Lehigh is like a small city - we provide housing, transportation, green spaces, food and heating and cooling and more throughout the year. These operations impact the everyday lives of the students, faculty, and staff. Lehigh is implementing innovative, sustainable operational changes to increase efficiency, reduce emissions, and maximize capital investment. These changes are building a campus community for the 21st century and are enhancing the overall well-being of the institution as a whole. Long-term and short-term operational goals include waste management, food procurement, emissions reductions, fuel efficiency, sustainable building design and construction, natural ecosystem stewardship, responsible purchasing, and energy management.
At a Glance
Waste & Recycling
Lehigh recognizes the role that eliminating, reducing, reusing, and recycling serves in decreasing the consumption of virgin resources and enhancing the sustainability of campus operations and maintenance. In 2017, Lehigh diverted 51 percent of its waste from the waste stream through recycling, composting, and donating. The more Lehigh faculty, staff, and students reduce, reuse, and recycle, the more Lehigh contributes to a sustainable environment.
Lehigh is committed to supporting a healthy food system that not only supports environmental stewardship, but also respects human rights and facilitates campus involvement. For several years, Lehigh has been participating in the Real Food Challenge (RFC), a national campaign to encourage campuses to increase the ratio of food purchased from "conventional" to "real" food.
In Fall 2017, Lehigh implemented a university-wide Sustainable Purchasing Policy. This policy ensures that University personnel consider social and environmental responsibility as factors in their purchasing decisions.
From buses and bike-sharing to ridesharing and rental cars, Lehigh offers services that students, faculty, and staff can use and a system that they can rely on to get to events, classes, etc. Transportation & Parking Services are actively working on implementing changes that build a campus community for the 21st century.
Building and Land Use
Lehigh’s building and land use philosophy is a nod to our legacy and our historical character, while also taking into account connectivity and environmental stewardship. Lehigh has established standards that require all new and existing campus construction be built to USGBC LEED Silver (or equivalent) Standards.
Energy & Climate
Lehigh is actively working to increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions, and maximize capital investments in operations. By taking these actions, Lehigh will enhance the overall well-being of the university and community.