Historically Black Fisk University in Nashville is the first institution to participate in a new Higher Education Institution Campus Sustainability Improvement program from Tennessee’s Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). Last year, Fisk created a Sustainability Action Plan that outlined ways to improve the campus’ environmental efforts and provide assistance to underserved groups in their community. These efforts align well with TDEC’s program goals making the university an ideal choice to be their first partner.
For the first phase of the program, TDEC gave the university 47 recycling bins, helped the institution secure a grant to start a composting program, and partnered the university with local environmental groups to educate the campus community about recycling and composting. The second phase will focus on making campus buildings more energy efficient and phase three will expand the program to other schools across the state of Tennessee.
Kendra Abkowitz, assistant commissioner for the office of policy and sustainable practices at the TDEC, stated, “This is a HBCU and that allows us to target sustainability efforts, specifically within a predominately minority population. Making sure we are equitably serving all Tennesseans is important to TDEC.”