"Ecological footprinting will help us understand where we are at and where we need to go”
Furman University is a national liberal arts college based in South Carolina, USA which aims to be a sustainability leader in the education sector. Furman is actively involved in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education and its STARS programme which encourages colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.
Furman has been taking practical steps to reduce its carbon footprint, while also encouraging students to learn about sustainability and take action. It has been working on its 750 acre main campus to improve building standards, increase energy and water efficiency and promote local and organic food. All new construction and renovation must meet L.E.E.D. silver ratings or better.
The university now wants to understand its impact on wider resources, as well as carbon emissions. Best Foot Forward has tailored the Footprint Reporter tool to measure Furman’s ecological footprint so that it knows how to reduce overall consumption of resources and land.
Footprint Reporter will help Furman to understand the principles of ecological footprinting, create a baseline ecological footprint for measuring resource use reductions against, focus on those hotspot areas with the greatest impact and improve its data collection.
Best Foot Forward will provide training in the software by a remote link facility from the UK to the USA, enhancing the use of the tool and providing a number of students with hands-on experience of data input and reporting.
Brannon Andersen, Professor and Chair Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Furman University, said “Our major goal is to use Best Foot Forward’s Footprint Reporter to help us understand where the low-hanging fruit might be to reduce our consumption of resources, as well as reduce our carbon footprint. We have a number of ongoing initiatives (including at least 100 kW of solar on campus), and ecological footprinting will help us understand where we are at and where we need to go.”
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