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Goddard Semiannual Sustainability Progress Report

Catherine Lowther, PhD, MA's picture
BA in Sustainability Blog
Goddard Semiannual Sustainability Progress Report

January 16, 2013

Background

The sustainability team was formed in 2007 when Goddard’s then president Marc Schulman signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. We conducted a carbon inventory, created a climate action plan, and began working to reduce emissions and to integrate sustainability into all aspects of college activities.

The carbon inventory, climate action plan, resources for creating a carbon reduction plan, and previous progress reports are on GNet (a password protected site for students, staff and faculty) under Goddard Community, College Planning, Sustainability. Our goal is to be carbon neutral in fuels burned on campus and electricity usage by 2020, and we are also working to increase energy efficiency and reduce consumption and waste. To keep the community informed of our progress and to invite your participation, we have been reporting on our progress every six months.

Energy Efficiency and Reduced Carbon Emissions

As a result of our ongoing upgrades in building insulation and windows, equipment, appliances, and lighting, we:

  • Used 4,178 fewer gallons of heating oil and reduced carbon emissions from burning oil by 46.8 tons in FY 2012 compared to FY 2011.
  • Used 40.35 fewer MWH (megawatt hours) of electricity reducing emissions from electricity by 0.53 tons.
  • Since our original inventory in 2007, we have reduced the use of heating oil by 31% (from 62,268 gal. to 43,700 gal.) and the use of electricity by 25% (from 729.821 to 548.050 MWH).

We would like to continue to conserve energy wherever possible and welcome your ideas.

Food Service

Our chef, Paul Somerset, is working to make the food served in the cafeteria 100% sourced in Vermont. At this time of year, all root vegetables, potatoes, winter squash, fancy lettuce and herbs, jams and jellies, and most dairy products, are from Vermont, and cooking vegetables are from outside of Vermont. This will shift to more Vermont products as the season progresses.

All our baked goods are made in the Goddard kitchen from whole wheat grown at Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT; flour milled at Champlain Valley Mills; and Cabot butter.

The Goddard garden and greenhouse are being managed by two neighbors who put the garden to bed last fall by planting garlic and mulching for winter, and by planting the greenhouse with a winter crop of greens and herbs that are now being used in the kitchen. By early summer, the garden and greenhouse will provide much of our vegetables and herbs.

We are creating a partnership with Joey Klein of Littlewood Farm in Plainfield who will be growing several crops specifically for the Goddard kitchen this season, especially kale, broccoli, and late season vegetables.  We continue to get produce from other local farms, Two Rivers Center in Montpelier, and Black River Produce in Springfield, VT. We are now getting tea from The Vermont Liberty Tea Co. that grows and packs its own teas and herbs in Waterbury, VT.

We are introducing a new recyclable to-go container made from waste water bottles by Bottle Box in California and distributed by White River Paper Company in Vermont.

Green Revolving Fund

In January 2012, we started a small green revolving fund that we are using to support energy upgrades. A green revolving fund is “funded” by the cost savings resulting from using more efficient energy and provides an ongoing dedicated source of capital for sustainability projects that continue to save money. In 2012, we used about $2,000, and half of this amount will be paid back to the fund by March 1, 2013.

Woodchip Heating System

We are working through the permitting process to build a woodchip heating system that would heat the campus using a woodchip boiler. Similar biomass facilities at other colleges have reduced the use of heating oil by 90% per year.

Travel to Campus

There is information about public transportation options on our website, and there is a ride share board on GNet under Goddard Community, Ride Share Postings.

Networking

Goddard has joined the Vermont Campus Sustainability Network and meets with sustainability representatives from the other colleges in VT for two meetings per year to share ideas and practices.

Plans for FY 2013

We are moving ahead with website updates, sustainability education, increasing energy efficiency, reducing paper waste, reducing electricity consumption, enlarging our campus garden, and creating a carpooling network.

Sustainability Listserv

The sustainability listserv begun in Spring 2008 to send weekly messages about local and global news and resources to the Goddard community and now has 356 members. If you would like to be added, you can let us know by emailing catherine.lowther@goddard.edu.

Feedback

We welcome your input about ways to further integrate sustainability into all areas of the college. Send us your comments!

Sincerely, The Sustainability Team

Scott Blanchard, Director of Facilities

Bob Buchanan, Faculty, BA in Individualized Studies

Faith Brown, Chief Finance and Administrative Officer

Catherine Lowther, Faculty, BA in Individualized Studies and BA in Sustainability

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