Welcome to the Samford University sustainability website, home of the latest information about Samford University’s environmental stewardship efforts. Check this site for updates on campus initiatives, sustainability facts, and profiles on what is being done on campus.

Green Skies Tree Planting

Samford University is pleased to partner with the Homewood Environmental Commission, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and others for the annual Green Skies Tree Planting.

Please consider joining us on Saturday, November 10 from 8 a.m. to noon to plant 200 tree seedlings in Homewood. 

View planting map

Volunteers will help with planting and mulching the small native trees. Other opportunities include removing invasive plant species and general clean-up. Some tools will be available, but you may want to bring your own gloves, a favorite shovel and/or rake.

Motivational snacks will be provided, and small native trees will be available for purchase!

For more information, please contact Amber Kustos at (205) 726-4502 or akustos@samford.edu.

Infrastructure Initiatives

Samford University’s picturesque campus is a key part of each student’s and employee’s experience. Maintaining our buildings, facilities and grounds in the most efficient manner is a direct reflection of our commitment to students and employees and to the academic and research activities that take place on our campus.

Samford has entered a multi-year, multi-phased partnership with Johnson Controls, Inc., a global leader in the manufacture and promotion of emergency efficient technologies.

Together, Samford and JCI have created a comprehensive campus infrastructure improvement program to improve the instructional atmosphere. The program supports a broader campus master plan that is being implemented. Through this program, Samford can implement necessary infrastructure and efficiency improvements across campus, generate significant energy savings while reducing our carbon footprint by more than 15,000 tons, decreasing water consumption on campus by more than 20 million gallons and promoting financial stability by using directed savings to fully fund the initiatives. The plan is expected to generate more than $1.65 million in savings annually.

Learn more about our infrastructure Initiatives

Recent Projects

Modern Building Automation Systems

  • New wiring and thermostats have been installed to introduce modern building automation systems campus-wide. These upgrades will allow us to reduce energy consumption and identify HVAC maintenance needs remotely before they become a problem.

Lighting Upgrades

  • Extensive LED lighting retrofits and lighting controls have been installed to increase light level quality and reduce maintenance costs, as well as to support campus safety.

Sanitary Fixture Upgrades

  • Sanitary fixtures have been replaced in most buildings and we upgraded shower heads campus-wide.

Other Projects

  • Construction of a new chilled water plant was completed in April 2017. This new plant will improve energy efficiency by 50 percent and increase cooling capacity by 22 percent.
  • Exterior doors received new weather stripping, sealant and door sweeps that will reduce air infiltration. Some windows received weather stripping and sealant. Openings around piping, electrical penetrations and other blank openings have been sealed with caulk.
  • Energy efficient windows were installed in Burns and Chapman Halls, Dwight Beeson Hall, Brooks Hall, Orlean Beeson Hall, Buchanan Hall, Samford Hall and Smith and Vail Residence Halls.
  • Spray insulation was added to Divinity Hall’s attic.

Environmental Impact


What to recycle

Aluminum & Plastic

The following aluminum and plastic products are accepted in the aluminum and plastic recycling containers: aluminum cans, foil and aluminum bakeware, steel cans and tins, empty aerosol cans, and plastics #1-2. Please make sure all recyclables are clean and dry.

The following aluminum and plastic products are not accepted in the aluminum and plastic recycling containers: automotive parts, plumbing parts, paint cans with wet or dried on paint, and electronics.


The following paper products are accepted: magazines and catalogs, newspaper and inserts, all white papers (colored and coated), brochures and pamphlets, correspondence papers (letterhead, direct mail pieces, advertising), envelopes (including with windows and or labels), folders (manila, coated or colored), legal pads, steno pads, note pads, posters, receipts, scratch, message and memo pads, self-adhesive notes, soft-cover books, paperback books, cereal boxes, tissue boxes, shoe boxes, paper towel cores, and cardboard boxes (broken down).

The following paper products are not accepted: hard-back books, napkins, tissues, paper or plastic plates, candy wrappers, paper cups, food, and non-recyclable trash.


Academic Buildings—For a list of locations in academic buildings, please contact akustos@samford.edu.
Beeson Woods—Pedestrian Bridge, closest to Beeson Woods; behind Evergreen
Hanna Center—On the sidewalk, near the fitness center
University Center—On Ben Brown Plaza, next to the post office/caf side entrance; Washington Courtyard, near the food court entrance; the sidewalk near the University Center west entrance; behind the University Center

Other Recycling

Toner Recycling

Laser cartridge recycling is available in the University Center Post Office. Please note, the toner tubes used in our commercial copy machines are not recyclable at this time.

