Universities go green as an economic necessity

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Simone Skopek
Energy and Sustainability Services

As we networked among CFOs of universities at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) conference, we kept hearing that an institution’s environmental standing is an important consideration for many students in their choice of a university. We also learned that there has been a 17 percent reduction in endowments to colleges and universities, representing a second consecutive year of declines. Meanwhile, tuition revenues have also decreased – this year by 2.45 percent, while the need for support to financially disadvantaged students is at an all-time high due to unemployment in families. What all this means is that sustainability is rapidly becoming a point of interest and an economic necessity to CFOs, who are seeking creative and affordable sustainability measures to reduce their operating costs and attract students in order to help make up for declining endowments and enrollments.

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