A lot is being done on the sustainability front. For the most updated information, we created an environment and sustainability webpage. I recently posted on the President’s Blog a synopsis of our current efforts. Below is an excerpt detailing where we are headed:
I am signing the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible and to take immediate, specific steps toward doing so. I am very comfortable signing the presidents’ commitment because there is no question in my mind that this campus is committed to the goal — because it is good citizenship, it is consistent with our values, and because many of the activities we are committed to in this area may actually save the College money in the long run.
We are establishing a Climate Steering Committee that will coordinate the efforts of everyone involved in promoting sustainability on this campus. In my mind, this committee replaces and broadens the long-standing EcoCampus Committee of faculty, staff, and student representatives who meet to address campus environmental issues.
We have launched an environment and sustainability section on the College’s website to keep everyone informed of new sustainability developments and to act as a clearinghouse for links to the organizations, committees, and curricular developments related to sustainability.
We are planning to construct a three-turbine, 15.6 million kilowatt-hour wind farm north of campus that will cost about $10 million, generate 80 percent of the College’s electrical consumption, and reduce our carbon impact by half. This is the culmination of a wind-energy project begun by a student in 1996, and it will likely take another two years or more to complete. The details of property easements, financial models, and the relationship with our local utility company and the national power grid are currently being worked out, and they are complicated. But we have a vision and a plan that is well along. We are very excited about making it a reality.