UVU Celebrates Earth Day 2022

With the 2022 Earth Day just around the corner, UVU is outlining the progress it is making on its sustainability plan and how the progress is contributing to cleaner air, energy decreases, less traffic, less waste, and facility upgrades.


With Earth Day 2022 just around the corner, Utah Valley University (UVU) is outlining the progress it is making on its sustainability plan and how the progress is contributing to cleaner air, decreased energy usage, less traffic, less waste, and facility upgrades.

UVU has made the following sustainability progress over the last few years.

UVU will begin operating the Growing Resilience & Inclusiveness Together (GRIT) Garden at the end of April. The garden will grow fresh produce for the UVU Food Pantry and will provide space for academic research as well as campus and community education. Irrigation installation and soil preparation are underway.

UVU partnered with Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Business Program in 2021 by launching two dozen energy-efficiency projects that save UVU 5.8 million kilowatt-hours annually — the equivalent carbon offset of removing 886 vehicles from the road. These upgrades save UVU approximately $250,000 per year, and most of the upgrades were funded by Wattsmart rebates. Total electricity consumption across the university has stayed steady or decreased for each of the last five years, even with the addition of significant floor space from new buildings.

In addition, UVU heats and cools its Orem Campus buildings using geothermal technology that preheats and precools the air in underground pipes at the earth’s steady 55-degree temperature year-round. Geothermal technology reduces electric bills by 25% to 50%.

UVU is also one of six organizations in Utah working with Rocky Mountain Power to source electricity needs from the Elektron Solar project, currently under development in Tooele County. The 80-megawatt project is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and will allow 92% of UVU’s power to come from renewable energy, dramatically decreasing air pollution for the institution.

All new construction on UVU campuses will follow the state’s High Performance Building Standard. There are six highly efficient and sustainable LEED-certified buildings on the Orem Campus — the Fulton Library, and the Science, Clarke, Keller, Performing Arts, and Student Life and Wellness buildings.

UVU’s Facilities Complex uses rooftop solar panels for power. On days that the complex is closed, the solar array feeds into the campus grid. The facilities building also has a standalone “ground-source” heating and cooling system.

To help curb auto emissions, UVU continues to provide free UTA passes to students, faculty, staff, and their dependents. The new Pedestrian Bridge over I-15 makes it easier for public transit users, cyclists, and pedestrians to safely access the Orem Campus.

UVU has 11 electric charging vehicle ports with the capacity to charge 20 vehicles, and is looking to add more. The current charging stations were donated by Rocky Mountain Power and are in constant use.

UVU also has a car fleet made up of a hybrid of electric and gasoline vehicles, including six passenger vehicles, three small SUVs, and a truck.

Additionally, UVU offers many sustainability courses, including a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and management and a minor in environmental studies. For four years in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation has given UVU the Tree Campus Higher Education designation for the number of trees planted.

Click here to view a list of UVU Earth Week events.

Earth Day