Submitted on January 15, 2010; last updated on January 15, 2010
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Bentley University has elected to model an aggressive scenario to accomplish carbon neutrality. The preliminary targets set forth are as follows:
50% reduction (over a 2008 baseline) by 2015
70% reduction (over a 2008 baseline) by 2015
100% reduction (over a 2008 baseline) by 2015
Although ambitious, these targets are not unachievable. Bentley has decided upon a three-pronged approach to carbon footprint reduction which includes comprehensive energy efficiency upgrades to campus buildings followed by the purchased of green power via Renewable Energy Certificates.
Stage 1: Retro-commissioning Performing detailed building reviews is relatively low cost and can result in a sizeable decrease in carbon emissions. This initiative is broken into two phases, with half of Bentleys buildings completed before 2016, and half after.
Stage 2: Heat Recovery and Ventilation Controls These upgrades are already in progress and will continue. The carbon impact is shown in 2012 and projected into the future.
Stage 3: Renewable Energy Certificates RECs are a cost-effective means for Bentley to lower net emissions. Even with the purchase of these offsets, it is Bentleys goal to first pursue projects that actually reduce electric demand and therefore reduce the number of RECs required to fully offset Scope 2. In this climate model, REC purchases begin in 2016 and continue into the future. Costs estimates are based on current REC prices, which will undoubtedly change over time.
Bentleys undergraduate curriculum combines business study with a strong foundation in the arts, sciences and technology. Environmental courses offered under the Liberal Studies Major provide students with a background in earth or environmental science, together with global perspectives on the business challenges of sustainable development.
Bentley University has a rich history of service to the community in which sustainability is an integral part. Established in 1991, the Bentley Service-Learning Center (BSLC), which has built a national reputation (recognized by US News & World Report), seeks to promote academic learning; to develop socially responsible working professionals; and to assist community partners in serving the human needs and interests of their constituencies.
Below are several studies that have been completed by faculty and students engaged in service-learning at Bentley.
A report on Sustainable Programs prepared for the Leading by Example Program of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs;
A report on the causes of and potential solutions to the high cost of electricity in Massachusetts, prepared for the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies;
A report on the sustainability of Walthams downtown business district, prepared for the City of Waltham and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development;
A stakeholder analysis on the proposed Massachusetts Container Deposit Law prepared for the Chief of Environmental and Energy Services for the City of Boston; and
An analysis of economic and environmental issues related to building deconstruction prepared for the City of Waltham.
During 2008, Bentley initiated, as part of a graduate Business Sustainability course, a service to assist local organizations with sustainability planning. As part of this program, sustainability plans were completed for the Edinburg Center, Mother Caroline Academy, Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, Ben Franklin Institute of Technology, the Highlands Center at Cape Cod National Seashore and other nonprofit organizations. In addition, recycling plans were developed for City of Boston employees and residents.
Bentley intends to continue its service learning efforts in providing the community with assistance in sustainability matters.
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