Sustainability @ VWU

A student collects algae from a bioretention basin outside the Greer Environmental Sciences Center.

Virginia Wesleyan University is not just talking about the importance of sustainability issues—the University is actively greening its campus and taking action to become a more environmentally-friendly place.

Just driving on campus, you get the feeling that the environment is important to Virginia Wesleyan with its wide-open spaces, green fields, wild flowers, and bluebird and bat boxes for nesting. It's not uncommon to see a family of raccoons or Canadian Geese making themselves at home on campus.

With the creation of the Environmental Sustainability Council (ESC) came the development of a more aggressive campus recycling program and the refinement of campus building and business policies and procedures. In conducting campus audits, the ESC found that the University had already been environmentally conscious in many areas.

The grass is greener at VWU

The Virginia Wesleyan University community is dedicated to a greener campus and a greener world. The ongoing sustainability efforts of the University's faculty, staff and students reflect a larger commitment to ethical conduct and social responsibility through environmental stewardship and education.

Virginia Wesleyan has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for its sustainability practices. VWU has repeatedly been selected by The Princeton Review as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada and profiled in its Guide to Green Colleges.

Come see for yourself

Wesleyan's beautiful 300-acre park-like campus is an oasis of trees, open fields and flowers that also happens to be a designated bird sanctuary and the home of an old-growth beech forest. You can find bat and bluebird houses, beekeeping boxes and even an eco-friendly worm farm on the University grounds.

The 44,000-sq.-ft. Greer Environmental Sciences Center (GESC) provides unprecedented opportunities for students and fosters regional collaboration with organizations such as the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. The Center features sophisticated indoor and outdoor learning spaces that promote hands-on experiences, interactive learning, and interdisciplinary research.

The GESC achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification for compliance within a rigorous rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) by proving measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in energy efficiency, material choice, water efficiency and savings, and site enhancement. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

In addition, VWU was honored as a Conservationist of the Year by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation at the 2018 DC on a Half Shell event in Washington, D.C. VWU, along with Washington College, was recognized for leadership and commitment to educating the next generation of Chesapeake Bay leaders.

Virginia Wesleyan University has also advanced to the top tier Model Level status in the Elizabeth River Project's River Star Business program. The Elizabeth River Project is an independent non-profit that works with partner organizations to restore the Elizabeth River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.

Virginia Wesleyan is committed to waste-reduction, recycling, energy efficiency, green building practices, composting and other earth-friendly landscaping practices, promotion of public transportation and much more. Many faculty/student research projects integrate learning and community service for the betterment of the planet.