What does sustainability mean? What is a sustainable university? Let’s talk about what sustainability means at UNH and what makes UNH one of the most sustainable campuses in the country.

Keep following our Why UNH? explainer blog series where we break down a different limitless opportunity or top ranking in each post.

UNH student working in greenhouse


At UNH, sustainability is about more than going green. Sustainability drives the way we think and the way you learn at UNH. Here's what we really mean when we say UNH is a sustainability leader.


Community Engagement

The Changemaker Collaborative is an only-at-UNH program that offers students opportunities to gain real-world experience focused on social good, including:


Through the Semester-in-the-City program, Mel Nagashima '22 helped immigrant families with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center:


Green Facilities

UNH walks the walk of sustainability, with facilities that focus on renewable fuel, locally and ethically sourced food, and so much more.


Our sustainable campus:

  • is powered by renewable landfill gas and small NH hydropower
  • is one of the first campuses in the country to have our residence halls earn the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star rating
  • has three-star green certified restaurants on campus and has been Fair Trade since 2021


The UNH Dairy Bar:

  • selects wholesome, local products
  • uses compostable containers and cutlery for takeaway orders
  • uses EnergyStar-rated equipment in our kitchen


Step into the UNH Dairy Bar on our virtual tour:

UNH Dairy Bar


Green Transportation

Our campus is walkable and bikeable, reducing emissions.  If students don’t have their own bike, they take part in our new bike share program.


UNH is also proud to have sustainable public transit options:

  • UNH’s Campus Connector and Wildcat Transit buses are free and sustainable ways to get around Durham or the nearby towns of Portsmouth and Dover.
  • Both fleets run primarily on alternative, low- or no-emissions fuels.


The Value of a UNH Education

UNH not only has sustainable facilities and values, but makes sure that changing the world is part of each student’s UNH education, regardless of majorAt UNH, you won’t just study the world’s most urgent challenges – you’ll learn by solving them

Today’s employers are looking for students with sustainable skills, knowing they’ll be forward thinking and help drive companies and organizations to make positive change


Here's how UNH students change the world:


Check out the sustainability stop on our virtual tour:

UNH Sustainability Virtual Tour

Ranking as One of the Greenest Campuses

UNH has been awarded the highest possible ranking for campus sustainability.

UNH’s STARS Platinum ranking means it is one of just seven universities in the country to earn the highest possible rating for campus sustainability.


What does the STARS Platinum ranking mean?

  • it’s a rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • based on key benchmarks across hundreds of areas, from transportation to emissions to academics
  • Platinum is the highest possible rating 
  • we are rated in the top 5 of nearly 700 schools for sustainability practices


Check out this video to see a summary of what sustainability means to us:


You care about changing the world by making it a better place. You’re looking for a school that shares your values and will allow you to gain important sustainability skills that employers are looking for.



  • Sustainability is how we measure success across every aspect of the university, from academics to transportation.
  • Actions speak louder: we don’t just talk about sustainability. We live it.

Join us in building a world that works better.

Keep learning about sustainability at UNH

learn more about student opportunities for change 

apply today

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UNH student in college woods

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