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CNM Achievements in Sustainability

Recognition for sustainability has become the CNM norm.

During Spring 2015, CNM participated in Recyclemania 2015, a national, two-month competition among colleges and universities to see which institution could recycle the largest percentage of their waste. CNM recycled 54.7 percent of its waste over the two-month period, ranking 26th out of 232 colleges and universities.

Also during RecycleMania 2015, CNM won the "Waste Less - Promote More: Engagement and Innovation Competition" award for its case study detailing the March 2015 "Mount Trashmore" event. 

STARS Silver Rating

CNM was accorded a STARS Silver rating in October 2016 for sustainability efforts involving operations, academics, engagement, planning, administration and innovation.

STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for college and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) developed and administers this rating program.

Visit the STARS site for the complete report.

Our Impact and Influence

Sustainability on Campus

College-wide commitment to reducing waste, water use, energy use, and carbon emissions while educating the CNM community:

  • Sustainability webpage
  • Recyclemania and Water in the Desert
  • Silver - sustainability tracking and assessment rating system (STARS)
  • Regularly scheduled LEED tours
  • CNM and CNM Ingenuity join ABQ 2030 district
  • Blackboard Community Sustainability site established
  • US Green Building Council student chapter forthcoming
  • Numerous sustainability-related national awards and recognitions

Sustainability in Curriculum

Sustainability curriculum gives students the tools they need to address issues of energy production, environmental health, economic development, culture and society. Such curriculum encourages interdisciplinary learning and problem solving.

  • Sustainability curriculum committee -approved as a faculty-led standing committee of the college
  • Sustainability course, concentration, and UNM transfer agreement-
  • Sustainability definition approved by CNM Executive Team
  • Sustainability related and focused courses identified for STARS report 
  • Sustainability classroom supplies budget request process approved and implemented
  • Vermicomposting bins used in biology, anthropology, geography, and culinary arts classes
  • Increasing student participation in sustainability related assignments

Campus as a Living Lab Opportunities

Campus as a Living Lab utilizes campus facilities, renovations, retrofits, events, and other projects to teach student learning outcomes in existing courses in innovative and interesting ways, while also integrating sustainability concepts across the curriculum.

  • In one semester 16 faculty and nearly 900 students completed at least one assignment linked to a CLL project.
  • Within two semesters, over 20 faculty and nearly 1500 students completed at least one assignment linked to a CLL project.
  • We anticipate that this number could increase dramatically during the 2015/2016 academic year with focused support and publicity.

Sustainability Student Activities

Extra curricular events are available to CNM students:

  • Solar presentations in Chemistry and GED classes
  • Students and faculty have access to the Solar Dashboard
  • Earth Week lectures
  • Student Education Expo presenting classroom activities
  • The Water in the Desert Project
  • The Recycle Mania Tournament
  • On-campus Service Learning opportunities

Building Green

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has been a guiding principle in CNM construction and renovation projects at CNM. Projects (buildings, building elements, and campuses) may be registered under specific certifications such as New Construction & Major Renovations, and Interior Design & Construction. 

New Construction

  • 2011: Rio Rancho Campus (RR), LEED Gold
  • 2012: The Student Resource Center (SRC), LEED Silver
  • 2016: Westside I Building (WSI) , LEED Silver

Major Renovations 

  • 2013: Jeannette Stromberg Hall (JS), LEED Gold 
  • 2014: Tom Wiley Hall (TW), LEED Silver 
  • 2016: Robert P. Matteucci Hall (RPM) , LEED Gold 
  • 2016: Laboratory (L) Building, LEED Gold
  • 2017: Ted F. Martinez (TM) Building, LEED Silver
  • 2019: Smith Brasher Hall (SB) Building, LEED Gold

Interior Design & Construction

  • 2013: Advanced Technology Center (ATC), LEED Gold 
  • 2017: South Valley I (SVI), LEED Silver