But while students are weighing their collegiate options, higher education institutions are under pressure of a different kind – the need to demonstrate environmental leadership. With the recent uptake in sustainable course curriculum, rise in eco-friendly activism, and the emergence of ‘greener’ campuses nationwide, colleges and universities must implement sustainable practices to meet the expectations of students, staff, parents and shareholders alike.
Higher education establishments are making major operational changes to meet these demands and remain consistent with the trends. For example, now more than ever, campuses are implementing tray-less dining options in an effort to reduce water consumption and food waste. Dormitory managers are investing in more efficient lighting, and repurposing existing assets when renovating student rooms.
With so many pressures driving these green changes, we took to our weekly blog poll to ask our readers, ‘What do you think will be the most influential driver for change in the higher education industry during 2013?’ Here’s what we found:
- One-third of respondents agreed public perception is the main motivation this year.
According to an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, the public’s view of colleges and universities is on a negative decline, with most agreeing administrators are not doing enough to innovate and keep costs low for students. The need to meet these expectations and increase overall positivity in the sector has become a top priority for collegiate officials.
- An additional one-third suggested competition with other schools would be a top driver in 2013.
With the rise in rankings systems, such as the annual US News’ Best Colleges list, higher education facilities are looking to improve on sustainability efforts and more, including overall aesthetic appearance, student coursework options and ease of accessibility throughout the campus.
- The remainder of the respondents were split between a university’s determination to improve its environmental commitment, student and staff satisfaction, or increase in student enrollment.
Here at The Refinishing Touch, we’ve worked with hundreds of colleges and universities, delivering fast, on-site furniture asset management services like refinishing and re-upholstery to meet expectations and help campuses stay ahead of competitors. Some of our past clientele include California State University, Duke University, Cornell University, Eastern Michigan University and many more.
By investing in furniture refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing during renovations, campus leaders can create a modern, aesthetically-pleasing property, without breaking the bank. From our studies, furniture asset management saves approximately 90 percent in budget costs when compared to buying new. Our services also contribute to a campus’ overall sustainability plan, by reducing the amount of projected greenhouse gases and preventing deforestation – dangers that are difficult to avoid when purchasing new furniture.