Sustainability Office

About The Sustainability Office

The Sustainability Office provides leadership and a point of contact for energy, environmental and sustainability initiatives and projects across the College. We advocate for and interact with internal and external stakeholders through outreach, community engagement and on-campus presentations. Our projects and initiatives span campus operations, academics, workforce training, college community behavior, external engagement and community outreach.

On the Energy, Environment & Sustainability Ideas web page, you will find ideas that directly relate to your area. If you have any additional ideas, please contact NOVA’s Director of Sustainability, Rob Johnson, to see if your ideas are feasible.

Sustainability is when humans and nature exist in harmony without compromising the needs of present and future generations. (Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future ("Brundtland Report"), World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Oxford: Oxford University Press.) Sustainability includes:

  • defining operations to reduce our carbon footprint through energy efficiency, conservation and process optimization
  • lessening and limiting the impact of the built environment on natural systems through low impact design, integrated design management and system optimization
  • incorporating efficient and conscious ways of handling materials including reducing the amount of materials, reusing materials and recycling materials
  • providing transportation options to reduce commuting emissions
  • educating current generations and training future generations

Click here to view the NOVA Energy Plan


We are committed to finding ways to reduce our energy footprint. Some of our initiatives include:

  • actively analyzing utility bills to ensure usage and cost data are correct
  • leveraging utility-based efficiency and optimization programs or initiatives
  • ensuring NOVA’s utility infrastructure is current, optimized and resilient
  • actively engaging technicians and end users to ensure efficiency and conservation is understood
  • incorporating energy ideas into classroom and workforce curriculum

Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint and educate future generations about environmentally sustainable policies and practices. We aim to accomplish this through a combination of projects and initiatives spanning campus operations, academics, workforce training, end-user behavior, external engagement and community outreach.

  • Incorporate environmental considerations into all aspects of planning, contracting, operations and education.
  • Make a concerted effort to progressively reduce overall environmental impact -- measured by reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Educate about sustainability and provide green jobs training in Northern Virginia.

  • Progressively reducing our carbon footprint in pursuit of carbon neutrality.
  • Have a stable funding source for environmentally sustainable projects.
  • Construct new buildings and renovate existing buildings using whole systems thinking, low-impact design and appropriate green features.
  • Advocate environmental sustainability among students, staff, faculty and surrounding communities.
  • Including sustainability principles in academic and workforce training curricula.
  • Offer visible and active sustainability-related programs like recycling, composting, environmentally friendly building design and operation (LEED), alternative /renewable energy on campus, operating efficiencies and transportation options.

  • Help out during environmental events.
  • Support energy efficiency and conservation efforts by turning the lights off after class.
  • Hang environmental awareness posters in campus buildings.
  • Affix storm drain labels to storm inlets on campus.
  • Participate in campus clean-ups and tree, shrub and perennial planting events.
  • Help pick up trash on campus or at a local park.
  • Take inventory and assess building recycling and waste bin placement.