Sustainability

  • Building a More Sustainable Campus

    What is the College doing to become more sustainable on campus?

    As a reflection of the College’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, President James Dlugos signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. He appointed a committee comprised of faculty and staff to

    • perform a College-wide sustainability assessment using the AASHE STARS standard and
    • to develop a sustainability plan, greenhouses gas inventory and mechanism to guide progress.
    THE RESULTS



    The plan provides a framework to establish benchmarks, develop goals and monitor progress for our campus reaching carbon neutrality - no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions achieved through minimizing emissions, increasing renewable energy sources, and using carbon offsets or other means to mitigate emissions.

    Best Practices for Sustainability on Campus

    What can you do to be more sustainable?

    Demonstration of bicycle powering a blender making a smoothie

    • Recycle! SJC’s recycling is single stream, meaning you can mix a wide variety of materials together. Check out recycling guidelines from Ecomaine.
    • Compost. In the dining hall and many locations around campus there are compost stations. Most food waste, tissues, napkins and paper can be composted to build a great amendment to increase the fertility of soil without chemical fertilizers.
    • Print wisely! Print less and double-sided when possible.
    • Don’t use halogen light bulbs! LEDs use much less energy.
    • Hibernate your computer! Turn off printer, monitor, etc., when not in use.
    • Walk, bike and carpool! Drive less, save $$, get more fit and have more fun!
    • Take shorter showers! You save water and energy that it takes to heat it.
    • Power down when you leave your room. Don’t leave TV, music, lights and games running unnecessarily.
    • Carry a water bottle. Our tap water at comes directly from Sebago Lake and is purified with minimal chlorination. Our students actually preferred tap water over bottled water.
    • Wash clothes in cold water. Wash full loads only and when possible hang your clothes on a rack to dry.
    • Buy green/local products and food. Look for products made with recycled material and/or those that will last for years.
    • Use fewer paper napkins. Large handfuls are unnecessary to clean your hands.
    • Buy second-hand or trade! Check out your local Goodwill store.
    • Clean green. Avoid chlorine bleach, ammonia, and other toxic cleaning products.

     
    Carbon Neutrality by 2036: Reducing SJC Net GHG Emissions to ZERO

    Climate Action and Sustainability Plan

    The Climate Action and Sustainability Plan serves as our road map. It guides action and establishes goals that reinforce and build upon key strategic areas of Sustaining the Promise (the College’s Strategic Plan), such as building a diverse, multi-generational learning community; ensuring financial stability; and stewarding the campus environment.

    The College now proudly stands with nearly 700 other institutions in their pledge to Carbon Neutrality.

    The Plan outlines ten domains of sustainability: Energy; Waste Reduction and Recycling; Water; Food and Dining; Land Use; Supply Chain Management; Governance and Investment; Academics and Research; Community Engagement: and Health and WellnessEach of these domains include current practices, goals and strategies, and metrics.

    Greenhouse Gas Inventory

    The GHG inventory for 2015 resulted in a total of 3,915 MT eCO2 (1.38 MT eCO2 per FTE student or 8.7 MT eCO2/1,000 square feet of building space). Composting activities reduced emissions by 9MT eCO2 (0.2 percent).

    Greenhouse Gas graph

    Saint Joseph’s has prepared three greenhouse gas inventories, one in 2009, 2013, and now updated in 2015, accounting for major sources of GHG emissions in order to understand the College’s footprint.


    Bronze StarsBronze Rating - Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) 2013

    The College completed the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) report which represented a collaborative effort of the College community and was headed by the then Sustainability Steering Committee. The process enhanced awareness of and commitment to sustainability practices on campus. The effort stemmed from signing the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Saint Francis Pledge of the Catholic Climate Covenant in 2012. Developing awareness and skills to move society forward to address the global climate crisis is a moral obligation of higher education. Building and modeling sustainability practices on our campus cultivates an ethic of sustainability among our graduates and broader campus community. STARS has been a valuable tool in enabling the College to assess progress and plan for future efforts. Saint Joseph’s is proud to participate in the STARS program and be a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

  • Climate Action and Sustainability Plan Goals
    Our plan outlines practices, strategies, and metrics for meeting eco-conscious objectives.
    • What are the targeted plans for 2017?

      We will create a comprehensive, campus-wide purchasing policy for cleaning products, paper products, print cartridges, and electronics with a preference for inclusive and local products and services. In addition, the plan calls to incorporate sustainability into all campus tours and all admission materials.

    • What are the plans for Pearson's Town Farm?

      By 2025 we plan to create a permaculture design for Pearson’s Town Farm that includes both managed forest land and wilderness areas.

    • What are the plans for 2019-2020?

      The plan calls for achieving Green Restaurant Association certification by 2019 and developing a Sustainability Certificate Program by 2020.

    • Are there goals pertaining to faculty and staff?

      Yes, to engage at least 75% of faculty and staff in health and wellness programming by 2020.

    • What are the goals for 2021?

      The College will promote and deploy five projects from the Green Revolving Fund.

    • What happens by the year 2022?

      We plan to decrease electricity, oil, gas, propane, and fuel for fleet vehicles by 25%, reduce hauled waste by 10%, and reduce potable water consumption adjusted for population growth.

  • Green Funds

    Green Revolving Fund (GRF)

    Energy Efficient BoilerThe Green Revolving Fund (GRF) is an investment fund that finances energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability projects on campus, including waste reduction. The Fund provides capital for special projects conducted by Facilities that reduce environmental impact and can repay the fund with cost-savings within seven years.

