Bringing the Future Into Focus
Outlined in the 2020 Sustainability Strategic Plan are two overarching goals, supported by measurable objectives and tactics, that will propel us forward in our sustainability endeavors at Wake Forest.
The following five sections outline the goals and outcomes of the university’s first Sustainability Strategic Plan. These goals were generated collaboratively by stakeholders across campus and garnered the support of the offices responsible for leading the implementation. Though several tactical implementation targets were identified in conjunction with each goal, members of the Wake Forest community were encouraged to develop creative solutions to meeting the goals within their areas of influence.
The time period for implementing these goals was academic year 2012/13 to academic year 2014/15.
These initial 2012 goals established a starting point for efficiency in the built environment that Facilities and Campus Services has since far surpassed. Efficiency investments likes retrofits to lighting, upgrades to on-site utility generation, and the addition of solar thermal heating for domestic hot water are all part of an efficiency gain trajectory that resulted in energy savings and related greenhouse gas reductions of nearly 30% by the end of 2019.
What’s Next: Though our campus footprint has grown by 44% since 2007 to over 5.2 million gross square feet of built space, our energy intensity per square foot continues to steadily decline. With a 30% reduction in total carbon equivalents from operations since 2007, Wake Forest is on track with the Paris Climate Accord to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.
Complementing Wake Forest’s commitment to culinary excellence, the Eat with Purpose campaign is a hallmark of Deacon Dining. This framework promotes fueling one’s body with the macro and micro nutrients it needs to perform– placing an emphasis on an abundance of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and plant proteins.
We started with great-tasting, high quality foods, moved into Eating with Purpose, and transitioned easily to serving less meat that is of a higher quality. A win-win-win. Our plant-forward dining committee has brought passionate students together to educate their peers on the benefits of a plant-forward diet.