Advisory Committee – American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment Year End Report, AY 11/12 Committee Organization This year we reached out to student groups and campus offices to get greater participation across campus and involved a total of 23 individuals. Louesa Akin (EARTH), Tyler Chelf (ITS), Cody Cook (fall, SGA), Terry Crowley (community), Jillian Embrey (fall, development), Mike Hamm (history), Cindy Isenhour (ENS), Steve Jamison (finance), Erin Jansen (SGA), Patrick Kagan-Moore (drama), Dan Kirchner (philosophy), Maria Lohr (GROWS), Scott Messer (facilities management), Preston Miles (chem), Gina Nicoletti (athletics), Patrick Noltemeyer (SLO), Endre Nyerges (anthro), Natalie Pope (spring, SGA), Barrie Schmitt (SGA), Evan Shirley (ECCO), Judy Stanley (alumna), Elizabeth Trollinger (communications), Vicki Walker (spring, development). Meetings were held during common hour on Oct. 8, Nov. 8, Jan. 10, Feb. 16, Mar. 15, Apr. 26. Green Week Plus The events organized around earth week this year were both more numerous and of better quality. Activities were scheduled between the Norton Centre event, “We Are What We Eat”, and the President’s Sustainability Convocation, by David Shi, “Taking the Long View: Adapting to a More Sustainable Future”. Attendance at most events was very good. The Mountain Witness Tour was an opportunity for students to see first-hand the environmental impact of fossil fuel extraction. The GreenWeekPlus events are summarized below and presented in the April 19 webstory, http://www.centre.edu/news/2012/green_week.html . “We Are What We Eat” Marian Nestle & Newlin Hall subscription 4/17 Daphne Miller series Young Farmers Panel Conversation with Gillespie Hall 4/18 local farmers. Earth Day Service Project rain-out Central Kentucky Wildlife 4/21 Refuge “Dead Meat: Margaret Atwood’s Amanda Hagood, Ewen Room 4/23 Carnivory” Hendrix Earth Poetry Lisa Williams Grissom Reading room 4/24 Dumpster Dive Competition ECCO Campus Center lawn 4/26 PCC Meeting David Shi Evans-Lively Room 4/26 “Environmental Values” Carmel Price, Evans-Lively Room 4/26 Furman “Taking the Long View: David Shi President’s Sustainability 4/26 Adapting to a More Sustainable Convocation, Future” Newlin Hall Lecture Slam Various speakers Campus Center lawn 4/27 “The Real Story of the Three Trash theatre Spring Carnival 4/27 Little Pigs” and “Little Green Riding Hood” Mountain Witness Tour Cindy Isenhour Eastern Kentucky 4/28 Additionally, the Spring Carnival included booths by four student groups: ECCO (bicycle powered smoothie maker), Club Compost (weighing food waste and distributing educational materials), Society of Physics Students (bicycle power: mechanical equivalent of work), GROWS (individual flower cups and herb sale). Student Activities Growing out of a Centreterm FYS course led by Professor Isenhour, Club Compost is a new student group exploring the feasibility of composting on our campus. Questions being investigated include: location, cost of equipment, volume of food and yard waste, and funding. Two student interns continue this work during summer ’12. This year saw the renewal of theme housing for students with environmental interests. For AY 11/12, fourteen students were involved and were located in the 850 House on West Walnut Street. The group held a weekly common meal and began a program to recycle the ubiquitous “red solo cup” through the company Terracycle. The group obtained recognition through Student Government Association and has adopted the name Environmental Action and Responsibility Through Housing (EARTH). For coming year, the group has been reassigned to second floor Bingham. The oldest environmental organization on campus is Environmentally Conscious Centre Organization (ECCO). This group organized a tour of the Mother Ann Lee facility on November 12, and worked with Cheryl Coulter of Facilities Management to conduct a waste audit competition April 25. GROWS is now in its’ third year and has adopted a stable pattern of types and amounts of garden crops. Produce has been taken to the local food pantry, Harvesting Hope, as well as campus dining service. A student intern is supporting that work during summer 2012. Fall 2011, the Student Government Association approved purchase of a water bottle filling station. Cody Cook worked with Mark Anderson to arrange installation in the hallway just outside Hazelrigg Gymnasium during winter 2012. This makes the third such facility on campus. New Buildings We are now a campus with over a million square feet of buildings, much of which is new construction in past few years. Almost 40% of our total campus buildings areas have been completed or seen major renovations since 2005 and all of these have incorporated best practices for energy efficiency. The four most recent construction projects are Pearl Hall (2008, 56,000ft2, LEED Gold), Campus Center (2010, 46,000ft2, LEED Silver), Young Hall addition (2012, 40,000ft2, LEED Gold), and major remodeling of Newlin/Grant (2010, 106,000ft2, LEED existing buildings eligible). Two projects, Sutcliffe (2005, 124,000ft2) and Crounse/Doherty (2005, 103,000ft2), were completed before Centre joined the ACUPCC and adopted USGBC as a routine practice, but both of these buildings incorporated many energy efficiency features. The new Brockman Commons 120 bed residential facility is scheduled for completion fall 2012 and has been designed with the expectation of submission of application for LEED certification. Balancing the energy efficiency of the new construction is the 60% of our building space that was constructed before 2005. Air Travel Mitigation Fund The ATMF serves to harmonize Centre’s interest in international study and concern for minimizing the environmental impact of air travel. Students participating in study abroad are given opportunity to contribute to this “internal