Protecting the World that Sustains Us

APEI recognizes the importance of leading by example. Our students’ achievements in sustainability are bolstered by our own environmental practices. For this reason, our organization invests in technologies and programs that enable us to reduce our carbon footprint and business waste. APUS, our largest subsidiary, is leading the way with its pledge to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050 as a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (now called Second Nature).

As an online institution, APUS has an inherently lower carbon footprint than traditional brick-and-mortar universities—requiring no physical grounds to maintain, and thus eliminating the need for students and instructors to commute. At the same time, APEI’s nursing schools (RU and HCN) offer flexible programs that require in-person attendance only when necessary. By combining online course offerings with conveniently located campuses, these universities reduce the need for long commutes, thereby further preventing pollution.

APEI’s long-term environmental goals aim to emit less than 0.23 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per full-time enrollment (FTE) annually by 2030. Additionally, APEI has set targets to achieve a 20% reduction in non-hazardous waste per FTE by 2030, following up with a 50% reduction by 2050. APEI established 2022 as the base year for emissions, non-hazardous waste, and other sustainability comparisons following its transformative acquisition of Rasmussen University in 2021.

In 2023, APEI’s overall emissions remained stable year-over-year, surpassing our stated goals and reflecting our continued commitment to long-term sustainability. APEI and its subsidiaries collectively reported emissions of 0.206 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per FTE in both 2022 and 2023. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of our sustainability initiatives, including the implementation and ongoing support of remote work practices, particularly at APUS.

APUS itself emitted only 0.044 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per FTE in 2023, significantly better than our overall long-term goal. In 2023, APEI further enhanced its climate disclosure transparency by becoming a Climate Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting company.

Our commitment to these goals is best demonstrated by our investment in renewable energy and energy-efficient administrative buildings. In October 2009, APUS broke ground on a new, energy-efficient academic center in an EPA-targeted revitalization corridor within Charles Town, WV. This building earned LEED-Gold certification by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Similarly, our finance center—which was built in 2011—also earned LEED-platinum certification. Both buildings were constructed with low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials, and we continue to use Green Seal products for all cleaning and kitchen supplies. APUS also employs a comprehensive recycling program—which APEI plans to introduce to the rest of the organization—that includes batteries, paper, plastic, metal, cardboard, and light bulbs.

Practicing What We Teach

We take pride in the fact that the Bachelor of Environmental Science program is among the ten most popular programs at APUS. Our administrative facilities include two LEED Certified buildings, both constructed with low VOC materials. We use Green Seal products for all cleaning and kitchen supplies and have an enterprise-wide recycling program that includes batteries, paper, plastic, metal, cardboard and light bulbs. We provide convenient, dedicated parking spaces for employees who carpool and provide 15 charging stations for electric vehicles at our headquarters in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Practicing What We Teach

One of West Virginia's Largest Solar Arrays

Our finance center in Charles Town, WV is powered, in part, by one of the largest solar arrays in the state. Consisting of 1,600 solar panels atop our parking canopy, this installation generates approximately 480,000 kilowatts of electricity—enough to power 30 private homes—in a year. Below the parking canopy are 15 charging stations for electric vehicles with convenient, dedicated parking spaces for employees who carpool.

Our sustainable practices are overseen by strong, mission-driven management—and governed by our enterprise environmental policy. Since 2018, we have worked closely with an independent environmental consultant who helps to advise our green initiatives by performing utility bill analyses and helping us to calculate our greenhouse gas inventory (carbon footprint). We’ve prioritized recycling at our headquarters since 2009, and we’ve also pledged to introduce additional recycling programs at our subsidiaries’ campus locations.

The State’s Largest Solar Array
Practicing What We Teach
The State’s Largest Solar Array

Commitment to Our Customers and Communities We Serve

Sustainability Fact Sheet

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Environmental policy

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