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Public Commitments

Mason's commitment to sustainability is real and is backed by public commitments and action. Our public commitments began with our being an original signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2007, which committed Mason to becoming climate neutral by 2050.  Read more about our climate actions. Since that pledge, Mason has made real progress incorporating sustainability at the highest levels of the university:

  • In 2007 Mason's Board of Visitors pledged to design all new construction and major renovations to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard or its equivalent.

  • In 2008, the Office of Sustainability facilitation the publication of Mason's first Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and in 2009 the first Climate Action Plan. Commitment to the ACUPCC requires reporting updates every other year for both reports.

  • In Mason's 2014 Strategic Plan, the university included goals and metrics to achieve climate neutrality and integrating sustainability into both its academic and extracurricular programs offerings.

  • In its 2011 Transportation Master Plan, Mason elaborates on how it will continue to be a pedestrian and bicycle friendly campus.

  • In the 2002 University Master Plan, Mason aims to strategically preserve woodlands, wetlands, and waterways to maintain the campus image and provided for ecological diversity. It also establishes 'ecological corridors' following drainage ways, streams, and topography, that buffer development, preserve essential natural features and provide for a connective network of walking trails and bikeways.

  • In 2011, George Mason University reported on its sustainability progress using the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS).  Mason received a STARS Silver rating.

  • In December 2011, Provost Stearns approved a vision for incorporating sustainability into Mason's academic endeavors.

  • In July 2012, the university was recognized by the Virginia Sustainable Building Network (VSBN) with a Most Sustainable Community Program award.

  • In Spring 2012, Mason joined the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative, launched at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.

  • On July 1, 2012, Mason President Cabrera committed Mason to support the UN Global Compact to promote environment, labor, human rights and combat corruption as means to promote sustainable development globally. Since that time, Mason has published its first report, and has scheduled the first university-wide symposium on Honoring our Commitment to the UNGC.

  • In 2013, Mason incorporated Environmental Standards into its Design Information Manual. This document provides guidance on Mason's environmental goals, priorities, and minimum requirements for teams building or renovating on Mason's campuses.
  • In 2014, Mason became the first university in Virginia to achieve a Gold rating in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • In 2015, Mason met its zero-waste goal during their Green Game with students and other attendees recycling and composting 90.3 percent of waste generated at the game.

  • In 2015, Mason was ranked the 18th Greenest University out of 240 schools by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

  • In 2015, Mason re-affirmed its commitment by signing on to the White House's American Campuses Act on Campus.


Mason is a member Of:

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Public Recognition

Mason's sustainability efforts have been publicly recognized by: