Winthrop University: Office of Sustainability - Facilities & Operations - Other Sustainable Initiatives

Sustainable Initiatives

  • Winthrop earned the 2021 distinction through the Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.   This is an annual recognition and provides opportunities for the campus community to learn more about our trees and tree care.  The Winthrop University Campus Tree Plan was developed in 2016 and revised in 2022 to define a long range plan that strategically develops policies, procedures, and practices that will be used in planting, protecting, maintaining, and removing trees that ensure a safe, attractive, and sustainable tree campus.
  • The Winthrop campus provides many opportunities to introduce visitors, students, staff, and faculty to nature.  Go to PlantsMap for an interpretive tree hike and to learn what plants are contained in our different theme gardens. 
  • Energy conservation practices eliminated incandescent lights used on campus.  Energy use tracking allows Winthrop to respond to inefficient consumption of energy while identifying strategies for reducing costs.
  • Water conservation practices include, but not limited to, low flow toilets (campus-wide), low flow shower heads, low flow faucet aerators, etc.
  • In 2004, the university undertook a comprehensive inventory of the chemicals used on campus and evaluated their potential environmental impact. This inventory revealed that many cleaners on campus were chlorine based. In addition, there were five different general purpose cleaners and seven different glass cleaners used on campus. We realized that it was important to change to cleaning chemicals that were not only safer to the people using them, but also to those people living or working in the spaces where these chemicals are used.   Green cleaners approved for used on Winthrop's campus are Green Seal Certified and exhibit the following characteristics per GS-37 Standard: 
    • Biodegradable
    • Dye free
    • Ingredients added as fragrances must be identified on the MSDS sheet
    • Low or no VOCs
    • No ingredients may be carcinogenic or a reproductive toxin
    • No more than .5% total phosphorus by weight
    • Non-toxic to aquatic life
    • Non-toxic to humans — oral, inhalation, or dermal
    • Packaging must be recyclable
    • Shall not be a skin sensitizer
    • Sold in highly concentrated form only
  • Organics cycling provides mulch that has been ground from the fallen trees and limbs picked up from around campus. This mulch has replaced the pine straw that was used in passed years. From the Web site of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC): "Mulching is a temporary soil stabilization erosion control method where materials such as grass, hay, wood chips, wood fibers, or straw are placed on the soil surface. In addition to stabilizing soils, mulching enhances the absorption of water by the soil, reduce evaporation losses, regulate soil temperatures, and reduce the speed of storm water runoff over an area.

Last Updated: 3/6/23