Initial Ideas and Best Practices for Future Consideration

Students

The following offers some initial ideas the College could consider to further its efforts at carbon neutrality and overall environmental sustainability.

Energy

  • Reduce fossil-fuel use on campus through district energy systems (combined heat and power), geothermal, and renewable energy generation. Specific recommendations will come out of the Sustainability Framework.
  • Ensure that all new buildings and major renovations meet or exceed the energy standards established by the Sustainability Framework. Pilot innovative new projects such as a net zero energy residence hall.
  • Continue to implement energy conservation measures, such as converting all street lights on campus to LEDs and adding addition occupancy sensors and occupant controls.
  • Conduct energy audits of faculty/staff housing owned by the College. Consider innovative financing strategies to pay for improvements and to address split (tenant-landlord) incentives.

Waste management

  • Create a consistent waste system (with clear signage) for the entire campus.
  • Partner with a local business to expand composting to a year-round service offered in all buildings on campus; expand materials accepted for compost, including meat and dairy.
  • Only offer compostable utensils, lids, straws, etc., in the snack bar and coffee bars. Or offer reusable plates, cups, and silverware in as many food service locations as possible (Essie Mae’s?). 
  • Eliminate bottled water on campus; install water-bottle refilling stations indoors and outdoors.
  • Increase opportunities for recycling of electronic waste. Consider the creation of a centralized recycling area on campus that accepts all items that can be recycled.
  • Eliminate use of Styrofoam products on campus.
  • Offer leasing of appliances (e.g., mini refrigerators) to students to reduce the number purchased and then donated to Trash to Treasure each year.

Water

  • Increase collection of rainwater for landscape irrigation.
  • Use gray water and rainwater for non-potable uses in buildings, such as flushing toilets.
  • Increase use of storm-water management/low-impact development techniques, such as permeable pavers instead of traditional asphalt for parking lots.

Transportation

  • Evaluate the feasibility of a van-pool/ride-share program.
  • Expand employee transit incentives and housing benefits; consider disincentives like parking fees.
  • Create a fleet, right-sizing standard and policy.
  • Install a solar-powered, electric-vehicle recharging station.

Procurement

  • Develop environmental standards and policies for procurement.
  • Look for opportunities to share resources within and across departments (with the goal of purchasing less).

Food

  • Increase food production on campus.
  • Expand the offerings of organic and free-range ingredients and/or products.
  • Hold meat-free dinners to raise awareness that meat consumption has a far larger carbon footprint than a vegetarian/vegan diet.