Go Green: BHSU on the Cutting Edge of Sustainability

Next Event: Sustainability Day - October 22, 2014!


BHSU was the first South Dakota University to join the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, a consortium of 400 universities across the nation dedicated to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

As part of our commitment in sustainability, BHSU has enrolled in The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a voluntary self-reporting system for colleges and universities to assess progress in meeting sustainability goals and sustainability leadership. On Earth Day 2014, BHSU received a STARS Silver rating. BHSU is the first and only university in the state of South Dakota to achieve a STARS rating.




STARS ratings are based on three main categories: Education and Research; Operation such as buildings, climate, dining services energy, grounds purchasing,transportation, waste, water; and Planning, Administration and Engagement. Our hope is to engage the entire campus community in this effort and lead the way to a sustainable future.

Two BHSU buildings have earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the Life Sciences Lab and the Student Union.  The Student Union was the first state building to earn this standard. The Student Union is used as a model for demonstration of energy efficiency and an educational tool for BHSU students and others in the community. Some of these components include a garden roof, wind turbine, solar panels, and other energy efficiencies.

Contact: Katie Greer, BHSU Sustainability Coordinator


BHSU Sustainability in the News:

BHSU receives national APPA 2014 Sustainability Award
Sting’s Eco Explorers Day Camp focuses on sustainability
Spearfish Local chooses advisory council at local summit
BHSU kicks off local food initiative with workshops and community supper
BHSU receives recycling bins through national Coca-Cola grant program
BHSU first university, third restaurant in state to earn green certification
BHSU achieves silver STARS rating for sustainability performance; first university in South Dakota
BHSU strives to go green
BHSU making strides towards becoming a greener campus (video)
BHSU collects more than 300 pounds of waste during nationwide recycling competition
BHSU continues to reduce its carbon footprint
Lisa Bike program
BHSU art students create life-size bug self-portraits

Leading Sustainability

“Black Hills State University is taking the lead in sustainability,” President Kay Schallenkamp says. “We are fortunate to live in this beautiful and unique environment. It’s important for us as a university to take a leadership role in this effort. We know the importance of providing knowledge and encouragement for our students to meet and overcome the global warming and environmental issues we are facing.”