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Promoting Sustainability

MSU promotes sustainability through academics, campus facilities, auxiliary services and more.





  • MSU has an energy performance contract with Siemens to install energy saving controls and software to reduce energy consumption and costs across campus. 
  • MSU has the ability to track energy usage in real time in all residence halls and most of the campus administration and classroom buildings.
  • Capable of remote control of thermostats, air handlers and some chillers. 
  • Remote control lighting in the Center for Heath, Education & Research Building (CHER), the Recreation & Wellness Center and Space Science Center. 
  • Occupancy sensors are installed in most buildings. 
  • MSU switched from coal fired to natural gas at our heating and water plant in 2012. 


Planning and Construction

  • The Recreation & Wellness Center was awarded LEED GOLD in July 2011. It was the first LEED certified recreation center in Kentucky and the first LEED building on MSU campus. Some features include geothermal heating and cooling systems, geothermal well that heats the pool water, natural day lighting,  lighting has day lighting and motion sensor controls, water catchment systems, CO2 sensors to determine how much fresh air to bring into the building. 
  • The Center for Health, Education and Research (CHER) and Space Science building are both built to LEED standards. 
  • MSU finalized a new campus master plan that includes much more green space and pedestrian and bike friendly areas. The plan includes walking trails along Triplett Creek and enhanced stream drainage in the area.  

Campus Conservation & Sustainable Grounds

  • MSU was designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in March 2015. Read the MSU Tree Care Plan
  • The Outdoor Classroom behind Lappin Hall has native plants and trees, a rain garden, composting and rain barrel catchment system. 
  • The Sustainability Committee and EEC installed a parking lot storm water diversion gardens with native plants in the parking lot behind Howell McDowell.
  • MSU has a 30-acre lake, Eagle Lake, on the northern edge of the campus surrounded by roughly 645 acres of conservation forest land owned by the University with wetlands, streams and hiking trails. This area is designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
  • MSU Farm greenhouse and horticultural programs produce flowers and plants for campus landscaping, community sales, local farmers and gardeners.
  • MSU Farm produces various food crops, shrimp, beef and pork that are purchased by Aramark food vendor for the Farm to Campus program and sold to the community with the Kentucky Proud logo.
  • MSU's Browning Orchard produces apples and cider that are also utilized in the Farm to Campus program and holds an annual orchard festival. 
  • The University Farm has a compost area and utilizes compost and a manure spreader to fertilize and improve the soil for crops.
  • MSU Recreation & Wellness Center offers an outdoor challenge course and an Outdoor Adventures program, which coordinates hiking, climbing, paddling and camping trips for students and rents outdoor adventure equipment to students.
  • Sonny Allen Baseball Field had 1,600 pounds of biochar added in 2015. Biochar is a carbon offset soil amendment. 
  • Our Eagle Trace Golf Course replaced all the turf in 2015 with the environmental friendly Zoysia sod. This will help reduce water consumption and chemical usage that is normally required to maintain golf greens.

Recycling and Waste

  • New bins for recycling batteries, cell phones, pens, pencils and ink cartridges were placed in all residence hall lobbies. 
  • MSU purchased new bins for recycling plastic shopping bags and placed them in all the residence halls and the Adron Doran University Center.
  • MSU has its own recycling pickup truck that collects all recyclables on campus and takes them to the Morehead Recycling Center. Pick up is overseen by Facilities Management.
  • MSU participated in Recyclemania for the first time in 2014.
  • MSU received a grant from Keep America Beautiful and Coca-Cola for 25 new outdoor recycling bins.
  • MSU gave away over 100 reusable mugs and water bottles to students during the recyclemania tournament.
  • MSU expanded its recycling program in 2014 to include household batteries, cell phones, printer cartridges, pens, pencils and markers.
  • MSU also recycles used florescent bulbs, lamps, batteries and motor oil.

Procurement and Surplus

  • The Office of Support Services has an online surplus site for faculty and staff which reduces transportation and moving costs of surplus items.  
  • Surplus items not reused on campus are sold at public sale on the 1st Monday of each month.
  • Limit computer and electronic office equipment purchases to devices that are identified as Energy Star products.
  • When purchasing goods, supplies, equipment, materials and printing, the University requires a minimum recycled material content. The recycled material content is established by administration regulations and at a minimum is equivalent to the recycled material content established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 


  • Two public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are installed on campus in the Enrollment Services Center parking lot. For direct access to a charging station map and other helpful tools and information, visit the LG&E KU website.
  • MSU encourages the healthy use of bicycles and walking as the major modes of transportation on campus. Morehead is a designated "Trail Town" and has miles of great trails for hiking and biking. Check out our Hike & Bike page for more information. 
  • Bicycle racks are available throughout campus.
  • MSU offers free shuttle services, including "Park & Ride" from the campus overflow lot on US 60 to students daily.
  • Coordination of move-in day to reduce long lines and idling cars.  
  • New campus buses are more fuel efficient.  
  • Fleet cars are more fuel efficient.  
  • Facilities staff utilizes several electric vehicles to get around campus.  
  • MSU Athletics and other departments utilize golf carts for transportation on campus.  
  • Morehead Transit Bus Service provides transportation in the city of Morehead: bus route & schedule.  
  • Morehead Intercity bus will take passengers to Lexington or Ashland to connect with train, bus and airport travel: bus route & schedule.
  • Any faculty, staff or student that is on University business may choose to offset their emission when purchasing airline tickets or other forms of transportation. The sustainability committee requests that all offsets purchased for University travel be reported to Holly Niehoff, so that they may be included in the annual carbon footprint calculation.

Auxiliary Services

Food Service, Vending & Concessions

  • Reduced Styrofoam to go containers by five cases per week in residential dining by switching to reusable to go containers.
  • Implemented recycling of plastics and aluminum in kitchens in late Spring semester 2014 in partnership with the recycling committee and facilities services.
  • Implementing “mug shot wall” at Java City in Fall 2014.  Customers who use a reusable mug will get their photo taken and get added to our mug shot wall, there will be periodic drawings and prizes to drive excitement.
  • Partner with MSU Farm to purchase fresh water shrimp, cattle, herbs, vegetables, flowers for events, apples from the Browning Orchard and cider from the orchard.
  • Increased Kentucky Proud purchases by partnering with Sysco and Borden Dairy for milk needs, Klosterman for bread and Piazza produce for in-season Kentucky proud produce.
  • Vending machines are equipped with VendingMiser technology to improve energy efficiency.
  • Pepsi Co. provided several Pepsi bottle shaped recycling containers to recycle used beverage bottles.
  • Pepsi Co. donates used syrup drums to the MSU Center for Environmental Education that are repurposed to make rain barrels for community projects and seminars.

Document Services & Eagle Card Services

  • Utilizes 30% recycled content paper.
  • Uses energy saving copiers.
  • Recycles used printer cartridges.
  • Uses recycled plastic to make ID badges and magnetic cards.
  • Recycles old ID cards.

University Bookstore

  • Book buyback and book rental reduces the amount of new books to order.
  • Offers a selection of paper products that contain recycled content.
  • Offers 89% recycled content pens made from recycled bottles.
  • Offers a selection of reusable beverage containers.
  • Recycling collection containers outside the exit doors to recycle shopping bags, pens, pencils, printer cartridges and used household batteries.

Office of Environmental Health & Safety

  • Ensures the University is following all federal, state and local regulations related to air and water and waste pollution.
  • Manages the safe storage and disposal requirements of radiological, biological and chemical materials.
  • Responds to all hazardous leaks and spills to ensure proper mitigation and protection of the environment.
  • Chairs the Sustainability & Recycling Committees.