Campus Policies

Sustainability Policy 2100 

The University encourages a diverse campus culture that harmonizes UNM’s sustainable goals of environmental protection, social equity, and economic opportunity within the context of its education, research, and public service missions. The University aims to improve performance in all areas of operations, in order to meet the needs of current generations without compromising the prospects of future generations. As a demonstration of this commitment, the University is an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Colleges and universities have the unique ability to not only incorporate the values of sustainability into all aspects of operations, but they are also positioned to educate and prepare future leaders, employers, and workers in sustainable values and practices that are critical to the future of society and the environment. The University will build a campus culture of sustainability that addresses the three key components: environmental protection, social equity, and economic opportunity with involvement from its three primary stakeholder groups: students, faculty, and staff.

The intention of UNM's Sustainability Policy 2100 is to maintain healthy relationships throughout the network of interactions that satisfy the basic needs of health, shelter, food, and transportation. The policy adopts the Principle of Holism, in which the system as a whole determines how the parts behave. The system includes physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, and cultural elements.

Climate Action Plan 

The University of New Mexico is committed to reducing its energy usage and impact on the environment. President David J. Schmidly signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in June 2007, committing UNM to carbon neutrality. Though UNM had already initiated a number of carbon-emission reduction initiatives, this commitment was a bold move to place UNM at the forefront of climate and sustainability leadership in the 21st Century. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) is an initial attempt at formulating a strategic action plan and mapping the reduction of the Albuquerque campus 2006 emissions by 80% by the year 2030.

The recommended measures, which combined would eliminate a minimum of 70% of the Albuquerque campus 2006 emissions by 2030, are as follows:

  • Recognize the need and act to promote a community that closes resource loops and encourages cooperative green businesses;
  • Establish a phased 20-30 megawatt renewable energy system on UNM’s roofs to provide electricity;
  • Install smart grid technology to decrease and streamline UNM’s electricity demand;
  • Commit to moving commuters out of cars and into mass transit, onto bicycles, or onto feet;
  • Exceed Architecture 2030's guidelines and phase in carbon neutral new and renovated buildings;
  • Establish a Revolving Loan Fund to capture and reuse savings and earnings from sustainability projects to fund future sustainable projects.

UNM has stepped up to the plate and has the capacity to use its influence as an anchor institution to promote climate-action and sustainability on a regional scale. At the same time, it has the potential to drastically reduce its long-term energy and resource costs while improving the well-being of its community members. Enacting carbon neutrality is a long-term strategic interest and in the best interest of the University and the climate.