Cell Phone Recycling

Cell phone recycling is available. All types of cell phones are accepted regardless of size, make, model or age. The memory on the phone is destroyed; however, we encourage you to remove any personal information from phones before recycling. Please contact Amber Kustos at 205-726-4502 for more information.

Glass Recycling

Glass recycling is unavailable at this time.

King’s Home Donation Boxes

Donation boxes for used clothing, furniture, appliances and other household items are located in Beeson Woods near Dwight and Orlean Hall.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling

Rechargeable battery recycling is available. Please contact Amber Kustos at 205-726-4502 for more information. We recycle the following batteries (weighing less than 11 lbs. each):

  • Nickel Cadmium (Ni-Cd)
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH)
  • Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
  • Nickel Zinc (Ni-Zn)
  • Small Sealed Lead (SSLA/Pb)

Campus Initiatives


Our custodial provider follows a Green to Clean program, which incorporates environmentally friendly chemicals, equipment, and supplies into the cleaning process. The custodial staff has also been trained in utilizing environmentally friendly processes, supplies, and equipment. Processes include water usage and environmental awareness while the equipment and supplies range from aerosols to vacuums.

Facilities Management

The installation of new boiler and chiller systems has been a crucial step in increasing the energy efficiency of the campus. Old boiler systems are being decommissioned. In addition, the HVAC controls in each building have been retrofitted.

Cleaning and “teardown” of HVAC equipment and filtering systems is scheduled regularly to improve operating efficiencies. When old lighting equipment has failed, new fixture technologies are being installed with high efficiency lamps and ballasts. All new facilities are outfitted with high efficiency pumps, air handling units, water heating, low flow plumbing equipment and Energy Star labeled appliances.

Food Services

Our food service provider has long purchased available produce locally. This supports local farmers and also cuts down on the fuel used for transporting produce over long distances.

Landscaping Services

Landscape Services has integrated environmentally friendly practices throughout the last several years. This includes discontinuing use of atrozine and increasing mulching activities across campus.

Residence Life

The Residence Life staff helps new residents recycle materials on Move-in Day.

During move out, Residence Life gathers donations for local charities.

Learn more

Student Involvement

Restoring Eden

Restoring Eden is a movement of like-minded people who see a strong connection between our Christian spirituality and our role as caretakers of creation. Samford’s Restoring Eden chapter bases its values off of Restoring Eden nationally in making hearts bigger, hands dirtier, and voices stronger for God’s creation by rediscovering the biblical call to love, serve, and protect God’s creation.

Learn more

Environmental Law Society

The Environmental Law Society is a group of Cumberland Law School students who work to advance green practices on Samford University's campus.

To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/legallygreenerascals.


Samford University offers a Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM), as well as a dual degree in law and environmental management (JD/MSEM). The Environmental Studies minor was recently introduced as a part of the Geography department.

Master of Science in Environmental Management

The master of science in environmental management (M.S.E.M.) is a 36-credit, non-thesis program conducted by the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences. It directs working professionals through a collection of courses to prepare them for the decision-making processes of the ever-increasing demands of environmental regulatory compliance.

Learn more

Environmental Science Major

Students majoring in Environmental Science will choose from one of three tracks, depending on their academic goals. Each track emphasizes training in different areas, with broad flexibility in electives allowing the student to tailor the major to his/her specific interests. The major is designed to prepare students for a wide range of careers, and graduate and professional programs.

Learn more

Environmental Studies Minor

Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary field that explores the relationship between humans and the environment, in the interest of solving complex problems. Students study the built and natural environment, and explain about human views and interactions with nature.

Learn more


Latest News

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Samford’s Campus Master Plan and Sustainability Initiatives Continue on Target
The university already has saved more than four million kilowatt hours of energy in the current fiscal year due to the campus infrastructure improvement project 
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Almost 200 Join Effort to Clean Shades Creek
The event, organized by Samford University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences and the Friends of Shades Creek, assembled local youth, Samford students and others who want to help preserve the important waterway.  
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PUPN Highlights Samford’s Sustainability Initiatives
‘Private University News and Products’ recently highlighted Samford University’s new campus master plan and sustainability initiatives.