Carbon Footprint




  • On Earth Day, 2008, President Martha Saunders signs the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
  • The facility operations and maintenance staff implement energy-saving strategies including time clocks, programmable thermostats and lighting controls.
  • The EcoEagle Bike program launches to encourage students to bike to campus instead of driving and provide all interested parties with a free bike, which must be returned at the end of each semester.


  • USM establishes and implements its Summer, Holiday and Spring Break Energy Curtailment Program, reducing building temperatures through the Building Management Systems to provide significant energy and emission savings.
  • The University also develops the EcoEagle Lug-A-Mug program, which allows individuals to purchase reusable bottles and refill them at a discounted cost to encourage waste reduction.
  • USM officials, dignitaries and students hold formal groundbreaking ceremonies for Century Park, the state’s first residential community to be LEED Gold Certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a standard created by the U.S. Green Building Council.


  • President Dr. Martha Saunders signs USM’s Climate Action Plan, incorporating more than 170 mitigation strategies, to enable the University to achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • USM ranks in the top 40% of 382 participating schools for collecting the highest gross tonnage of recyclables (119,660 pounds or 60 tons).
  • The University offers 35 courses related to sustainability and environmental awareness.
  • The Princeton Review’s 286 Green Colleges ranks Southern Miss one of the most environmentally responsible facilities in the nation and the only such recognized school in Mississippi.


  • The university's Century Park residential complex receives Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in September. The LEED certification was established by the U.S. Green Building Council and is verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.