Action Mandated by the President’s Climate Commitment Letter for FY2009
Develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral which will include:
- A target date for achieving climate neutrality
- Interim targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality
- Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students
- Other actions necessary to achieve climate neutrality
- Mechanisms for tracking progress
Potential New Initiatives for FY 2009
- The committee will look into the purchase “Renewable Energy Credits” REC’s to off set a percentage of the college’s electricity consumption. In FY 2007 the college used a total to 8,800,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. This is equal to 8,800 megawatts of electricity and if the college were to offset 10% of this usage, REC’s costing approximately $7,000 could be purchased. The actual cost will vary depending on market conditions. The REC revenue is used to expand the presence of renewable energy, such as wind and solar throughout the country.
- The College’s Division of Administration & Finance will be going out to bid on the food service contract during the summer and will attempt to include new “green initiatives”.
- The committee will continue to seek funding for solar and wind turbine technology. (a subcommittee has been created)
- The committee will investigate ways to save energy through the initiation of new “smart” policies.
- MVRTA discussions to increase the number of bus routes serving the college
- Improving the quality of the NECC shuttle and increasing the number of trips.
- Develop a website to promote, update and track college activities regarding the pursuit of climate neutrality
NECC Climate Commitment Accomplishments FY 2008
Northern Essex Community College has successfully taken the initial steps in the pursuit of climate neutrality. Since signing the President’s Climate Commitment in September 2007, NECC has followed the steps outlined:
- Create an institutional structure to guide the development and implementation of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality; and
- Complete a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas emissions
The Environmental Impact and Sustainability Committee was created in September 2007 and held its’ first meeting on October 30, 2007. The Committee met through out the Academic Year and accomplished the following:
- The Carbon Footprint estimate for the College for FY 2007 has been completed and it shows that over 29,000,000 pounds of CO2 were produced by the college from electric and natural gas usage; student, faculty and staff commutes to work and class; plane travel for conferences and meetings; and by other college activities and functions. We have attached the Carbon Footprint document for your review.
- Ride Share spaces will be created on both campuses in an attempt to increase the number of students that share a ride with one or more fellow students. The Spring 2008 Ride Share survey showed that 64 % of students would consider Sharing a Ride if they had preferential parking. Ten spaces will be set aside in the main lot in front of the Spurk Building and 3-4 spaces will be set aside in the main lot on Franklin St. for the start of the Fall 2008 semester.
- Purchasing Policy has been clarified to increase college-wide energy efficiency. All new appliances, computer monitors and personal computers will be Energy Star rated.
- Two acres located between The Technology Center and the Fitness Center have been designated as “Not to be mowed”. These two acres will be allowed to return to its natural state. By not mowing this area, we will not produce approximately 79 lbs of CO2 emissions / hour or 2,050 lbs per year.
- All new campus construction at the college will be built to at least a minimum of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver standard or equivalent. This means that the new Lawrence building and possibly the Spurk Building renovation will be required to meet the LEED Silver standard.
- The college in collaboration with the City of Haverhill, has been recycling its paper and cardboard for several years now. NECC will expand the recycling effort to include plastic, cans and glass containers effective July 1, 2008. The ten containers will be placed in the following locations: Main Lobby in the Gym; Spurk Building – 1st floor – Middle lobby; Spurk Building”C” – 1st floor – North End Lobby; Inside Jitters – Spurk Building; Applied Science Building “B” – Vending Room – B103; the Student Center Cafeteria – 2nd Floor and the Technology Center Lobby Mini Café.
- The College has entered into a contract with EnerNoc. EnerNoc is an energy savings resource firm that is contracted by National Grid to monitor the consumption of energy in the Northeast area. When there is an impending event (grid overload/brown-out condition), the College will be asked to reduce its electricity consumption for a prescribed period. Our reduction along with other institutions will benefit the citizens of the area by hopefully keeping us from having an actual brow/black out. The College will also benefit by receiving a reduction in the electric rate. For each event, you will be asked to shut off lights, lower Air Conditioning and turn off unnecessary appliances.
- Collaborated with the Liberal Arts Revitalization Committee (LARC) for activities regarding the “NECC Environmental Awareness Week” event.
- With support from state and federal grants Northern Essex is developing innovative science programs at the K-12 and the Associate degree level to encourage interest in science/IT careers and to promote sustainability. Another state funded green grant initiative includes the development of a comprehensive green-awareness environmental collection in the college’s libraries.
- Supported and sponsored the development of a new Green Technology course. The Computer Technology & Electronic (CTE) course was approved by the academic affairs committee in the Spring of 2008. The course will be offered in the Spring of 2009.
- Information was gathered from across campus to create an “NECC Green Platform” evidencing the college’s commitment to this green initiative. The platform includes details about “green” projects that have already been completed in the classroom and across campus as well as listing those projects underdevelopment including use reduction and recycling, seeking/creating alternate energy and naturalizing.
Ride Share Survey
A Ride Share Survey was conducted during the Spring semester and 507 unduplicated students participated. Some of the results were:
- 78% of our students drive themselves to school
- 7% ride with a friend
- 8% use the MVRTA
- 6% use the NECC Van
- 1% bike or walk to class
- 40% of our students would use the MVRTA bus if there was a better schedule and more stops
- The average student commute in miles is 12
- 64 % of students would consider Sharing a Ride if they had preferential parking