Carbon Charge Working Group
The Carbon Charge Working Group manages the Carbon Charge Program and allocates funding generated by the Charge to sustainability projects that advance the College’s carbon neutrality mission. The Carbon Charge Working Group reports recommendations to the Ecosphere Executive Committee.
- 2018-2019 Working Group Membership:
- Co-Chair: Andrew Feick, Associate Vice President for Sustainable Facilities Operations and Capital Planning
- Co-Chair: Aurora Winslade, Director of Sustainability
- John Caskey, Professor of Economics
- Joel Cooper, Chief Information Technology Officer
- Nusaybah Estes '21, student
- Joshua Goldwyn, Professor of Mathematics
- Nathan Graf '16, President’s Climate Action Senior Fellow
- Domenic Porrini, Heat Plant and Energy Supervisor
- Nikki Senecal, Associate Director of Donor Relations
- Lee Smithey, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies
- Miriam Stein '20, student
- Ralph Thayer, Director of Maintenance
- Tyler White '22, student
- Ernie Wright, Budget Director
Carbon Charge Projects supported by the Carbon Charge Working Group:
- The Carbon Charge Fund
Allocated by the Carbon Charge Working Group, the Carbon Charge Fund supports renewable energy, efficiency upgrades, improved metering, emission reduction, and education initiatives.
Annually, the Carbon Charge raises a little over $300,000. The Carbon Charge Working Group allocates the funds to the following categories:
- $200,000 for energy saving projects through the Green Revolving Fund
- $90,000 for research, analysis, strategic planning, and metering
- $10,000 for education, engagement, and learning opportunities
Any funds raised above the first $300,000 are discretionary.
- The Green Revolving Fund
2016-17 President’s Sustainability Research Fellow Aaron Metheny ‘18 worked with the Carbon Charge Working Group and Ecosphere Executive Committee to develop Swarthmore’s Green Revolving Fund.
Swarthmore’s Green Revolving Fund is a self-renewing pool of capital that grants loans to energy projects on campus. As the energy projects reduce utility expenses, the savings are returned to the revolving fund until the “loan” is paid off, which replenishes the fund for further projects. The project loans are managed through the Green Revolving Investment Tracking System.
Past projects include:
- LED lighting upgrades for the Lamb-Miller Fieldhouse, Tarble Pavilion, and gym
- LED lighting upgrades for the tennis courts in the Mullan Center
- LED and motion sensor lighting upgrades to the Friends Historical Library
- Steam pipe insulation improvements
More information about the Green Revolving Fund is included in the GRF Guiding Document, which was approved by the Ecosphere Executive Committee in Spring 2017.
- Research, Analysis, and Strategic Planning
The Carbon Charge Working Group values an informed approach to emissions reduction, utility planning, renovations, and resiliency.
Past projects include:
- An Energy Strategy for Sustainability and Resilience Plan: The plan encompasses a facilities condition assessment, an electric resiliency plan, a renewables integration plan, and a list of campus energy savings projects. The Energy Strategy for Sustainability and Resilience plan designed project phasing for converting our heating system from steam to hot water, which could reduce campus emissions by up to 11%.
- Digital metering of natural gas use in the heat plant boilers.
- Electricity meter installations in several campus buildings.
- Consulting support to solicit project bids for an off-site, utility-scale renewable energy project, in partnership with three other Pennsylvania schools.
- Education, Engagement, and Behavior Change
The Working Group also collaborates with groups on campus to raise awareness and understanding of carbon pricing on campus and in the higher education community.
Past events and projects include:
- A screening of the Years of Living Dangerously “Priceless” episode and a panel discussion on carbon pricing.
- Supporting the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium workshop on how to bring internal carbon prices to other colleges and universities.
- The People’s Climate March delegation from Swarthmore.
- A forum on Swarthmore’s role in the global climate challenge.
- A lecture from the founder of the Environmental Voter Project.
- A pilot project to install devices to measure and reduce electricity consumption from outlets in several campus buildings.