Reporting System

Climate Action Plan for Wentworth Institute of Technology

Submitted on May 13, 2013; last updated on May 13, 2013

Climate Action Plan Details

Climate Action Plan Wentworth Institute of Technology Climate Action Plan
April 11, 2013

Emissions Targets

Climate Neutrality Target
If you have any qualifying statements with regard to the climate neutrality target date, please include them here, and/or if you have chosen "TBD" and not specified a neutrality date, please enter the reason and explain the process for establishing a target date in the future.

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Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target Target Date Baseline
20% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2020 relative to baseline emissions in 2009
50% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2050 relative to baseline emissions in 2009
Nonstandard Emissions Targets
Please enter below any targets that do not fit into the above format.

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Please describe your institution's greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.

Wentworth will take a two phase approach to implementing its identified mitigation strategies:
Phase I. Data Collection & Pilot Projects
Phase I is estimated to take three to five years to complete, giving the campus enough time to explore mitigation opportunities, generate “quick-wins,” and maintain the moderate GHG reductions needed to meet the first interim target of 20% reductions over 2009 levels by 2020. In this phase, the projects currently under consideration include:
1. Conducting a campus-wide ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit
2. Continuing with metering and sub-metering improvements
3. Deploying LED lighting
4. Launching an Eco-Rep Program
5. Seed funding through Strategic Planning

Phase II. Campus-wide Roll-out
Phase II is dependent on successful pilot programs and the ability of the Institute to commit the resources required to move forward on a larger scale. This phase would consist of implementing the highest-ranking GHG mitigation projects identified through the ASHRAE Level II audit and capital planning process, and expanding the scope of pilot projects to encompass a greater share of the campus infrastructure. As energy use from the built environment represents the largest contributor to campus GHG emissions, mitigation efforts must focus on building performance. For example, retro-commissioning of buildings and cost-effective energy conservation measures could generate significant reductions in GHG emissions while also improving occupant comfort and substantially reducing energy costs. An emphasis on continuous improvement and systems-thinking would allow new opportunities to be identified and existing programs to grow more efficient. Students from many disciplines could be recruited to conduct research and assist with implementation, ranging from energy auditing, green building design, retro-commissioning, operations and maintenance best practices, to smart metering.

Please describe your institution's plans to make sustainability a part of the curriculum for all students.

Wentworth’s Student Learning Goals are reinforced in the classroom, laboratory, and studio, and in cooperative education experiences and co-curricular opportunities. Related to sustainability, it is expected that all graduates be able to:
• Recognize and apply concepts of ethical behavior to personal and public issues
• Explain the sustainable use of human, physical, and economic resources
• Recognize and identify historical and contemporary societal and global issues

Academic programs at Wentworth have embraced sustainability through the development of courses focused on or related to sustainability. These include more than 40 courses, with titles such as:

• Energy Management & Building Operations
• Design for the Environment
• Energy Resources & Conservation
• Transportation Intervention & Urban / Community Design
• Sustainable Construction
• Environmental Topics for Design & Construction
• Energy Analysis and Cogeneration for Building Facilities
• Sustainability in Facilities Management

At least six academic programs have self-identified sustainability learning outcomes, including degree programs in Facilities Management & Planning, Civil Engineering & Technology, Construction Management, and Interior Design. In the fall of 2011, the College of Professional & Continuing Education launched a professional certificate program in Applied Sustainability Management.

Wentworth faculty are also actively involved in a collaborative academic program called the “Center for Sustainability and the Environment,” hosted by the Colleges of the Fenway. The Center includes 15 faculty from six area colleges, allows students to utilize facilities and cross-register for sustainability-related courses at each institution, and runs events including the annual Muddy River Research Symposium featuring student projects related to environmental science, public health, and conservation.

Please describe your institution's plans to expand research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality.

While Wentworth is primarily an educationally driven institution, there are opportunities to pursue sustainability research. These include student independent research projects, faculty-led initiatives, and co-op and work-study positions dedicated to sustainability. For the last five years, Physical Plant has hosted full-time co-op and work-study students who use the campus as a laboratory for sustainability research. Their projects range from conducting pre-feasibility studies for solar water heating on campus, researching green building best practices, and running outreach and awareness campaigns. Examples of successful student and faculty-led initiatives are highlighted in the climate action plan, including a biodiesel pilot project and a student-led solar PV project.
Resources to support sustainability education on campus include a variety of laboratories dedicated to topics such as alternative fuels, and two annual scholarships sponsored by an industry partner, for students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and commitment to sustainable design and construction.

Please describe your institution's plans to expand community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality.

Wentworth's vision states: “Wentworth will be a student-centered institution of Academic excellence offering high quality undergraduate, graduate, and lifelong-learning programs; we will develop internal Community and serve society through urban engagement; and we will foster Economic growth by educating students to become highly skilled professionals.”

Wentworth supports this vision through outreach programs; many are managed through the Center for Community and Learning Partnerships (CLP). CLP creates partnerships to address neighborhood concerns while enhancing the educational environment at Wentworth. Programs range from community service projects, to alternative spring break (including eco-restoration in Florida and reconstruction in New Orleans), and work with international nonprofits.

Faculty members run community-based design studios and service learning projects, including sustainable development (design/build) and adaptive and green technology (engineering/design).
Wentworth was classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in “Community Engagement” under the section of “Curricular Engagement & Outreach and Partnerships” and is also on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exceptional service learning and civic engagement programs.

Wentworth energizes the campus community around sustainability through a combination of communications and outreach:
• Web and social media - the Wentworth Sustainability website, Facebook page, the Wentworth News, alumni magazine, and other publications.
• Student Green Team - in existence for nearly 15 years, and runs environmental awareness events and field trips
• Sustainability Events - annual Earth Day Festival (which draw crowds of up to 500), best practice forums with regional sustainability experts such as hosting the New England Board of Higher Education Campus Sustainability Forum, tours of campus sustainability projects, raffles and games, “Garbology” waste audits, and movie screenings.
• Behavior change campaigns - Campus Conservation Nationals and RecycleMania with both on-campus competitions between residence halls, as well as broader campaigns aimed at engaging the entire campus in energy conservation and recycling.