CNM Achievements in Sustainability

STARS Rating, sustainability in curriculum and on campus, Campus as a Living Lab, and building green.

stars seal silver logo

STARS Rating

In November 2019, CNM earned STARS Silver rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a transparent, self-reporting, framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

CNM achieved Bronze in 2014 with 41.33 points, Silver in 2016 with 46.37 points, and Silver in 2019 with 55.91 points! CNM has made significant progress across all categories since 2014, moving the institution within 10 points of receiving Gold.

Visit the STARS site for the complete report.

Our Impact and Influence

Sustainability on Campus

College-wide commitment to reducing waste, water use, energy use, and carbon emissions while educating the CNM community:

Help CNM to educate its community by taking this quick survey. 

Sustainability Survey

Sustainability in Curriculum

Sustainability curriculum gives students the tools they need to address issues of energy production, environmental health, economic development, culture and society. Such curriculum encourages interdisciplinary learning and problem solving.

  • Sustainability Committee -approved as a faculty-led standing committee of the college
  • Sustainability course, concentration, and UNM transfer agreement
  • Sustainability definition approved by CNM Executive Team
  • Sustainability related and focused courses identified in CNM course catalog 
  • Sustainability classroom supplies budget request process approved and implemented
  • Vermicomposting bins used in biology, anthropology, geography, and culinary arts classes
  • Increasing student participation in sustainability related assignments
  • RecycleMania and Water in the Desert Service Learning opportunities

Campus as a Living Lab 

Campus as a Living Lab utilizes campus facilities, renovations, retrofits, events, and other projects to teach student learning outcomes in existing courses in innovative and interesting ways, while also integrating sustainability concepts across the curriculum.

  • In one semester 16 faculty and nearly 900 students completed at least one assignment linked to a CLL project.
  • Within two semesters, over 20 faculty and nearly 1500 students completed at least one assignment linked to a CLL project.
  • The Physical Plant Department, in collaboration with the Sustainability Committee, offer a Sustainability Certificate to students who participate in sustainability-related activities resulting  in 8 or more hours on campus or in the surrounding community. 
  • Water in the Desert and RecycleMania programs are available for Campus Living Lab Projects.
  • The WS Campus Solar Array (and Energy Storage System) has a state of the art solar lab for students in the CNM Electrical Trades PV Concentration program. 

Faculty Members, or students, interested in the Sustainability Certificate program, current Campus Living Lab projects, please contact Molly Blumhoefer: Faculty who would like to use existing facilities, or build new facilities in order to use the Campus as Living Lab in their curriculum, please contact Molly Blumhoefer:

Faculty that would like for their class to tour any of the campus buildings or other campus elements, please fill out the Tour Request Form and return to

Building Green

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has been a guiding principle in CNM construction and renovation projects at CNM. Projects (buildings, building elements, and campuses) may be registered under specific certifications such as New Construction & Major Renovations, and Interior Design & Construction.  For LEED tours and case studies, please see "Sustainability on Campus" above. The dates listed below are when the building became LEED Certified, rather than when construction was completed.

New ConstructionLEED

  • 2011: Rio Rancho Campus (RR), LEED Gold
  • 2012: The Student Resource Center (SRC), LEED Silver
  • 2016: Westside I Building (WSI) , LEED Silver
  • 2021: Education Collaborative (EC), LEED Silver
  • 2021: Marketplace @ CNM, LEED Silver

Major Renovations 

  • 2013: Jeannette Stromberg Hall (JS), LEED Gold 
  • 2014: Tom Wiley Hall (TW), LEED Silver 
  • 2016: Robert P. Matteucci Hall (RPM) , LEED Gold 
  • 2016: Laboratory (L) Building, LEED Gold
  • 2017: Ted F. Martinez (TM) Building, LEED Silver
  • 2019: Smith Brasher Hall (SB) Building, LEED Gold
  • 2019: Richard Barr (RB) Building, LEED Gold
  • 2021: Max Salazar Hall (MS), LEED Platinum

Interior Design & Construction

  • 2013: Advanced Technology Center (ATC), LEED Gold 
  • 2017: South Valley I (SVI), LEED Silver