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Virginia Tech wins gold Governor's Environmental Excellence award

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 8, 2011 – Virginia Tech was among the 20 winners of the 2011 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards. Virginia Tech received a gold award for implementation of its sustainability plan.

The announcement was made April 6 at the Environment Virginia 2011 Symposium in Lexington, Va.

The awards recognize the significant contributions of environmental and conservation leaders in three categories: environmental projects, environmental programs, and land conservation. They are given to businesses and industrial facilities, not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals.

The Virginia Tech entry highlights how the Green Campus Challenge improved administrative practices and behavior regarding sustainability . 

The strategy for implementation of the sustainability plan , which was accepted in 2009 by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at the time of approval of the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment Resolution, has four main components: improving efficiency of facilities and operations; enhancing academic programs related to sustainability; engaging with the larger Blacksburg community; and changing campus culture and behavior to conserve energy, water, and materials.

The Energy and Sustainability Committee created the online Green Campus Challenge survey and it was administered by the Office of Energy and Sustainability from March to April 2010. It challenged the administrative units to adopt policies and behaviors to conserve and reduce energy, water, materials, and transportation. A total of 50 departments participated and produced positive results

The Green Campus Challenge was modeled after the 2009 Green Commonwealth Challenge. Virginia Tech was named among the winners with a unique inclusion in its submission to create the Green Campus Challenge.

The Green Campus Challenge included several categories that targeted environmental issues on campus, involved key leadership and offices on campus for participation and support, demonstrated the ability for initiatives and programs to be utilized in other areas of the state, among other unique qualifications.

The Governor's Award winners were chosen based on criteria including to environmental benefit, stakeholder involvement, public outreach, transferability, and innovativeness.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.