Sustainability Recognitions & Successes

Catawba College is proud to share the successes and recognitions we have achieved from our sustainability efforts and commitment.

Carbon Neutrality

Catawba College is among the list of elite environmental colleges as the 13th nationwide and first certified institution in the Southeast to reach full carbon neutrality seven years ahead of its 2030 climate commitment. Second Nature, a non-profit organization working to accelerate climate action in and through higher education, confirmed Catawba College became the 13th college nationwide and first institute of higher learning in the Southeast to meet the group’s high standards for determining carbon neutrality.

Gold STARS Rating For Sustainability Achievement

Catawba College has earned a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability work from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.

Green Power Partner

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized Catawba College as a Green Power Partner. By using green power, Catawba is reducing its carbon footprint and supporting the transition to a clean energy future. Catawba College has 837 kilowatts of on-campus solar facilities, which produce a portion of its electricity. The College also has purchased Renewable Energy Credits from two North Carolina Solar Farms to cover the remainder of its power usage.

Bee Campus USA Affiliate

Catawba College has become an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. Catawba joins many other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators. Already faculty, staff, and students have worked together to study and create pollinator habitats with native plants. Catawba Environmental Stewards, a group of students working on a variety of environmental initiatives, planned and implemented several native pollinator gardens on campus.

The First to Add Solar Shelters

Catawba College advanced our efforts to be a model for sustainability by adding five new Haven solar shelters to our campus. This marks the first commercial delivery of the solar shelters in the United States and re-confirms the College’s commitment to a thriving, sustainable future.

Tree Campus Higher Education Recognition

Catawba College has been honored with a 2023 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation, reaffirming its commitment to creating a healthy environment on campus, according to the NC Forest Service.

2024 Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges

Catawba College was included in the 2024 Princeton Review Guide to Green Colleges. The guide features 522 schools. Catawba is noted for its exceptional programs, policies, and practices related to sustainability and the environment. This list highlights the schools dedicated to increasing and maintaining environmental programs and policies.

2023 Sustainable Campus Index

Catawba College has been recognized for its sustainability efforts in the 2023 Sustainable Campus Index. A publication from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, evaluated through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).

Level 4 in the Positive Impact Rating Edition 2024

Catawba College was recognized for its social impact and sustainability achievements when the Positive Impact Rating (PIR) results were launched on June 18th at the UN PRIME Global Forum. The Ketner School of Business at Catawba was one of 88 business schools from 30 countries worldwide that took part in the rating this year and achieved level 4, making it a “Transforming School” within the PIR.

Waterkeeper Alliance Partnership for Student Internships

Catawba College has partnered with the Waterkeeper Alliance to offer Catawba College students a unique internship opportunity. Based in New Bern, NC, The Waterkeeper Alliance Summer Boot Camp is a 10-day (paid) field internship program for a small (5-6 students) cohort of Catawba College students who are passionate about clean water rights, justice, and advocacy.

U.S. National Forest Partnership in North Carolina

Catawba College is excited to announce a new five (5) year partnership agreement with all U.S. Forest Service units in North Carolina - Croatan, Nantahala, Pisgah, and Uwharrie National Forests. These four units cover approximately one million acres and stretch from mountains to coast. National Forests include some of the most visited and iconic spots in North Carolina, such as Sliding Rock, Uwharrie National Recreation Trail, Roan Mountain, Cradle of Forestry, and Linville Falls.