The grren|light Innovation Lab participants

The Honors College has been growing over the last two years, expanding to encompass new communities and tackle local, real- world issues. Spearheading this growth has been the Innovation Labs, student driven learning classrooms centered around a particular problem or real world objective.

On Wednesday, November 18th this important new program bore its first tangible fruits.

The green|light  Innovation Lab, in concert with their community partner green|spaces, received official green|light certification for the University Campus, marking UTC as the first educational institution to receive this distinction.

IMAG0110green|light is a third party corporate sustainability certification for Chattanooga area businesses awarded for meeting benchmark levels in sustainable practices. This model was adapted and implemented by the Innovation Scholars with the help of UTC’s sustainability coordinator Lisa Darger to fit a larger institution like the University. Over the last four and a half months, students met with University officials, reworked polices, and collected existing data to form a comprehensive sustainability plan for UTC, earning them praise from both their community partners and institutional leaders.

The hope is that this new focus on sustainability will not end here. The green|light Lab will continue its work in the Spring, increasing student education about sustainability, and designing a transferable model for other regional institutions to follow.

For the present, the green|light Innovation Lab has left a lasting impact on UTC’s campus and fundamentally changed the way its processes will work moving forward.