University of Portland is committed to living and acting sustainably. Attention to living sustainably requires us to actively be aware of the environmental, social and economic needs of our present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Please explore the links below for more information on the ways the University of Portland is working to live in and educate a sustainable community.
Sustainability Fund Associated Students of the University of Portland (ASUP), the student government, voted to allocate a portion of student activities fees to a “sustainability fund.” The aim of this fund is to assist the university in its progress toward environmental sustainability.
The University of Portland’s food service provider, Bon Appetit Management Company stresses local sourcing of food by contracting with local farmers whenever possible. On average, food travels 1,500 miles to one’s plate; not at the University of Portland. Enormous savings in gasoline for food transport are realized through this policy, which also supports small, local farms. The purchase of local foods – be it produce, meat, seafood, or cheese – supports sustainable regional economies and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by cutting down on long distance food transportation. Bon Appetit has also moved takeout boxes away from the food service counter in the Cove to encourage use of reusable/washable plates. The university has traded the use of plastic forks and spoons to ones based on potato starch (“spudware”) that biodegrade over time.
The University is carrying out the first phase of a greenhouse gas inventory for campus activities, focusing on off-campus travel by air (by sports teams, terms abroad, faculty, etc), our electric usage, and use of combustible fuels on campus.
Learn more: Contact UP expert Steve Kolmes, environmental science, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Portland has a strong paper recycling program, which is vital to preserving forests. The University is investing in double-sided printers and has furnished an extensive array of recycling bins throughout campus. The University also recycles many other reusable items, including plastics, glass, metals, cardboard, batteries, etc.
Learn more: Contact UP expert Sean Smith, Physical Plant Senior Technician, at email@example.com.
University President Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., is a charter signatory of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. The agreement has been signed by more than 290 university presidents and commits the University to establish a comprehensive plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Steps to reduce emissions will include the establishment of green policies for future campus construction projects, air travel policies that offset emissions, encouragement of public transportation, purchases of renewable energy resources, and encouragement of sustainability practices where the University’s endowments are invested. As part of the agreement, the University will provide periodic progress reports to other colleges and universities.
The University recently signed a contract to use FEMA funds to continue to plant the part of the Bluff that burned so dramatically a few years ago with native vegetation. There is significant water savings associated with use of native plantings that are naturally drought resistant. In addition, the University hopes to purchase and develop 80 acres of brownfield located on the Willamette River below the main campus. The University has been working with local and national entities on the possibility of this reclamation and sees incredible benefits for its own use, as well as that of neighbors and local residents.
The University owns a biodiesel processor used by students to convert food service waste vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel. Students aim to provide Physical Plant operations with fuel for use by campus vehicles and buildings.
The College Ecology Club (CEC) strives to increase environmental awareness on campus. Most major events organized by CEC are centered around outreach and education for the UP community. However, the club also facilitates participation in environmental events throughout Portland and the Pacific Northwest.
UP students have developed the Student Led Unity Garden (SLUG), a small organic garden on campus supported by various academic departments. Students grow heirloom varieties of plants and organic food for themselves and for University dining services.
Bike Rental & Bike Parking Recreational Services' Bike Shop rents bikes for free! Mountain, hybrid/urban, and road bikes; helmets and locks. Learn more: Bike Shop web page.
The University offers bike parking on campus. Locate a bike rack: open the interactive campus map, then select transportation and bike racks.
Transit Pass In cooperation with TriMet, the University offers transit ticket booklets and partially-subsidized transit passes to students, staff, and faculty. Passes are available for purchase at Public Safety.
The University offers a shuttle service from the University Pilot House to the New Seasons Market on the corner of N. Interstate and N. Rosa Parks Way. This service allows direct access to the Yellow line Max, which travels between Downtown Portland and Portland International Airport.
The University participates in this innovative car-sharing program. With Zipcar, the University of Portland is helping to reduce negative impacts on the environment and greater campus community while improving mobility options for all.