UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

UWRF Sustainability Timeline

UWRF has had a long history of leadership on sustainability-based initiatives among all campuses of the UW System and across the Upper Midwest.  From the early days of the Conservation major in the College of Agriculture, to the Climate Action Plan and the Sustainable Campus Community Plan, to the emerging green business curriculum in the College of Business and Economics, we have much to be proud of and to build upon for the sake of our students, stakeholders, and communities from local to global.

1970 1975 1988 1989 1990
1995 1999 2001 2003 2004
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012




1970
• New academic majors in Conservation, Land Use Planning, and Parks & Recreation
• First Earth Day activities

1975–present
• Energy efficiency monitoring (ongoing)

1988
• First Performance Contract for energy efficiency
• Social Ecology course (now Environmental Sociology) added to Sociology curriculum

1989
• All paper purchased for copy machines has high post-consumer recycled content
• Began purchasing remanufactured laser toner printer cartridges

1990
• Dairy manure compost project started

1995
Student Voice printed with soy ink and recycled paper

1999
• Campus-wide comprehensive environmental audit (first in UW System)
• Second Performance Contract for electrical and water efficiency

2001
• Students make presentation on the benefits of sustainable architectural design which balances social, environmental and economic issues.

2004
• Collaboration with The Phipps Center for the Arts for formation of a series of lectures and discussions that morphed into an expansive debate on the qualities that comprise a sustainable community

2006
• Governor James Doyle targets UWRF campus to go “off the grid by 2012”
• Signed an agreement with Wisconsin Public Power, Inc., and River Falls Municipal Utilities to purchase “green blocks” of energy
• Energy conservation programs for students
• CAFES offers sustainable agriculture option within crops & soils major and Masters in SCD
• Campus Sustainability Council formed
• Dairy manure composting project begun

2007
• University Center opens
• Strategic plan lists sustainability goal and associated tasks
• Founded the St. Croix Institute for Sustainable Community Development
• Chancellor signs ACUPCC
• Received grant from the USDA for a sustainable agriculture project
• First student participation in national Recyclemania contest
• Seat on board of the Western Wisconsin Intergovernmental Collaborative
• Formation of Sustainability Working Group made up of faculty, staff and students to accomplish tasks of sustainability goal
• Green kiosk opens in UC (WPPI and UC funds)
• West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency Inc. (West CAP) sought the university's expertise to capitalize on the region's wealth—from gasification, ethanol production and construction materials to alternative home-heating fuels
• Ag. Engineering students and faculty convert food service waste vegetable oil to biodiesel for use in campus vehicles

2008
• Participant in the pilot phase of STARS, a rating system for sustainability in higher education developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
• Campus-Wide Energy Education Campaign
• Focus the Nation events
• Coordinated a hospitality and tourism industry luncheon held in Stillwater, MN to expand ongoing sustainability discussions in the St. Croix valley
• Student participation in national Recyclemania contest
• Hosted Synergy Green Communities Conference
• Received grant for pilot project for the UW System for composting food waste
• Launch of SCISCD website
• Presented SCUP Campus Sustainability Day webcast
• Facilitated and supported formation of the Western Wisconsin Initiative for Sustainable Communities (WWISC)
• First biomass test in campus heating plant
• Switch to trayless food service in UC
• UWRF reps assist in RFMU in forming community-wide Powerful Choices group
• Replacement ceiling panels in KFA building made with recycled materials
• Completion of AASHE STARS Pilot Program
• Construction of state-of-the-art Dairy Learning Center with environmentally friendly bedding and composting system
• New chillers installed to increase AC efficiency
• Purchase of electric vehicle for Student Affairs/UC
• Switch to Envirox “green” chemical cleaning products
• First issue of “Green Living Newsletter” by Res. Life

2009
• Student participation in national Recyclemania contest
• Switch to compostable food service items
• Earth Day/Week events held around campus
• Held first Local Food Fair
• Rain Garden designed and installed by students
• Purchased electric vehicle for campus mail delivery
• University Center receives a Facility Design Award of Excellence
• Offered online Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Management
• Held Comprehensive Campus Sustainability Plan workshop
• Campus Solar Site Assessment
• Hosted regional Campus Climate Action Plan workshop
• Completion of ACUPCC carbon footprint inventory
• Campus reaches 15% energy reduction goal set by State
• Launch of Green Careers Corner on Career Services Website
• Events and programs held for Campus Sustainability Day
• Students participated in 350.org International Day of Action
• Chancellor charged SWG to create CAP and SCCP

2010
• Hosted Institutional Food Market informational meeting at RF Public Library
• Hosted Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability (UMACS) Biennial Conference
• Student participation in national Recyclemania contest
• Rain Barrel installed
• Earth Day events held
• First students enrolled in SCISCD Fellows Program
• Held SWG workshop for completion of campus sustainability plans
• Draft of Climate Action Plan
• Draft of Sustainable Campus~Community Plan
• iRock Living Learning Community begins in May Hall
• Wind energy feasibility study launched
• UWRF receives A- on Green Report Card

2011
• Three new SCISCD Fellows working on campus and community projects
• Hosted first regional faculty leadership in sustainability workshop
• Earth Week activities held
• Hosted campus faculty workshop: "Sustainability Across the Curriculum"
• Thermal solar panel installed on RDI building
• UWRF tops list of "System" universities for energy efficiency
• LEED Silver certified construction began on new residence hall
• Sustainability Working Group moved from ad hoc to university committee status

2012
• Received STARS® Silver Rating from AASHE
• Passed Sustainability Proclamation with City and School District
• Co-hosted regional food hub workshop
• Developed definitions of Sustainability and Sustainability Research for campus
• Second solar panel installed on RDI building
• Held second "Sustainability in the Curriculum" workshop for faculty
• Rain gardens installed around South Fork Suites
• Completed drafts of Climate Action Plan and Sustainable Campus~Community Plan

UC Exterior Snow

mann valley farm

UC Electric Vehicle

Rain Garden