Submitted on March 2, 2011; last updated on March 2, 2011
No information provided
Albion recognizes that the technological landscape will evolve during the time in which we will be working toward carbon neutrality. Although we see the educational value in modeling the costs and effects of applying present technologies at some time in the future, we fully expect that improved technologies will make our present calculations as obsolete as the old technologies on which they are based. We therefore believe that our values, our principles are the most enduring part of our plan.
As we pursue carbon neutrality we will be guided by these values:
• Student involvement in and the educational value of our efforts
• Development of living and working habits among students, faculty, staff, and others transcending the boundaries of our campus and driving long-term behavior change where necessary.
• Experimentation and learning by doing.
• Proactive leadership.
• Collection of data and its use in decision making.
In our operations we will:
• Utilize the best available, appropriate technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we build, renovate, and replace.
• Adopt LEED (and future generation) principles for all projects to which they apply.
• Purchase products that have been certified by ENERGY STAR, EPEAT, and other like bodies when available.
• Take pride in our accomplishments and make our results visible both on campus and off.
• Apply the Pareto principle to address the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
• Always look for ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
• Work to develop partnerships for sustainable, local sources of supplies and services.
• Complete a biannual inventory of our greenhouse gas emissions.
• Emphasize local efforts as we consider opportunities to offset emissions.
In doing these things, we hope to achieve carbon neutrality and meet the Presidents’ Climate Commitment no later than our 200th anniversary in 2035.
Albion College is committed to the principle that education is an integral part of our carbon action plan. Education is our central role, and the people we touch are our true legacy. Our educational efforts are both curricular and co-curricular
Fundamental to our co-curricular effort is the simple but transformative idea that we are “one College”, that all of our actions, from housekeeping to course instruction have the potential to serve our educational mission. This idea grew from discussions of sustainability education accompanying our carbon action planning.
The most notable application of this principle to date has been the implementation of College-wide themed years. During each year, we focus existing programs, such as endowment-supported speakers, on a theme while developing new initiatives and events to provide a year long, interdisciplinary exploration of the theme for the entire community. Instructors are encouraged to relate courses to the theme.
On a three year rotation, themes are sustainability, wellness, and global diversity. We are presently engaged in our first sustainability themed year. Highlights include a year-long “lifestyle challenge” in which every day has a theme; examples are “Sustainable Sundays” encouraging students to explore local enjoyable, low impact leisure activities and “Food for Thought Thursday” which focus on the health and environmental impact of diet. A green jobs fair is planned for the spring. At our student-run sustainability fair, we have administered an individual carbon footprint calculator specific to living on our campus. Results are e-mailed to all participants, along with averaged data, and information on the College’s greenhouse emissions report.
In our curriculum all students must take an environmental category course as part of their general education graduation requirement. These courses are required to deal specifically with human impact on the environment, and many deal specifically and extensively with climate change.
The College’s policy is to collaborate with the community of Albion wherever possible. We have not yet developed a formal set of collaborations as part of our specific carbon planning, but many of the people involved in the carbon planning have worked at several levels with both citizens groups and city government on relevant projects.
The city, like many in Michigan, is presently suffering from high unemployment, declining revenues and the social woes that accompany these. Its primary environmental efforts presently consist of dealing with numerous Brownfield sites that are a legacy of its industrial past. None the less, there is room for education and climate action.
In the year after we signed the carbon action plan, one of the initiatives of the National Wildlife Federation Student Fellows was to make a presentation to the City Council urging participation in the Cool Cities program. The City did not feel it could take on all responsibilities at that time, but the students felt they were well-received.
In relevant ways, the city and College do collaborate. Sharing recycling facilities and contractor enables recycling for both the College and Community. The community is an asset in the SAIL program, a part of our themed year effort aimed at encouraging low impact leisure activities. The student farm group is soliciting community involvement, and other college personnel are involved with gardening projects with the community’s schools. The College and community collaborate in running a tree nursery on city property, and students are commonly involved with community members in tree planting initiatives. Members of the College’s CSE have submitted grant proposals to the local utility company for carbon education and weatherization projects in the community. Though unsuccessful to this point, we see this as the most appropriate community action under present conditions.
For problems or questions about this site please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.