Sustainability by the Numbers

Sustainability efforts at URI, including multimillion-dollar upgrades to steam heat and lighting systems, have resulted in energy and cost savings and reduced environmental impacts. URI was selected as a 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School, Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee.

89BReduction in BTUs of steam heat used per year
26MReduction in pounds of CO2 emissions per year
11MKilowatt hours of energy saved per year
8–10%Savings in energy costs and reduced carbon emissions per year
30%Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
11LEED-certified buildings
1MSquare feet of LEED-certified building space
1MPlastic bottles kept from landfills by hydration stations*
20,800Pounds of compostable waste diverted from landfill
1,900Exterior lights replaced with efficient LED lamps and fixtures
2,600Gallons of waste cooking oil converted to biodiesel (in 2016)
30Degree programs (undergraduate and graduate) that include sustainability as a learning outcome
1000Gallons of gasoline saved by electric vehicle charging stations
50MGrants received for research and projects related to energy, sustainability, and climate (2013–17)

Solar Energy Initiative

The South Kingstown Solar Consortium’s (URI, South Kingstown, and Narragansett) three solar fields will produce renewable energy and economic benefits from selling energy back to the R.I. electrical grid. Projected benefits:

$1.2MNet metering credit savings URI will receive
750Homes can be powered by the energy our solar fields produce
1,500Cars’ fossil fuel consumption will be offset by our solar project
48K MWhrof electricity delivered to the R.I. energy grid per year

Other Initiatives

  • The Cupanion Fill It Forward program is encouraging and rewarding bottle refills to reduce plastic use and waste.
  • Improved campus shuttle system and RIPTA bus service are reducing the number of single-occupancy vehicles on campus.
  • A 2-mile extension will connect the O’Neill Bike Path to the Kingston Campus, making local bike commuting easier.

—Dave Lavallee

*Five-year total as of March 2018. Most data reported is since 2006.