Green Initiatives

Haywood Community College (HCC) is committed to providing sustainable practices and initiatives throughout campus, in the classroom, and within the community.

Current Initiatives

Detailed Description of all Initiatives are described below...

STARS Program

  • One year after submitting for a Silver Rating (4/7/11), HCC has just received a GOLD Rating from the STARS Program (4/10/12). This increase from Silver to Gold displays the ongoing efforts at HCC to make this campus and community a more Sustainable place to work, play and live!
  • HCC achieved a Silver Rating from the STARS program (4/7/11).
  • The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS®) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.
  • STARS is designed to:
    • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education.
    • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.
    • Create incentives for continual improvement toward sustainability.
    • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance.
    • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community.


  • The ACUPCC provides a framework and support for America’s colleges and universities to implement comprehensive plans in pursuit of climate neutrality. The Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in educating the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming and help create a thriving, civil and sustainable society. Link to webpage.
  • ACUPCC institutions have agreed to:
    • Complete an emissions inventory.
    • Within two years, set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral.
    • Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions.
    • Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and make it part of the educational experience.
    • Make the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.


  • Collaboration among Community Colleges to increase sustainable development through Curriculum and College Infrastructure
  • To enhance the need for “Green Collar” workers now and in the future
  • HCC is one of the main signatories for this initiative

Sustainable Research Demonstration House

  • Used to inform the community and region as a whole about Sustainable Design and Construction
  • Students receive hands on experience in LID and Sustainable Development
  • Partnership with USDA Forest Products Laboratory to study materials used on site

Rain Garden

  • Used to divert runoff from the RCAC Building
  • Water enters the Rain Garden where natural permeation takes place
    • This results in natural water temperatures as they enter the stream via groundwater discharge
  • Plants are native which reduces irrigation needs
  • Project funded by the Pigeon River Fund

Bio Fuels Project

  • HCC received a grant from the Biofuels Center of North Carolina for a project entitled Haywood County Biofuels Production, Education and Training Project. This project is a county-wide partnership and initiative.
  • The project will provide alternative fuel supplies for campus and County diesel vehicles; integrate biodiesel training into the college’s existing Industrial and Automotive Systems Technology curricula and Continuing Education programs and incorporate it into a proposed Sustainable Technology certificate program; train members of the regional workforce in biofuels technology; and increase local and regional awareness of biofuels.

Solar Panels

  • Just this past March, students from the Solar Courses at HCC, alongside industry expert Balls Machining and Manufacturing, installed a 8kwh Solar PV Array as seen below. This project gave our students hand on experience and will reduce the impact at the Regional High Tech Center, pertaining to GHG Emissions as well as energy consumption.
  • 6 Solar PV Panels are installed on the roof of the 1000 Building in 2010
    • Used with the ALT 120 and 220 Courses to instruct students on PV Installation and Troubleshooting

Click on the image below to watch a video about constructing solar panels.


Pervious Pavement

  • Designed to allow natural infiltration of rain runoff versus an impermeable surface which will increase peak discharge to streams along with existing contaminants found in parking lots.
  • Located in front of the 400 Building

Organic Produce Garden

  • Provides produce for the Sunrise Café and local “Meals on Wheels” Program
    • Both for sandwiches and the salad bar
  • Lowers dependency on “mega farmers”
    • Reduces or completely negates the contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere by eliminating the transportation required (only if carried or using E Ride vehicles)
    • Reduces pesticide and fertilizer introduction to the environment

Green Motor Fleet

  • 2 electric vehicles
    • 1 GEM is used by security for campus patrols
    • E – ride (golf cart) is used for recycling program distribution and collection
  • 2 hybrid vehicles (Toyota Camry and Prius) for employee travel
  • 9 golf carts/cars that assist the Facilities Management team
  • Received an Honorable Mention from the Commission for a Clean County Community Awards for using the GEM electric vehicle

Sustainable Expo's

  • Earth Day/Green Business Expo
    • 5th annual (April 24, 2012)
    • Click Here to go to the Earth Day 2012 page to find out more! EV Test Drive Event will be available!
  • Renewable Energy Demo Day's
    • Various technologies are available to anyone who wishes to stop by during the events. Actual demos are on site to provide a hands on learning approach, to help ease any concerns about the technologies and with industry experts on site, we can help discern whether or not these technologies are right for you and your home!
      • CNG, EV, Hybrid and Biofuel Vehicles are on display, along with Solar PV and Thermal, Solar Concentrator, Composting Devices and of course rain barrels!
  • Green Business Owners Forum
    • Info about the green market, green practices, and the advantages and disadvantages of going green
  • ABC’s of Energy Audit
    • Awareness and implementation to reduce energy use (up to 30%)
    • Info on rebates and tax credits for going green pertaining to energy use
  • Sustainable Development for Restaurants and more
    • Info on green markets, how to becomes sustainable and maintain those sustainable practices
  • Farm Tourism
    • Workshop in partnership with the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project


  • RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities ( .
  • As of 4.18.12 HCC is #1 in the state and #14 in the nation in the Waste Minimizatin Category (ten week program completed across 605 institutions).
    • Previous years... 2010: #1 in the State, #19 in the Nation (WM category), 2011: #1 in the State and #7 in the Nation (WM category).

Pocket Wetland at Horticulture Complex

  • Sara Martin's Environmental Biology Club has installed apocket wetland to reduce the storm water impact on local streams connected to HCC.
  • This provided students the opportunity to learn the design and installation of such structures as well as fostering a steward relationship with our environment

Student Built Solar Hot Water Heater

From Jim Falbo (Instructor): Students in the ALT 120 (Alternative Energy) class designed and built a solar hot water heater.

  • This heater cost about $340 to build and has no moving parts. It uses thermosyphon technology to circulate water instead of using any kind of pumps.
  • We heated seven gallons of water from 73 degrees to 118 degrees in 3 hours. The temperature right at discharge was 140 Degrees. If these numbers aren't impressive enough, we also had our glass fail under the heat plus a partly cloudy day and still achieved these numbers.
  • We look forward to prototyping some improvements and comparing the data to theory in our class book. The other half of the class is building a "Batch" hot water solar collector.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

  • HCC is proud to announce an Electric Vehicle Charging Station will be located on campus on the backside of the 1500 building (bookstore side) as you walk out the door to your left. This currently is the only station west of Asheville and one of the 1st within the Community College System. This status will change by mid summer of 2012 as WCU plans to install two stations at its new campus site.
  • This station will be available to current electric vehicles to charge their vehicles for FREE! A grant provided by Advanced Energy Corporation has provided funding and informational sessions to make this installation as easy as plugging in an Electric Vehicle! The charging station is a Level 2 Charger manufactered by Eaton located down the road from the college in Arden with the installer based out of Asheville, making this a highly localized sourced project.












SGA/Arboretum Tree Planting

Haywood Community College's Arboretum Team has joined up with the SGA to fund a Tree Planting on campus in which 15 (3" caliber) Elm Trees will be planted along Vocational Drive, which was recently deforested along the road to make room for construction of the 3500 building. SGA donated $1000 as part of their 2012 Legacy Project and the Arboretum Team funded the remaining $2000. Student's assisted with the planting, which occurred on April 19th, 2012. Way to go Arboretum Team and SGA!!!

Below picture is of Arboretum Team Leader, Alan Morrow, working alongside Cody and Mike from the Arboretum Team, to plant the trees along Vocational Drive.













Below picture is of students and the Arboretum Team putting in the last tree! Many hands make light work!