Progress Report for Washington College
Submitted on Jan. 13, 2012; Last updated on Jan. 13, 2012
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.
click on a section heading below to expand its content; click again to collapse
Various trends and conclusions may be drawn from the analysis of data recently collected. Total greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly by 22 tons (less than 1%) from 2009 to 2010 for one particular reason: as older facilities on campus are being renovated, their systems are being converted from steam heat to electric heat. While the College is using less heating oil to generate steam heat, it did realize a significant increase in purchased electricity (up roughly 11% from 2009 to 2010).
The bulk of the electrical generation comes from coal-fired plants (50%), so decreasing electrical
consumption and finding cleaner sources of electrical power hold the greatest potential for a
significant decrease in emissions. Examples include: installing motion sensors in bathrooms,
locker rooms, hallways, labs and classrooms; replacing light bulbs with light-emitting diodes
(LEDs) or compact fluorescents (CFLs); replacing antiquated hvac systems with geothermal
systems; installing a ground-mount solar collection system; and improving the quality and
quantity of energy-saving reminders to students, faculty and staff.
It should be noted that several projects currently under construction on campus will result
in significant reductions of electricity usage in the not-too-distant future: geothermal hvac
systems for the Miller Library and William Smith Hall; and motion detectors for hallways and
bathrooms in Minta Martin Hall and Cain Gym. According to the general contractor for the
library and Smith Hall project, existing electricity usage is roughly 2,023,814 kilowatt hours
(kWh) per year. It is estimated that, by using a new geothermal hvac system for those facilities,
only 896,694 kWh per year will be needed, resulting in a reduction of 1,127,119 kWh per year.
The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be roughly 2,671,274 pounds (or 1,335 tons)
per year. From a percentage basis it would be 56% reduction in emissions for those facilities
alone, and a reduction of 7% of the College’s overall emissions.
In addition, low-flow shower heads are being installed in Minta Martin Hall and in the
Cain Gym’s locker rooms, which will ultimately assist the College in its effort to reduce water
consumption and help in reducing the load that is managed by the Chestertown wastewater
The amount of solid waste going into landfills has been cut almost in half since 2008, and
could even be trimmed by as much as 75%. The College initiated a modest recycling program in
Fall 2008, and hired a Research Associate at the Center for Environment & Society to coordinate
its operations. The recycling program was expanded in 2009 to include the whole campus, and
in 2010 was fully integrated into the core administration of the campus. The results of this action
speak for themselves: 256.5 tons of solid waste were picked up from the campus in 2010,
compared to 357 tons in 2009 and 450 in 2008. In addition, in 2010 phone books for staff and
faculty were provided only on request, and not automatically provided for everyone, as before.
In 2009, the College ordered 425 phone books; in 2010, that number was reduced to 200, and in
2011 that number was reduced again by nearly half to 125, thereby saving costs associated with
printing, transporting, and recycling them.
|Climate Neutrality Target Date:||2070|
|Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target||Target Date||Baseline*|
|25% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2 Emissions||by 2020||relative to baseline emissions in 2007|
|25% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions||by 2030||relative to baseline emissions in 2007|
|50% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2 Emissions||by 2040||relative to baseline emissions in 2007|
|50% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions||by 2050||relative to baseline emissions in 2007|
|75% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2 Emissions||by 2060||relative to baseline emissions in 2007|
|100% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2 Emissions||by 2070||relative to baseline emissions in 2007|
|Reporting Year||Gross Emissions||Net Emissions||Full Time Enrollments||Total Bldg. Sq. Ft.||[action]|
|2006||15289.0||15289.0||1302.0||763404.0||[ view ]|
|2007||16153.0||16153.0||1257.0||763404.0||[ view ]|
|2009||16420.0||16416.885||1429.0||855000.0||[ view ]|
|2011||16007.0||16001.0||1400.0||855000.0||[ view ]|
Change in GHG gross emissions
The slight uptick in gross emissions can be attributed to several factors: 1) the College is experiencing a strategic period of growth, both in enrollment and in facilities; 2) the College is reducing its use of fossil fuels for heating, and moving toward electric systems that employ geothermal wells in order to decrease the overall demand in the future; and 3) the College does foresee a gradual reduction in gross emissions as the enrollment and facilities issues stabilize.
Change in GHG emissions per 1000 sq.ft. building space
Change in GHG emissions per full time enrollment (FTE)
How is your institution making climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students?Upon enrollment, students are encouraged to sign the Green Pledge (see http://www.washcoll.edu/sustainability/greenpledge/), and are given information regarding recycling, composting, electricity usage, etc. The College has a Sustainability web site (see http://sustainability.washcoll.edu/) which is linked from the home page. The College's Center For Environment & Society (CES) has full-time staff members who are dedicated to working on climate change and sustainability issues for the College and for the community. CES employs student interns during the school year to assist with projects related to these issues.
Does your institution offer an undergraduate degree program(s) related to climate change/sustainability?Yes
Environmental Studies; see http://environmental.washcoll.edu/
Does your institution offer a graduate degree program in climate change/sustainability?No
If applicable, how is your institution expanding research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality research?Faculty, staff, and students are involved in the President's Climate Action Committee, which works with senior staff at the College to find ways to decrease the College's use of "brown" power and to increase its focus on sustainability.
Does your institution have a program to encourage student climate and or sustainability research?No
Does your institution have a program to encourage faculty climate and or sustainability research?No
How is your institution expanding community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality?Staff members from the Center for Environment & Society work with local municipalities and organizations to increase the use of renewable energy systems and promote sustainable practices.
Does your institution participate in community climate change and or sustainability partnerships?Yes
Staff at the Center for Environment & Society work with local municipalities on energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and sustainability issues.
Has your institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance your goal of climate neutrality?No
Energy Efficiency Projects
Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects planned, but not yet implemented:2
Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects completed since signing the ACUPCC:3
Has your Climate Action Plan and/or related sustainability efforts saved your institution money so far, e.g. by reducing operational expenses?not sure
- Financing Methods utilized for Mitigation or Renewable Energy Projects:
- Renegotiating Purchased Utilities Agreements