At Emmanuel College, green isn't just the color of our grassy quad and tree-lined campus. Green is our commitment to the environment and to the students we educate, helping to ensure that we make the world a little bit better each day.
In pursuit of sustainability, Emmanuel undertook the following campus initiatives in the 2015-2016 academic year:
2015 Residence Hall Recycling Challenge
Resident students of Emmanuel College faced off during a two-week challenge to see which floor could achieve the highest recycling rate. St. Ann Hall - 1st Floor won the 2015 challenge with a recycling rate of over 2.5 pounds per person. Overall, students diverted almost a ton of recyclables (1,708 pounds) in the residence halls alone.
Water Refill Station
In August 2014, the Facilities Department unveiled the first water bottle refill station on campus as part of a pilot program. The Emmanuel College community diverted over 38,000 20-ounce bottles from landfills by using the unit last academic year. Due to its overwhelming success, the College expanded the program so chilled, filtered water is now available in the Administration Building, Cardinal Cushing Library and all residence halls!
New locations include:
• Administration Building - retrofitted 5 existing water fountains by adding push button filler
• Cardinal Cushing Library - replaced the existing fountain (located in basement) with new unit complete with a bottle filler
• Residence Halls - installed one pedestal-style filler in each kitchen, plus St. Joseph's game room and basement lounge (total: 23)
Based on the successes we have seen in the back-of-the-house program and front-of-the-house pilot in April, the College introduced front-of-the-house composting in the Marian Hall Dining Room for the Fall 2015 semester.
Rather than scraping food and napkins into a trash bin, diners are asked to do so into a compost bin. Paper and plastic disposable products are either recycled or thrown away. Dishes and silverware are then placed on the dish return to be cleaned. Clear signage is in place to help educate diners on where everything should go.
In the 2015-2016 academic year, Emmanuel has diverted 83,740 pounds of food waste, liquid + napkins from landfills!
In Spring 2014, Emmanuel's IT Department partnered with Toshiba to implement a new print and imaging program called EC Print. This not only created more printing locations for students, faculty and staff but also created three sustainability standards: high-efficiency devices that conserve power and toner, double-sided printing capability and scan to e-mail functionality.
Over the first year of EC Print usage, Emmanuel students' paper consumption was reduced by over 38%. Including faculty and staff printing, the College realized a paper savings of 815,215 pages over the previous print infrastructure. This is the equivalent of 4 tons or 163 cases of paper. These savings can be attributed to double-sided printing and deletion of unreleased print jobs. Click here for our Year One infographic with more information.
Emmanuel has also partnered with Toshiba and Habitat for Humanity to recycle all toner cartridge waste for use in building new homes and installing benches in parks around the US. To learn more, see this short video on how this keeps waste out of landfills.
LED Lighting Project
Between October 2014 and January 2015, the College worked with Bluestone Energy Services to upgrade approximately 2,000 lighting fixtures across campus to the latest LED technology. These upgrades will reduce our annual usage by 60%, or more than 665,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). Not only will our students, faculty and staff benefit from the cleaner, whiter light but Emmanuel will see reductions in energy and maintenance costs as well as a reduced carbon footprint.
2014 Residence Hall Recycling Challenge
To raise student awareness about Emmanuel's new single-stream recycling program, resident students faced off to see which floor could achieve the highest recycling rate during the month of November. Each week, the recycling toters from each floor kitchen were weighed and recorded. The prize? A pizza party.
Our resident students recycled over a ton of recyclables (2,425 pounds) in four weeks and Julie Hall - 3rd Floor was crowned the winner!
Social Justice Programming: Sustainability is E-C
Mission + Ministry collaborated with various campus partners to create a comprehensive social justice education program around the topic of Sustainability.
February 12, 2015 marked the 10 year anniversary of the death of Sister Dorothy Stang, SND who worked on behalf of the indigenous people of the Amazon. Sister Dorothy worked with the Pastoral Land Commission, an organization of the Catholic Church that fights for the rights of rural workers and peasants, and defends land reforms in Brazil. Her murder came less than a week after meeting with the country's human rights officials about threats to local farmers from loggers and landowners. You can find more information on Sister Dorothy Stang, SND here. In honor of her spirit, we have decided to commit to the theme "sustainability" for this academic year.