Client Success Story: Radford University
Located in Radford, Virginia, Radford University is a comprehensive public university of over 10,000 students that has received national recognition for many of its undergraduate and graduate academic programs, as well as its sustainability initiatives.
With a strong commitment to integrating sustainable practices into all aspects of their campus operations, they engage students across the curriculum to learn, discover, and contribute to positive current and future environmental solutions.
One of these admirable solutions has been their recent reaffirming commitment to the University’s pursuit of net carbon neutrality. In November 2020, Radford University’s President Brian Hemphill signed their Carbon Commitment, which recognizes the increasing pace and detrimental impacts of climate change—and the need for colleges and universities to exercise leadership in addressing the problem. At the core of the Commitment is the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2040 and to integrate sustainability and climate action into the university’s curriculum and culture.
To strengthen efforts towards this commitment, a Task Force on Sustainability was officially formed to enhance cross-campus collaboration and to develop partnerships and strategies for advancing sustainability and achieving net carbon neutrality. This specially-formed Task Force team consists of 13 faculty, staff, and student members from Finance, Facilities, Admissions, Sustainability, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and University Services; all of which have the agency to develop a sustainability and climate action plan that permeates University culture, trains students to be sustainability leaders and demonstrates that achieving carbon neutrality is possible for all types of institutions.
“Since bottled water isn’t going anywhere, we aimed to possibly outshine it with another option – refilling…I experienced Fill It Forward at a conference and thought that it might be the hook we needed at Radford University.” – Josh Nease, Sustainability Manager at Radford University
Within their climate change action plan initiatives, tackling single-use disposable plastic bottles was one of Radford’s ways to reduce or eliminate carbon emissions and their overall environmental footprint associated with plastic waste. “Since bottled water isn’t going anywhere, we aimed to possibly outshine it with another option – refilling,” shared Josh Nease, Sustainability Manager at Radford University. “We have bottle filling stations at nearly every water fountain on campus that are well used, but we weren’t sure how to break into the “bottled water” crowd. I experienced Fill It Forward at a conference and thought that it might be the hook we needed at Radford University.”
Nease initiated and implemented our Fill it Forward programming in the fall of 2019, which inspires students to scan their reusable water bottles with our Fill it Forward app while simultaneously helping to fund giving projects around the world. This program soon proved to be an exciting engagement tool that could potentially bring new people into sustainability – not only through creating an environmental and beneficial campus atmosphere but also through uplifting the social dimension of sustainability by way of helping communities gain access to clean water, hygiene, sanitation and education.
We are deeply inspired by Radford University’s students and employees for their passionate dedication towards reaching the campus’ goal of net carbon neutrality. While our Fill it Forward programming isn’t a complete solution for campus-wide sustainability, Radford’s implementation of our products and technology to help track their environmental impact as it contributes to their overarching Carbon Commitment is an excellent model of how campuses can start to make real change for our planet and the people on it.
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Radford University's Impact