The University of Alaska Anchorage Office of Sustainability's core services, exclusive of recycling, include outreach and education to students, staff and faculty; gathering and compiling data on UAA's sustainability efforts and reporting those to the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); partnering with internal and external entities to promote sustainability efforts and events; collaborating with student groups to support their sustainability efforts; aiding faculty in developing curricula that incorporates sustainability concepts into teaching; identifying sustainability research; encouraging reductions in waste and use of resources and energy; and promoting alternative means of transportation.
Recycling is a gateway to sustainability as its most visible aspect and the service most people think of when asked about sustainability. The core service of UAA's recycling program are gathering, sorting and processing recycling materials. UAA employs students to provide these services to the campus community. Items recycled include paper, cardboard, certain plastics (those that are accepted for recycling in Anchorage), glass, aluminum and steel cans, batteries, and vegetable waste from the Commons.
UAA strives to build and maintain sustainable models for northern universities (and communities) through research, action, and collaboration. Students will encounter significant issues in their lifetimes, including water use, food security and climate change. Sustainability focuses on social justice, economic soundness and environmental wisdom; thinking systemically. When students think holistically, in terms of systems and interconnections among different disciplines, they are better able to anticipate unintended consequences and adapt to change. Most futurists agree that sustainability will become a necessary component of all disciplines in the future.
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Office of Sustainability is building a future for UAA and the Great Land through environmentally wise, economically sound, and socially responsible actions.