As a pillar of the University Strategic Plan, Towson University is committed to sustainable practices, responsible management and efficient use of all resources. We are dedicated to threading sustainability through all aspects of the campus experience. 

Committed to Action

As a signatory of the Second Nature Carbon Commitment, We Are Still In and the White House Act on Climate Pledge, TU is committed to reach carbon neutrality and continues to make great strides towards achieving its commitments and advancing sustainability. 

Explore OUr Commitments and Progress

Carbon Neutrality

TU is committed to achieving carbon neutrality and has reach a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewable Electricity 

TU purchases 100% renewable electricity. Learn more about our energy management work

Waste Minimization

The Maryland Recycling Act mandates a 30% recycling rate for all state agencies, with a goal of 55%. In 2023, TU achieved its highest recycling rate to date! Learn more about our waste minimization efforts.

Green Buildings

All new construction and renovations are designed to the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Standards or higher. There are currently 14 LEED certified buildings on campus.

Alternative Transportation 

TU has a goal to convert all passenger and light duty vehicles in the fleet to zero emissions vehicles and has a robust alternative transportation program that allows faculty, staff and students to reduce their commuting emissions.

Cool Foods

TU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through increased plant-based options and locally-sourced food in dining halls and at catered events. 

Sustainability Timeline

  • 2023
    • The Glen Arboretum is recognized as a Level II Accredited Arboretum.
    • TU wins its third national Campus Race to Zero Waste Education & Awareness Award. 
    • The Campus Move Out Yard Sale is recognized as a 2023 BTU Partnership Award recipient. 
    • TU achieves its highest recycling rate to date (55%).
  •  2022
    • TU is recognized as a bronze level Bike Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclists.
    • SGA establishes the Sustainability Fund to support sustainability initiatives.
    • The Sustainability Community of Practice is established with FACET.
  •  2021
    • Towson University is the first state host institution for the Global Dialog on Climate, Justice and the Green Recovery.
    • TU’s first annual Green Purchasing report to the Department of General Services highlights over a million dollars invested in environmentally preferable products.
    • TU includes “Sustain” as a pillar in its institutional Strategic Plan and integrates the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals into its Facilities Campus Master Plan 
    • TU opens its 12th LEED Certified Building. The university boasts over 1.5 million square feet, with over 1 million square feet certified as LEED Gold.
    • TU receives a score of 94 out of 99 from the Princeton Review Green Schools Assessment.
  •  2019
    • TU wins its second national RecycleMania (now Campus Race to Zero Waste) Waste Education and Awareness Award.
    • TU wins a regional Food Recovery Challenge Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.
    • TU reaches a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 2008 baseline year, 11 years ahead of 2030 scheduled milestone.
  •  2018
    • TU is recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus Higher Education designee.
    • TU begins to purchase 50% renewable energy and commits to procuring 100% by 2030.
    • The Maryland Department of Transportation awards TU a $600,000 grant to begin the design of the TU Neighborhood Bikeway.
  •  2017
    • TU wins national RecycleMania (now Campus Race to Zero Waste) award for its Waste Education and Awareness Campaign.
    • President Kim Schatzel renews TU’s commitment to climate leadership by becoming a signatory of America's Pledge, promising to the global community that Americans are fully committed to the global pact to reduce emissions and stem the causes of climate change.
  •  2016
    • TU opens the third Starbucks in the country to offer only compostable cups.
    • Over 4,000 solar panels are added to the University Union, the Union Garage, Barton House, Douglass House and the General Services Building.
  • 2015
    • TU is recognized by the League of American Cyclists as a Bike-Friendly University for the first time.
    • Interim President Timothy Chandler signs the White House Act on Climate Pledge, reinforcing the institution’s commitment to carbon neutrality.
  • 2014
    • Goats are used for the first time as a natural method for managing invasive species in The Glen woods.
    • TU reaches a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 2008 baseline year, 6 years ahead of 2020 scheduled milestone commitment.
  • 2013
    • TU releases its second Climate Action Plan and first Waste Minimization Plan.
    • 36 electric vehicle charging ports are added throughout the campus.
  • 2012
    • The Glen Arboretum establishes its first Board of Directors.
    • Campus Recreation introduces the bike loaner program.
  • 2011
    • The Office of Sustainability is established.
    • West Village Commons becomes the first LEED Gold-certified building on campus.
  • 2009
    • TU releases its first Climate Action Plan.
  • 2007
    • President Robert Caret signs the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
  • 2006
    • The Student Government Association passes Resolution 3, requesting the administration prioritize environmental initiatives.

Sustainability Metrics


Emissions Reduction


Recycling Rate


Renewable Electricity 

Contact Information

Office of Sustainability

General Services


Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 5:00pm

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