Increasing numbers of colleges and universities are making a commitment to foster sustainability on campus. This strategy aligns well with university missions that include public service, thought leadership and pioneering new technologies. But at the end of the day, the most compelling reason is financial.
Do energy visualization dashboards really save energy?
In higher ed we often find that the pace of decision making can be snail-like. While not always a bad thing, it is symptomatic of what the Higher Education culture embraces—making sure all the right data is in place before making the final decision. Thus, efficiency in decision making can become challenging because the institutional environment requires collaboration and every mind requires a different level of data satisfaction, due in large part to individual perspective.
The University of Connecticut ranked at the top of a list of the most sustainable campuses in the world, according to results of the University of Indonesia’s GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities, released this month.
Two years ago, Sierra College (Calif.) installed CALMAC IceBank thermal energy storage tanks to help control energy costs. The tanks create ice overnight when energy in the state is generated using natural gas, and the ice is then used for cooling during the day. Michael Kane, director of the energy program at Sierra, says the three tanks on campus save from $5,000 to $10,000 per month. But what Sierra is doing differently is ensuring its energy storage looks nice, too.
Institutions of higher learning around the globe are turning green. They are embracing sustainability for many reasons, some of them economic, some of them because their student body and faculty are requesting it, and some of them just because it is the right thing to do.
Temple University (Pa.) is the latest campus to install Solar Dok picnic tables from EnerFusion. The tables, which are made from recycled plastic and cost $10,495 each (plus shipping), have built-in solar panels that provide a place to recharge numerous types of mobile devices while socializing.
There were no ribbon cuttings to mark the opening of the largest fuel cell operating on any Northeast college campus. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Central Connecticut State University President Jack Miller instead used a pair of wire cutters to snip a large power supply cord during a recent “power cutting” ceremony to recognize installation of the 1.4 megawatt fuel cell power plant.
The University of Utah will launch a fleet of electric buses this fall to shuttle some 47,000 students, staff, and administrators around its 1,500-acre campus. Forty buses, similar to the one pictured here, have been ordered from BYD, a Chinese company that is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles. The drawback to electric buses in the past has been battery weight. But the BYD buses use a much lighter rechargeable battery, so they can carry more passengers.
Presidents, CFOs, and trustee finance committee members will not travel too far down any paths related to sustainability until their associated costs are identified and thoroughly assessed.
Over the course of approximately 200 conversations and interviews for our book, The Sustainable University: Green Goals and New Challenges for Higher Education Leaders (Johns Hopkins, 2012), it became apparent that while many believe the period for orientations to sustainability has passed and the movem
Having worked closely with college and university presidents, provosts, and trustees, James Martin, a professor of English at Mount Ida College (Mass.) and James E. Samels, president and CEO of The Education Alliance, recognize just how complex sustainability leadership in higher education has become. Their new book, The Sustainable University (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), identifies four formidable challenges facing campus leaders, as well as promising solutions.