerships with community organizations to develop and promote sustainable practices;
  • Where practical, exceed all applicable sustainability standards and regulations;
  • Report results of this policy on an ongoing basis and celebrate accomplishments.

Winthrop University Sustainable Procurement Policy

The purpose of the Winthrop University Sustainable Procurement Policy is to support the statewide Green Purchasing Initiative per the SC Senate Bill 1497 by purchasing products that minimize the harmful effects of their use and final disposition upon the environment. Winthrop University recognizes that the purchasing decisions of our employees can make a difference in favor of environmental quality. We prefer the purchase of environmentally preferable products whenever they perform satisfactorily and are available at a reasonable price.

Procurement Services also recommends the use of sustainable remanufactured printing supplies where possible and economical. Winthrop's Staples contract site has a special shopping list for “Staples Sustainable Earth” inkjet cartridges and toner cartridges.

Facilities & Green Cleaning

In 2004,  the university undertook a comprehensive inventory of the chemicals used on campus and evaluated their potential environmental impact.  This inventory revealed that many cleaners on campus were chlorine based.   In addition, there were five different general purpose cleaners and seven different glass cleaners used on campus.  We realized that it was important to change to cleaning chemicals that were not only safer to the people using them but also to those people living or working in the spaces where these chemicals are used. 

Green cleaners approved for used on Winthrop's campus are Green Seal Certified and exhibit the following characteristics per GS-37 Standard:

  • Low or no VOCs
  • Packaging must be recyclable
  • No more than .5% total phosphorus by weight
  • Biodegradable
  • Non Toxic to Aquatic Life
  • Non Toxic to humans – oral, inhalation or dermal
  • Sold in highly concentrated form only
  • Dye free
  • Ingredients added as fragrances must be identified on the MSDS sheet
  • No ingredients may be carcinogenic or a reproductive toxin
  • Shall not be a skin sensitizer

Facilities & Other Sustainable Initiatives

  • Water Conservation practices include but not limited to: low flow toilets campus wide, low flow shower heads, low flow faucet aerators, etc.
  • Low Emission Lawn and Garden Equipment
  • Five Year Tree Plan developed for identification of trees and long range replacement.  
  • Energy Conservation practices eliminated incandescent lights used on campus. 
  • Energy Use Tracking allows Winthrop to respond to inefficient consumption of energy while identifying strategies for reducing costs.  Each state agency was challenged in 2009 to lessen its energy costs within 20 years, beginning back in 2000. As a leader in energy reduction, Winthrop reached its milestone in 2012.   Accomplishing this required Winthrop to begin tracking usage of electricity and natural gas, an effort begun in 2000.   To further expand our effort to lessen costs, dashboard software and submeters will allow Winthrop to track histories and metrics including energy trends, building comparisons, weather data, network status, consumption efficiencies, key performance indices, and more for individual buildings.  This information gathered will also allow us to identify areas where inefficiencies exist that, in the past, we have only been able to guess existed.  In addition, this technology will assist our effort to change people’s behaviors and bring awareness to the many externalities associated with unmeasured energy use.  Competitive programs will also be developed that will be used to teach faculty, staff, and students about how much energy is used on a daily basis and strategies to reduce this use.  Subsequently, reduced energy use will lower our financial burden and carbon footprint.  
  • Organics Cycling provides mulch that has been ground  from the fallen trees and limbs picked up from around campus.  This mulch has replaced the pine straw that was used in passed years. From the website of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC): "Mulching is a temporary soil stabilization erosion control method where materials such as grass, hay, wood chips, wood fibers, or straw are placed on the soil surface. In addition to stabilizing soils, mulching enhances the absorption of water by the soil, reduce evaporation losses, regulate soil temperatures, and reduce the speed of storm water runoff over an area." 

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