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BSU Awards

for Efforts Relating to Sustainability

2012 AASHE STARS Program Gold Rating -- Ball State University recently was recognized for its sustainability achievements by a North American higher education organization dedicated to supporting environmentally responsible practices. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) awarded Ball State a Gold rating as part of its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. STARS, as it is known, is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Ball State's Gold rating places it among the highest-rated institutions tracked by AASHE. Last year, the university achieved a Silver rating.

2012 Excellence in Integration Award -- The International Sustainable Campus Network  (ISCN)
Ball State University was honored for its across-the-board efforts at environmental stewardship by an international organization that includes some of the world’s most prestigious colleges and universities.  The International Sustainable Campus Network named Ball State the winner of its first “Excellence in Integration Award,” recognizing the exceptional breadth and depth of the university’s sustainability programs.  The "Excellence in Integration Award" recognizes single projects or broad initiatives that have successfully integrated specific sustainability into the culture, community and/or operations of a campus.  More information about the award can be found at the ISCN website.

2010 Technology Innovator of the Year Award -- The Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC)
The HEC recognized Ball State University with this award during its third annual Green Policy Forum on November 6th, 2010.  In 2009, Ball State University broke ground on a new ground-source geothermal district heating and cooling system that, once completed, will be the largest district system in the country.  The project will serve as a national model, demonstrating that district geothermal is a feasible and economically viable option. When complete, the system will replace four coal-fired boilers and save the university significant operating costs — not to mention reduce its carbon footprint by approximately half.   The project is stimulating jobs in Indiana as well, creating work for 44 firms in 15 counties from Fort Wayne to Evansville. More information about the project can be found at

2010 Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership - Second Nature
Ball State University receives Second Nature’s 1st Annual Climate Leadership Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership. Award recipients were recognized at the 4th Annual American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Summit in Denver, CO on October 12th, 2010.

2007 Lugar Energy Patriot Award -  U.S. Senator Richard Lugar

2002 'Best Practice' Sustainability Award - Sustainabile Buildings Industry Council (SBIC)
The SBIC announced the winning entries in its 2002 "Best Practice" Sustainability Awards program. "Best Practice" Sustainability Awards recognize innovation and excellence in market-ready green building and building product design. Ball State was awarded the "Best Practice" award for 2002 in Category 5, "Sustainable Design Curriculum" for its Clustered Minors Program.

2000 Indiana Governor's Award for Excellence in Recycling - State of Indiana Governor's Office
An Indiana Governor's Award for Excellence in Recycling was presented in 2000 to Ball State University. BSU's Facilities Planning and Management personnel included specifications for recycling on campus renovation projects. At the time the largest single stream item recycled was concrete / brick followed by other construction / demolition debris.

BSU Recognitions

for Efforts Relating to Sustainability

2015 Guide to 353 Green Colleges - The Princeton Review
Ball State also made the "Top 50 Green Colleges" ranking list in the guide.

2014 Guide to 332 Green Colleges - The Princeton Review
Ball State University is listed for the fourth straight year.

2014 Sierra Club's Cool Schools - Ball State Ranked #81

2014 Teaching Sustainability:  100 Colleges Doing "Green" Right - Best College Rankings, Top Online University Ratings & Reviews cited Ball State for its sustainability efforts.  The site states, "The colleges in this collection not only do a great job of teaching their students sustainable practices, they also work in their communities, and spread information via the web through their sustainability-focused websites. These institutions deserve credit for the work they already do, and encouragement to continue deepening their commitment to sustainability."

2013 Sierra Club's Cool Schools - Ball State Ranked #72

2012 Guide to 322 Green Colleges - The Princeton Review
Recognized for the third year, Ball State is the first public institution in Indiana to be listed among the most environmentally responsible colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada.

2011 Guide to 311 Green Colleges  - The Princeton Review
For the second straight year BSU has been recognized in this manner.
Click Here for the BSU press release containing further information.

2010 Guide to 286 Green Colleges - The Princeton Review
Quote - Ball State University’s Council on the Environment was established to “promote the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of ecological systems that sustain life” on campus and in the surrounding area. Each university department is required to submit a unit-level sustainability plan outlining what it will do to help the university achieve its strategic sustainability goals. In 2009, BSU’s Board of Trustees approved a “geothermal energy solution to the university’s long-term central heating and cooling needs.” In a two-phase, 10-year project, the university will convert its outmoded boiler system to an environmentally-friendly geothermal system that will save the university up to $2 million a year in operating costs and cut Ball State’s carbon footprint almost in half. In keeping with BSU’s sustainability makeover, LEED Silver certification is required for all new construction on campus. Staff members in the career center act as liaisons to departments offering majors related to green jobs. In addition, “the center has a large collection of print and electronic resources, lists of professional associations and societies, and programming including an annual career day for internships and professional positions in natural resources and environmental management.” BSU is also home to the Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES), “an interdisciplinary academic support unit focused on issues related to energy and resource use.” The university offers the CERES Research Fellows Program, in which the faculty is encouraged to secure “buy-out” time to engage in energy-related research as an extension of their disciplinary expertise. In many cases, students have assisted with this research.

2009 AASHE Digest - Annual Review of Sustainability in Higher Education

2009 Sierra Club's Cool Schools - Coal Schools: Filth is Flunking

2009 Campus Sustainability Case Study - National Wildlife Federation, Campus Ecology Program

2009-2011 College Sustainability Report Card - Sustainable Endowments Institute

2008 KIWI Magazine's Green College Report - "Fifty schools that will help your kids save the planet".

2008 Campus Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education - National Wildlife Federation, Campus Ecology Program

2002-2007 Campus Ecology Yearbooks - National Wildlife Federation, Campus Ecology Program

2001 NWF Campus Ecology Best Practices Institution - National Wildlife Federation, Campus Ecology Program
In a 2001 publication of the Campus Environmental Report Card prepared by Princeton Survey Research Associates under contract to Campus Ecology at the National Wildlife Federation, Ball State was cited as a Best Practices institution in the categories of "Doing More with Recycling, Solid Waste and Materials Flow", and "Leading Schools for Recycling 60% or more of total waste".

2001 'Best Practice Institution' - Second Nature
In a 2001 regional workshop sponsored by Second Nature, Boston MA, Ball State University was featured as a "Best Practices" institution for its Green-2 Committee implementation of the Talloires Declaration. The creation of the BSU Council on the Environment is one measure of success in this initiative.