October 16, 2017

A new account is now available for support from former students and friends of Texas A&M, the TAMU Sustainability Account. This account provides funds for the Texas A&M Office of Sustainability in its efforts to improve the environmental impact of campus operations.

The Office of Sustainability at Texas A&M University strives to make responsible stewardship an Aggie tradition. With the help of students, faculty and staff across campus as well as private donor support, that tradition is growing every day.

Texas A&M defines sustainability as the efficient, deliberate and responsible preservation of environmental, social and economic resources to protect our earth for future generations of Texas Aggies, the Texas A&M community and beyond. Even before the Office of Sustainability began its initiatives in 2008, students were already active in sustainability efforts through numerous projects, competitions and student organizations such as The Big Event, Engineers for a Sustainable World, One Love and Texas A&M Replant, just to name a few. More than 31,000 Aggie students devoted 6 million hours of community service to support efforts like these in the last year.

  • Earth Day

    Environmental Health & Safety educates students about being friendly to our environment with an Earth Day display on campus.

  • Grounds & Facility Maitenance

    The SSC Grounds Department self-composts 100% of green waste produced to use on campus.

  • Texas A&M Recycling

    Thanks to the many recycling bins placed around campus, Texas A&M recycles an average of 60 tons of material each month.

  • Sustainability Breakfast

    The Office of Sustainability hosts an annual breakfast to recognize progress toward sustainability and the accomplishments of stakeholders.

To supplement this type of student outreach, the Office of Sustainability has worked to enhance the culture of sustainability at Texas A&M through a variety of educational topics such as energy, recycling and environmental health. Kelly Wellman ’95, director of sustainability, said the office aims to add value to Texas A&M both today and in the future by efficiently managing financial, human and environmental resources.

“From an operational perspective, our goal often translates into providing efficient services,” said Wellman. “From educational and research perspectives, this means equipping students with the skills needed to solve global challenges and supporting faculty whose research innovations contribute to global good.”

The university’s initiatives range from recycling the cardboard, paper, aluminum and cooking oil from the university’s dining services to implementing the use of energy-efficient lightbulbs on campus and hybrid vehicles in the university’s fleet. Thanks to the many recycling bins placed around campus, Texas A&M recycles an average of 60 tons of material each month.

Texas A&M also participates in the STARS program (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) to evaluate efforts on the College Station campus and pinpoint which areas need improvement. The Office of Sustainability files STARS reports on an annual basis.

“STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance,” said Wellman. “Texas A&M is rated as a ‘gold’ institution, which means we have earned at least 65 available points using the STARS assessment.”

The Office of Sustainability manages the Aggie Green Fund. The Aggie Green Fund is a grant-making organization for sustainability projects at Texas A&M University that empowers students, faculty and staff to take action and bring creative environmental improvements to campus. Past Aggie Green Fund projects have included installing exterior recycling bins, enhancing bike lanes around campus and installing water bottle filling stations to reduce the practice of purchasing and throwing away disposable containers.

  • Support Sustainability

    Former students and friends of Texas A&M can now contribute to the TAMU Sustainability Account, which provides funds for the Office of Sustainability in its efforts to improve the environmental impact of campus operations.

  • Texas A&M Office of Sustainability

    In March 2008, the Office of Sustainability was founded to enhance sustainability efforts and to create a culture of sustainability in Aggieland.

  • Sustainability in the Classroom

    According to the TAMU STARS Assessment, 82% of academic departments offer at least one sustainability course and/or include material on sustainability.

  • STAR in Sustainability

    Texas A&M ranks as a gold institution for its sustainability efforts, outranking several of its peer institutions such as the University of Texas at Austin, Duke University, Rice University, LSU, Baylor, Yale and Princeton, among others.

Bill Clark ’74, a chemical engineering graduate, believes that sustainability efforts are vital to allow Texas A&M to meet its goals of impacting the world.

“Texas A&M is a world leader in many areas that benefit humankind,” Clark said. “However, we have a lot of work to do when it comes to reusing, recycling and using renewable energy for our buildings and transportation. For example, the university has some of the finest scientists in the world performing research on sustainability issues, but they are carrying out this great work in buildings that are largely powered by non-renewable energy.”

To advance campus sustainability efforts, Clark recently donated funds to the TAMU Sustainability Account, which provides support to the Texas A&M Office of Sustainability. Additionally, the account now accepts donations from other former students and friends who are passionate about sustainability.

Clark said his motivation to act came from his parental instincts. “A parent who courageously preserves and protects the environment is protecting their children just as a parent would prevent a stranger from entering their home to harm their child,” Clark said. “It’s about our kids—it’s about their future.”

The TAMU Sustainability Account has a set of guidelines for the use of its funds. This includes support for re-use and recycling programs and initiatives that can reduce pollution; increase renewable energy for buildings and transportation; help the university’s many branches achieve compliance with environmental standards.

"Because the Aggie Green Fund is a vehicle for environmental improvements, the TAMU Sustainability Account can extend the scope of resources and potentially provide funding for larger-scale projects that are not currently achievable such as investing in alternative energy, water and energy conservation projects, and green roofs," Wellman said.

Clark said it was programs like these that gave him confidence that the account will truly make a difference.

“Kelly Wellman and her staff impressed me with their enthusiasm and leadership concerning sustainability improvements at Texas A&M,” Clark said. “They are talented and committed, just underfunded. I am confident that once the word gets out, other former students and friends will step up to the plate to make Texas A&M a true champion of sustainability efforts.”

To contribute online gifts of $25 or more (for immediate use and benefit) to the TAMU Sustainability Account, click here.

If you are interested in making an endowed-level gift of $25,000 or more to the TAMU Sustainability Account, contact Stephen Cisneros ’05, director of major gifts, at (979) 458-0348 or scisneros@txamfoundation.com.