Reporting System

Progress Report for Salisbury University

Submitted on Jan. 29, 2013; Last updated on June 7, 2013

The Progress Report is intended to help signatories assess and track progress toward the goals outlined
in their Climate Action Plans and to share that progress with their stakeholders and the general public.

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General Statement of Progress

Since Salisbury University President Janet Dudley-Eshbach signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, the campus has grown physically while keeping its carbon footprint in check. From 2008-2012, SU has received U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver or Gold certification for two newly constructed academic buildings, a new residence-retail complex housed in the largest building on campus, and four renovated traditional residence halls. Four of these buildings are climate controlled, in total or in part, by geothermal systems.

In 2010, SU released a plan to reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Many of the efforts in the plan built on SU’s ongoing sustainability commitment, including its 2006 partnership with Pepco Energy Services, Inc. on campus-wide energy conservation measures expected to total more than $5.3 million in savings by 2021—a plan lauded by the Maryland Board of Public Works. Through the partnership, PEPCO replaced many of SU’s lighting, plumbing and HVAC fixtures with more energy-efficient models. With renovations making many of SU’s buildings more carbon-friendly since then, the University has widened its scope to focus on vehicle emissions. Initiatives have included replacing many cars in SU’s motor pool fleet with hybrid fuel models, adding more bike racks and partnering with the City of Salisbury to create a bike lane on one of the most popular routes to the University to encourage students to cycle instead of drive, creating a shared ride program to promote carpooling, and installing what are believed to be the Eastern Shore’s first public electric vehicle charging stations.

In the classroom, SU established an official Environmental Studies Department in 2012. Since 2010, Salisbury students have won five coveted U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunity fellowships. For several years, those with environmental interests have been able to study and reside together through SU’s Living Learning Community Green Floor. The Student Government Association hosts annual celebrations for Earth Week and Campus Sustainability Day, and recently proposed a mandatory student sustainability fee that would assist with “green” efforts. Other student organizations such as the Smart Growth Club and Gulls Going Green promote sustainability to SU and the surrounding community by hosting public events including environmental speakers and film screenings. Students also have volunteered their time to help create and maintain organic gardens on and off campus.

SU also has made great strides in waste management. In 2012, the campus signed an agreement with Blue Hen Organics that allows 100 percent of food waste (including paper products) from SU’s dining hall to be composted into a soil enhancement product used by area farmers and the University’s Horticulture Department. The effort helps keep some 300 tons out of local landfills annually and allowed SU to recycle more than 50 percent of its total waste for the first time since its recycling program began in 1990.

Other initiatives have included installing water bottle filling stations throughout campus to encourage students to drink from reusable water bottles instead of buying bottled water and converting washers and dryers in SU’s traditional residence halls to high-efficiency models. Many beyond the campus have taken notice. In addition to earning local and state “green” honors, SU has been named among the most environmentally responsible universities nationwide by The Princeton Review, which has included Salisbury in its Guide to Green Colleges for four consecutive years.

GHG Emissions & Reduction Targets

Climate Neutrality Target Date: 2050
Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target Target Date Baseline*
15% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2012 relative to baseline emissions in 2005
25% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2015 relative to baseline emissions in 2005
30% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2020 relative to baseline emissions in 2005
50% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2025 relative to baseline emissions in 2005
100% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2050 relative to baseline emissions in 2005
[click to view Climate Action Plan - Salisbury University Climate Action Plan 2010]

GHGs summary

GHGs for Salisbury University
Reporting Year Gross Emissions Net Emissions Full Time Enrollments Total Bldg. Sq. Ft. [action]
2005 26696.0 26678.0 6277.0 1444989.0 [ view ]
2008 26441.0 26413.62 7074.0 1444989.0 [ view ]
2010 25679.0 24841.62 7747.0 1871731.0 [ view ]
2011 27868.0 26672.62 7716.0 1889463.0 [ view ]
2012 27003.0 24650.62 7881.0 2206748.0 [ view ]
2013 28341.0 22420.62 7861.0 2206748.0 [ view ]
2014 28086.0 21613.62 7879.0 2209921.0 [ view ]
2015 29947.0 19405.62 7855.0 2132758.0 [ view ]
  • Change in GHG gross emissions


  • Change in GHG emissions per 1000 sq.ft. building space


  • Change in GHG emissions per full time enrollment (FTE)


Education, Research, & Community Engagement


  • How is your institution making climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students?

    One way that Salisbury University provides experiential learning opportunities related to the environment and sustainability is through the “Green” Living Learning Community, which is open to all first year students. Although many are pursuing conflict analysis and dispute resolution, environmental studies, or geography, the community is open to all students interested in an eco-friendly world. Required courses focus on the environment, and extra-curricular activities include kayaking on the local waterways, meeting area environmental experts and cultivating SU’s campus garden.
    In addition, there are a number of University-sponsored clubs and organizations focused on the climate and environment: Students can choose to participate in the Environmental Student Association/Gulls Going Green, Smart Growth, Outdoor Club, and Bio Environs.

  • Education methods in use

  • Does your institution offer an undergraduate degree program(s) related to climate change/sustainability?

    Environmental Studies
    Geography Environmental/Land Use Planning Track

  • Does your institution offer a graduate degree program in climate change/sustainability?



  • Does your institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts?



  • If applicable, how is your institution expanding research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality research?

    Currently, there is not a program/process in place to expand climate neutrality research.

  • Does your institution have a program to encourage student climate and or sustainability research?

    Research award program is managed by the University Sustainability Committee.

  • Does your institution have a program to encourage faculty climate and or sustainability research?

    The Henson Challenge is a fund created through cost savings from sustainability efforts

Community Engagement

  • How is your institution expanding community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality?

    The Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative (ESRGC) provides access to geographic information system (GIS) technology, data, technical support, and training to the local governments of Maryland's Eastern Shore. The ESRGC is an outreach entity of Salisbury University, and is a joint effort between the Mid-Shore Regional Council, the Tri-County Council of the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland and the University. Current projects include Critical Area Boundary Mapping and Flood Vulnerability Analysis. One focus of the Edward H. Nabb Research Center provides resources related to biological, environmental and ecological work. Wicomico Creekwatchers monitors 25 sites throughout the Wicomico River system, collecting samples from Wicomico tributaries and ponds.

  • Does your institution participate in community climate change and or sustainability partnerships?

    Partnered with Bike SBY and the City of Salisbury to enhance bicycle paths in the area surrounding SU

  • Has your institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance your goal of climate neutrality?


Energy & Finances

Energy Efficiency Projects

  • Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects planned, but not yet implemented:


  • Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects completed since signing the ACUPCC:


  • Number of buildings that have received a green building certification since signing the ACUPCC:


  • Number of green buildings planned or scheduled for completion in the next 2 years:


  • For all buildings, the green building certification/rating used is:


Renewable Energy

  • Annual output (in kWhs) for each renewable energy system utilized by Salisbury University

    • Annual renewable energy purchased: 4185824 kWh

Financial Data

  • Has your Climate Action Plan and/or related sustainability efforts saved your institution money so far, e.g. by reducing operational expenses?


  • Amount spent on CAP projects:


  • Estimated amount saved to date from implementing your CAP projects:


  • Additional information or context to support expected savings:

    Energy performance contract and LEED silver for New construction and major renovations.
  • Additional information on secured outside funding:

    self funded
finance methods...
  • Financing Methods utilized for Mitigation or Renewable Energy Projects:
    • Efficiency Services Agreement (ESA)

Non-public data

This data is available to signatories with reporting system access.
"" fields in which no data was submitted have been omitted from this report