News Source: 
Huffington Post
June 13, 2013

Sustainability delivers a host of significant business and financial benefits to higher education. In addition to offering tremendous educational and environmental advantages to a college or university, it also makes sound economic sense -- especially with resources tightly constrained for the foreseeable future.

At the University of Washington (UW), we've implemented many conservation projects over the years that have embraced smarter processes and technologies for irrigating our grounds and powering our infrastructure.

Last year, we saved $12 million as a result of our water and energy conservation efforts. We also saved $1.2 million in 2012 by diverting waste from landfills -- and recycling and composting. That's hard money it would have taken to dump trash. These savings from sustainability can have an impact on the affordability of our education. If it comes down to spending $12 million more on utility bills versus student scholarships, for instance, the choice is pretty clear-cut. And, if saving $12 million on energy and water outlays can help us keep tuition costs in line, that's good business sense.

Sustainability can affect college affordability in another way, too.

When we cost out the development and construction of our facilities, for example, we recognize that sustainable building features -- like gel in the walls that either holds in heat or pushes it out, depending on the temperature -- will ultimately save energy and money. This means that we can hold down costs over time.


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