I was reading the Daily Lobo this morning and on page three they had a story about the most recent University Green Report Card for the University of New Mexico.  The title of the story threw me for a moment, "UNM gets 'subpar' green grades" because according to the latest data, UNM's done really well for itself in the area of sustainability.  The most recent report gave UNM a "B," which was the same grade the university received last year (which was a letter grade up from the year before that). However, in this year's Green Report Card, you can still see some marked improvements at the university.  In the '09 report, there were three sections listed receiving a "C" - Food and Recycling, Green Buildings, and UNM's Investment Priorities.

In the '10 report (the one just released) all three of those grades improved (Food and Recycling even jumped to an "A" for the efforts made to reduce waste and use more local produce). And UNM received only one "C," this time in Student Involvement. I have to say that I was surprised at that, because the Lobo Growers Market has been very successful when it comes to campus, as has student interest in the Sustainability Studies program and the energy conservation discussions held by UNM's energy educators.

Another change from last year, UNM's Transportation rating dropped from an A to a B.  I'm wondering what criteria the selection committee used for that downgrade - UNM's introduced its first vegetable oil run vehicle this semester, and we have a successful bus pass program with the City of Albuquerque to provide UNM students, staff and faculty with free travel on city buses, in addition to the Zipcar program and the Lobo Bike bicycle sharing program, in addition to the regular shuttle buses offered throughout campus.

Governor Bill Richardson's Green Building executive order also received mention in the report card.  A few years back, Gov. Richardson signed an executive order mandating that new state government buildings meet LEED Silver standards.

You can see the complete report card for UNM here. It's also too bad that this isn't included in the Rio Grande Rivalry, because New Mexico State clocked in with a C- this year. ;)

- Benson