Our Sustainability

plant grow
plastic in water

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is development in which humans and nature can exist in harmony without compromising the needs of present and future generations. Sustainability includes:

  • defining operations to reduce our carbon footprint through energy efficiency, conservation, and process optimization
  • lessen and limit the impacts of the built environment on natural systems through low impact design, integrated design management, system optimization
  • incorporating efficient and conscious ways of handling materials including reducing amount of materials, reusing materials, and recycling materials
  • providing transportation options to reduce commuting emissions
  • educating current generations and training the next generation


What is the latest news about VCCS sustainability and conservation efforts?

Governor Ralph Northam signed Executive Order Seventy-Seven aimed at reducing Virginia’s reliance on single-use plastics, which pollute waterways, harm fish and wildlife, and take up space in landfills. The order puts the Commonwealth on a path to eliminate most single-use plastics at state agencies, colleges, and universities, imposing a near-term ban on several common, but unnecessary disposable plastics and requiring the phase out of other items by 2025.

Read the governor’s release in its entirety: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2021/march/headline-893985-en.html


Our Goals

Reduce VCCS carbon footprint and educate future generations about environmentally sustainable policies and practices. Accomplish this through a combination of projects and initiatives spanning campus operations, academics, workforce training, college community behavior, external engagement and community outreach.

  • Incorporate environmental considerations into all aspects of planning, contracting, operations and education.
  • Make a concerted effort to progressively reduce overall environmental impact — measured by reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Educate about sustainability and provide green jobs training across the Commonwealth.


Consider alternatives to single-use plastic in your daily life. If there is no alternative, remember the 3 R’s – Reduce, Re-use, & Recycle.


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