Formed in 2007, the Goddard College Sustainability Team aims to help Goddard become carbon neutral in fuels burned on campus and electricity usage by 2020, and to increase energy efficiency and reduce consumption and waste. Below is a report of initiatives as of July 9, 2012.
As a result of our ongoing upgrades in building insulation and windows, equipment, appliances, and lighting, over the last six months we have reduced electricity usage by 15%. Fuel usage for the 2011/12 heating season was 9% less than for the previous winter. Since 2006, we have reduced fuel usage by 19%.
Our chef Paul Somerset is working to make the food served in the cafeteria 100% Vermont local. All our baked goods are made in the Goddard kitchen from whole wheat grown at Butterworks Farm in Westfield, VT, flour milled at Champlain Mills, and Cabot butter. We get produce from local farms, Two Rivers Center in Montpelier, and Black River Produce in Springfield, VT. In addition to supporting local farms, local sourcing is proving to be more cost effective.
The Goddard garden will provide all the herbs used in the kitchen, and by mid-summer, all cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, and salad and specialty greens such as tot soy, spicy mustard mix, and spicy Asian mix; and lots of winter squash and watermelon have been planted for a fall harvest. A small group of students and faculty inoculated 12 maple logs with shiitake mushroom spawn to produce mushrooms for the kitchen. If you would like to help with maintaining or harvesting the garden, please contact Paul in the kitchen or at: [email protected].
Reducing Paper Usage
Starting with the spring 2012 semester, we began storing graduating student final products digitally. This has saved at least 40 reams of paper and 125 final product binders per year.
Travel to Campus
There is information about public transportation options on the website, and there is a ride share board at http://gnet.goddard.edu under Goddard Community, Ride Share Postings.
Biomass Heating Facility
The proposed heating facility is moving through the Act 250 permitting process with a goal of beginning construction next year. We found in our carbon inventory that 93% of our campus based carbon emissions come from burning heating oil. Similar biomass facilities at other colleges have reduced the use of heating oil by 90%/year. At Goddard, that would mean using about 50,000 fewer gallons of heating oil with a reduction in carbon emissions of 560 tons/year. This will be a big step towards our goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.
Plans for FY 2013
Based on an assessment of our work to date and a review of sustainability practices at other colleges, we have created a list of projects for fiscal year 13 that includes website updates, offering sustainability education, increasing energy efficiency, reducing paper waste, reducing electricity consumption, enlarging our campus garden, and creating a carpooling network.
Stay updated on local and global news and resources to the Goddard community! Our Sustainability Listserv now has 330 members. To join, email Catherine Lowther.
We welcome your input about ways to further integrate sustainability into all areas of the College. You can email comments to Catherine Lowther.
The Goddard College Sustainability Team
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 http://gnet.goddard.edu/ 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 sending a report every six months.