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2009 News Releases

Longwood designated a Virginia Green site

August 6, 2009

Virginia Green

Longwood University is the first Virginia public college to have its entire campus, not just a specific building as is typically the case, designated a "Virginia Green" site in a statewide campaign to promote environmentally-friendly practices in the tourism industry.

The Virginia Green program, coordinated by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), recognizes a facility for being "committed to minimizing its environmental impacts by preventing pollution wherever feasible in its operations." Specifically, the designation recognizes "core activities" that include recycling and waste reduction, eliminating the use of styrofoam and reducing disposables, having plans for water efficiency and energy conservation, and supporting green events. Even though Longwood's Virginia Green designation falls under the Conference Centers category, it applies to the entire campus.

Longwood is listed on the Virginia Green web site under the Conference Centers link. Longwood officials learned July 22 that their application for Virginia Green designation had been approved. Those involved in obtaining the designation were Darlene Bratcher, director of Conferences and Scheduling; sustainability coordinator Kelly Martin; and Louise Waller, space planning and real property manager.

Virginia Green, which also involves the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) and the Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association, started in September 2006 with outreach to hotels, bed-and-breakfast inns, and other lodging facilities by the DEQ Office of Pollution Prevention. Standards are now in place or are being developed for all sectors of the hospitality industry. The Virginia Green network currently includes more than 300 participants, including convention and conference centers, restaurants, attractions, travel organizations and certified Virginia Green events.

The initiative is related to Executive Order 82, issued June 10 by Gov. Tim Kaine, which will significantly expand efforts to reduce the energy and environmental impact of executive branch agencies and institutions. This policy promotes energy- and water-efficient buildings, encourages reductions in employee travel and commuting, and will minimize the use of disposable materials.