offset” program and the funds are used for energy/emissions reductions projects on our campus. The summer of 2011 completed the first full cycle of the Air Travel Mitigation Fund. Adopted in fall ’09, the program collected funds fall ’10 through spring’11 with an estimated participation of 15%. Summer 2011, 40 motion sensor light fixtures were installed in housekeeping closets across campus. Using conservative estimates of savings, this investment will avoid the emission of 95 tons of carbon dioxide per year and have an overall return on investment of 180%. One of the primary objectives of ATMF was that our first mitigation project would be highly visible. Since these devices are installed inside a closet, we did not meet this objective. Contributions in the AY 11/12 cycle were much smaller, only $175 was added to the fund. At this point, no decision has been made on how those funds will be used. Greater visibility and streamlined procedures for contributions we be implemented to achieve higher participation in the future. Local Food Local food use and the sustainability of dining hall operations became much more visible questions this year. Professor Kirchner and Mike Nagorka arranged a well attended Farm to Cafeteria dinner on Nov. 4 that brought representatives of local food organizations to our campus. During Centreterm 2012 there were three first-year studies courses offered that discussed food questions from various perspectives: FYS 143 Food in Film, Fiction & Fine Arts, Finch; FYS 158, The Chemistry of Food, Haile; FYS 163 Food & Campus Sustainability, Werner. The Centre Institute for Food Ethics Research (http://web.centre.edu/phi/cifer/index.html) grew out of the fall term course PHI 305 Ethics of Food, Kirchner. On-campus menus, meals, and food service are one of the most effective settings in which questions of sustainability and resource allocations can be addressed. Our committee discussed the possibility of a careful audit of dining hall operations at Centre. Clean Air-Cool Planet is the organization that provides the Campus Carbon Calculator that Centre uses to monitor greenhouse gas emissions. The best available instrument to quantify the environmental impact of food service is also offered by Clean Air- Cool Planet. CA-CP has available a ‘beta” version of the program CHarting Emissions from Food Services (CHEFS) to allow calculation of environmental impacts from the agriculture, processing, transportation, preparation, and waste of food services. Significant time and funds would be necessary to conduct this study. Academic There are currently 16 students with declared minors in Environmental Studies, eight for ’13 and eight for ’14. Several self-designed majors have been submitted and are awaiting approval. The Environmental Studies program has submitted a request for full-time tenure track faculty member. If approved, recruitment would occur fall 2012 and the candidate would join the faculty in fall 2013. Additionally, the Environmental Studies program committee has begun discussions about recommending a major program. Professor Isenhour collected information on environmental studies programs at benchmark institutions. Professor Shiba surveyed the role of environmental geology and earth sciences in environmental science programs. Campus and Community Awareness After an absence of several months, Sustainable_Centre reappeared as a featured “button” on the College’s webpage. http://www.centre.edu/sustainable_centre/index.html Mary Kay Jones serves as contact for updates and additions to the website. During GreenWeekPlus the background color for the Centre website was changed to green (literally). In order to remain fresh, a website needs constant attention. This should become a summer 2012 project. Faculty Friday Hour presentation Sept 23, “Centre’s Efforts Toward Reduced Environmental Impact” Fall film series. “Green Fire”, “The Last Mountain”, “Carbon Nation” Fall convo. “Restoring Ecosystem Services on Surface Mines in Appalachia”, Oct. 18, Dr. Chris Barton, Associate Professor of Forest Hydrology and Watershed Management, University of Kentucky Department of Forestry. Spring film series. “Burning the Future”, “Fuel”, “The Last Mountain”, “Gas Land”, “Pipe Dreams” Spring convo. “Industrial Food Production and the Plight of Immigrant Workers”, April 3, Gerardo Reyes-Chavez Orientation program. Cody Cook worked with Melissa Clarke to update and present a Powerpoint slideshow before and after the major meetings for first-year students. Comments and questions suggested this was effective at increasing awareness. Cook and Clarke presented this approach as a seminar “Passive Training for Sustainability Issues” at the 2012 Campus Community Partnership for Sustainability conference at Northern Kentucky University, Nov 19. The Cento published four feature articles and the College’s webpage included ten articles on sustainability efforts this academic year. Action Plan for Building Efficiency Over 70% of the College’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the natural gas and electricity we consume. Greenhouse gas emissions roughly follow the pattern for energy costs and Olin, JVAC, Navy Building, Boles pool, Walnut St. House, and Campus Center have energy costs of over $2.00 per square foot. Clearly, upgrade of the mechanical and architectural systems in our older buildings is a key strategy to achieve our goals. We need to know what mechanical systems and new technologies are available and with that information we can develop a timeline for upgrade projects. But we do not have the staff time or expertise for that level of planning. Beginning in the fall 2009, we met with several possible energy engineering consultants, and in fall 2010 we identified 8760 Engineering as consultants that can lead us in developing a strategic plan for building efficiency. We have been in negotiation