    The mission of the Green Revolving Fund is to encourage environmentally sound technologies and practices on campus. The GRF will finance innovative projects that reduce the College's environmental impact, improve the educational environment, and generate financial returns while engaging students, staff, faculty, and administrators in the decision-making and implementation process. The fund will further the broader academic mission of the College while helping it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and embody the College’s values.

    The Green Revolving Fund will function as an independent fiscal entity managed by the Sustainability Task Force. The Fund will grow over time by collecting cost-savings from the projects it funds and reinvesting them in new projects, while offering opportunities for engagement and hands-on learning for the College community.

    Green Community Fund

    A percentage of savings from the Green Revolving Fund energy efficiency projects at the College are being allocated to the Green Community Fund.

    • Will focus on smaller projects that may have much longer payback timeframes, or even no financial payback, but that will foster awareness and understanding of sustainability among members of the College community and empower them to develop their own solutions.
    • Will consider projects proposed by College community members that promote sustainability in education, campus culture, and behavior.
    • Will consider project ideas from all areas of campus, including academic courses, independent student research, student organizations, and academic departments.
    • Will award money that does not necessarily require repayment.

    Do you have a sustainability project idea or solution that you or a team would like to implement? Submit a project idea to the Sustainability Task Force by emailing Stuart Leckie.

  • Get Involved
    Want to get involved and make a difference on campus? There are several sustainability groups to choose from. Click on a tab and learn more about each one.
    Sustainability Task Force
    E-Team
    EcoReps
    Waste Management Team
    Raindrop character The Sustainability Task Force is charged for a two-year period to serve as the governing body responsible for Attainable Sustainable, the College’s sustainability program, and for ensuring ongoing improvement of the initiative through a closed loop methodology that consists of these key functions: (Re)assess, Plan, Implement, and Measure. The Task Force serves as a platform to guide and endorse initiatives that surface in various departments, divisions, and on the Task Force level, and to provide strategies and recommendations to institutionalize sustainability practices into operations, planning and policy, and education and engagement.

    The E-Team is a group of dedicated faculty and staff that collaborates to educate campus community members on relevant sustainability issues and provides a platform for engagement in sustainability-related projects and practices linked to the 2016 Climate Action and Sustainability Plan. Additionally, the Team organizes campaigns and projects to foster environmental awareness in the College community. A liaison from the Sustainability Task Force will participate on the E-Team to facilitate communication and collaboration.

    Are you a faculty or staff member interested in getting involved in Attainable Sustainable? Email Kimberly Post.

    5 female eco rep students on clean up whites bridge road dayThe mission of the EcoReps is to serve as peer educators to raise awareness on sustainability issues ranging from waste reduction and diversion, energy efficiency and conservation, to health and well-being, water conservation, and more. EcoManagers are paid student positions who educate in the residence halls by encouraging and promoting sustainable behavior changes while leading entrepreneurial projects, events, and competitions. There are six EcoManagers positions and a rotating number of EcoReps who volunteer and learn with their peers. There is an open door for more EcoReps to join throughout the semester. 

    Are you a student interested in getting involved in the EcoRep program? Email Jeanne Gulnick

    The Waste Management Team exists to create and implement policies, infrastructure, and behaviors from stakeholders across campus to minimize waste and environmental impact while maximizing efficiency by overseeing the implementation of relevant goals from the 2016 Climate Action and Sustainability Plan. Consisting of students, faculty, and staff, members of the Waste Management Team represent diverse perspectives from across campus life to further integrate efficiency and diversion practices and behaviors at Saint Joseph’s College. A liaison from the Waste Management Team meets regularly with the Sustainability Task Force to ensure appropriate communication and collaboration.

    Are you a SJC community member interested in getting involved in the Waste Management Team? Email Don Tanguay

  • In the Classroom and Community

    Sustainable Communities Initiative

    The College is also embarking on the Sustainable Communities Initiative (SCI), based on University of Oregon’s Sustainable Cities program. Founded on the idea that colleges and communities can work together to improve health and vitality in their region, this program leverages the skills, knowledge, and capacity of students and faculty through classes, courses, and research to address sustainability issues for organizations that reside in the surrounding community. From environmental action to economic viability and social integrity, this partnership allows students to engage with real-world problem solving to gain practical skills themselves while also providing needed support to nearby communities.

    Female ESS student in the farm's fieldCourses Related/Focused to Sustainability

    Ecology and the Environmental Challenge (ES300): Established in 2002 as a Core Course, nearly every student is required to take the introductory course called Ecology and the Environmental Challenge (ES 300), with 250 students both on campus and online taking this course per year. Students explore how natural systems work, food systems and agricultural practices, energy processes, everyday activities, the social dimensions of population, global cooperation and solutions, behavior change, and systems-level problem solving.


    Sustainability Minor

    Sustainability Studies is an interdisciplinary minor. Required courses include Ecology and the Environment, Social Problems, and a Natural Science Internship, along with elective courses ranging from Climate Change and Glacial Geology to Business Ethics, Environmental Psychology, and Theology. Most courses have a community-based learning requirement.


     


     
    Campus Sustainability Memberships

     
    Mission Driven Sustainability

    Living sustainably is directly in keeping with our College's mission statement and our core values. Specifically, the mission calls for “advocate for justice and peace in recognition of each person's responsibility for the welfare of both humankind and the environment.”  Sustainability is closely interwoven with all of our core values and our Sustaining the Promise Strategic Plan.