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APPA Library

"Environmental Liabilities and Sustainability for Educational Institutions"
Author: Heft, John J.,
Published In: Facilities Manager
Date: November/December 2009

"Green" is the new mantra for many institutions. School districts as well as colleges and universities across the country are constantly searching for new ways to reduce energy use, waste and the harmful greenhouse gas emissions emitted into the environment. In fact long before "carbon footprint" became a common phrase, educational institutions nationwide have been concerned about the possible environmental impact and/or liabilities produced by their activities. This includes the growing emphasis on sustainability and the impact these practices can have on environmental insurance as well as the numerous environmental exposures that can be encountered during nearly any phase of construction and operation. Educational facility owners should have significant environmental concerns regarding new construction activities as well as the operation of existing premises. That's because property contamination can result from numerous sources that include historical usage. Environmental liabilities need not provide obstacles to educational institutions if they are proactively identified, managed and mitigated. Several of these methods include the utilization of risk management techniques, contractually, or via environmental insurance. With concerns continually on the rise about risk liabilities in environmental and sustainable construction, educational institutions nationwide are beginning to take even greater advantage of the many benefits provided by the proper insurance coverage. Fortunately, it is a market that has continued to adapt and broaden in accordance with the specific needs of facility managers representing nearly every American industry.

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