with 8760 Engineering since that time and their most recent proposal was beyond our budget capability. In the absence of an action plan, we do not know the extent to which our building GHG emissions can be reduced or what investments will be necessary to accomplish those reductions. Recycling Centre participated in the RecycleMania program again this year. This competition continues to be an effective program to encourage recycling. Less important are the relative rankings (2012- #152/339, 11.1 lb/person; 2011- #102/363, 15.5 lb/person; 2010 - #114/346, 13.8 lb/person) Our recycling records are calculated September through August in order to include the significant amount of material recycled from summer construction projects. Through the first nine months (Sept 11-May12) of this year we have recycled 41.4 tons of all materials. This is slightly less than this point last year. Subjectively, we suspect this may be due to an increase in double-sided printing and reusable rather than single-use water bottles. As comparison, the full year total for 10/11 was 72.4 tons, and for 09/10 was 74.2 tons. Tyler Chelf led an effort in which the Centre College ITS department partnered with Global Environmental Systems for proper disposal of all ewaste created on campus. Additionally, ITS will accept personal electronic waste for proper disposal. The personal program was free during GreenWeekPlus and continues every Friday afternoon with a modest fee for personal items. A complete description of the program is available through the ITS Wiki http://wiki.centre.edu/its/index.php/EWaste_Recycling. Alternative Energy Achieving net zero GHG emissions, can also be achieved by using energy sources that do not produce greenhouse gases. In our region, the likely approaches are solar thermal, wind, solar photovoltaic, biomass, hydroelectric, and combined heat and power. The Student Green Fund continues to purchase renewable energy certificates (REC) from Lock 7 Hydropartners. The 4,142 REC’s to be purchased from Dec 1, 2011 through Dec 1, 2012 will represent about 30% of our electricity consumption. A proposal for solar water heating for Boles pool was prepared for consideration in the 2011 Capital Projects Plan. We’ve begun preliminary investigations of feasibility of both roof-mounted and free-standing solar photovoltaic installations. We’ve had preliminary discussions with Iberdrola, Inc. about long-term contracts to purchase electricity from a new wind farm in southern Ohio. We’ve had conversations with representatives of Windstream, Inc., about their small “turbomill” product. In May, a research project was approved to evaluate the feasibility of wind energy in our area. Anemometers and wind vanes will be attached at three elevations on a cell phone tower about a half-mile southwest of our campus. Wind energy data collected over 18 months will be used to evaluate the feasibility of a major investment. Instrumentation was purchased through the Kresge Science Endowment. Installation, tower rental and removal costs will be provided by the President’s Office. Other This year, the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) added a requirement of periodic progress reports. The Progress Report is intended to help signatories assess and track progress toward the goals outlined in their Climate Action Plans and to share that progress with their stakeholders and the general public. The Centre report was submitted on January 30 and is available at http://rs.acupcc.org/progress/249/ Our Communications Department has selected Forest Stewardship Council paper for Admissions publications. This could be extended to other campus publications. In our second meeting of the year we decided to develop a sub-committee structure. Four work groups were developed (Curriculum and Student Engagement, Kagan-Moore; ACUPCC Progress Report, Miles; Capital Improvements, Noltemeyer; Dining Hall Questions, Nicoletti). We may have made these sub-groups too large, because they became somewhat ungainly. In February through April, an informal work group led by Isenhour and Kagan-Moore, developed to coordinate the GreenWeekPlus activities. We collaborated with Gary Bugg and the Student Life Office to investigate car sharing. The We-Car program of Enterprise Rent-A-Car will be on campus beginning fall ’12. Anticipated benefits include financial savings for some students and their families, reduced parking on campus, and possibly a modest reduction in car travel. David Shi met with the PCC on April 26. Dr. Shi made the following points to committee members: sustainability is the ideal enterprise for the liberal arts education, can be an excellent venue for experiential learning, and is a fertile area for collaboration across campus and between institutions. He advised that if we hope to achieve the goals of ACUPCC, we must seek the endorsement of the College Council, the Staff Council, the Faculty and ultimately of the Board of Trustees. Incorporation of ACUPCC commitment into Centre’s Strategic Plan is a logical step. What We Didn’t Get Done At our first meeting each year, it has become our custom to set out some goals for the committee. Most of the priorities we identified in October received at least some attention and are discussed above. Ideas that were missed include: an all-campus survey of awareness, attitudes and actions that people have on sustainability issues, a green roof for Crounse Hall, glass recycling, STARS, parking spaces for EV and LEV, and a solar garage for golf carts. These ideas will be taken up early in AY 12/13. Summary We are encouraged by the increased interest our students have in environmental questions. We made progress in both informal education and academic offerings related to sustainability. Challenges remain in reducing net greenhouse gas emissions.
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