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, we are pleased to announce several new campus initiatives for the 2015-2016 academic year, including:
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: 21)
Front-of-the-House Composting Pilot
Since the fall, Bon Appetit, Emmanuel's food service provider, has been capturing food scraps during meal preparation (aka back-of-the-house composting) as well as food left on plates at the dish return. Between July 2014 and March 2015, we have diverted approximately 63,000 pounds of food waste from landfills.
Based on the successes we have seen in the back-of-the-house program, the College will introduce front-of-the-house composting in the Main Dining Room for the Fall 2015 semester. The Facilities Department and Bon Appetit ran a 5-day pilot to test out the new system between April 13th and April 17th to prepare for this transition.
Rather than scraping food and napkins into a trash bin, diners were asked to do so into a compost bin. Paper and plastic disposable products were either recycled or thrown away. Dishes and silverware were then placed on the dish return to be cleaned. Bin monitors and signage were used to help educate diners on where everything should go.
We are thrilled to report that during this 5-day pilot, our students, faculty and staff diverted approximately 730 pounds of food waste from landfills! According to USDA figures, this is equivalent to 600 meals (assumes 1.2 pounds per meal).
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.
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.
Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions or concerns you may have regarding our green efforts.