Please describe your institution's greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.
Highlights of the major mitigation strategies are:
Chiller plants ? we will develop a cooling plant strategy to include equipment that is not only environmentally responsible, but also has the flexibility to vary fuel sources as price points in the utility markets change with market demands and availability.
Modernization of the boiler plant to include biomass ? provides the single largest reduction in emissions for the campus by shifting our heating infrastructure from fossil fuels to a biogenic fuel source. We will continue to monitor the relative advantages of this strategy against any attractive alternatives that are developed from both an economic and environmental standpoint.
Modernization of our heating infrastructure ? will allow for cogeneration through the use of backpressure steam turbine, lowering our grid source electricity requirements.
Installation of on-campus photovoltaic arrays ? at least three sites on campus will be seriously considered as a viable source of renewable energy to support the electrical needs of the University.
Reduction of end-use energy consumption ? to include improvements of lighting fixtures and development of holiday and summer curtailment policies to reduce consumption of energy and emissions during times of relatively low occupancy.
Exploration of ways to reduce the Scope 3 emissions through implementation of incentives to use public transportation and improvements in the fuel efficiency of our campus fleet.
Please describe your institution's plans to make sustainability a part of the
curriculum for all students.
Villanova University will continue to develop educational experiences for undergraduate and graduate students along several lines:
(1) develop new programs and courses, and continuing to encourage faculty to develop inter- and cross- disciplinary courses, modeled after those which have already been formed at Villanova. These include those in established science departments (e.g., Geography and the Environment, Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering) and in other departments (e.g, Philosophy, History)
(2) establish Service Learning Opportunities. Villanova is among the top universities in the nation regarding the proportion of students who participate in such experiences; many of these have explicitly environmental themes (e.g., Engineers Without Borders projects in Kenya and Thailand, Water for Waslala project in Nicaragua, the Amigos de Jesús project in Honduras and SITMo project in the Philippines, Business Without Borders groups in microfinance projects, sustainability projects in Ecuador).
(3) support Student Organizations, including the Villanova Environmental Group (VEG), the Ecological Society of Villanova (ESV), Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapter, Business Without Borders chapter, and the newly formed student chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World. Graduate students at the School of Law have an Environmental and Energy Law Society, which is dedicated to exploring law relating to the environment and energy.
(4) Engage with Freshman during fall orientation with a recycled box structure from move in, and organic shirt tie dye. Before orientation starts, the orientation councilors are briefed on current campus sustainability efforts that should be communicated with the freshman.
(5) Organize two yearly week long sustainability themed activities: campus sustainability week (fall) and Earth week (spring). Both weeks involve hands on activities and guest lectures, along with other educational tours and events.
(6) educate students and the general Villanova community on sustainability and climate neutral practices in university operations such as Dining Services and Facilities.
(7) Organize and host occasional guest lecture or movie showing that is open to the entire student body and outside attendees. Past talks have focused on fair trade, Catholicism and sustainability, vegan diet, the recent encyclical and more.
Please describe your institution's plans to expand research efforts toward the
achievement of climate neutrality.
Villanova faculty and students in all four undergraduate colleges and the School of Law are involved in a wide range of projects relating directly or indirectly to sustainability and climate change. Villanova supports these projects both financially and with materiel support. This support will continue into the future. In addition, growth of new programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and the attendant increase in financial support from the university as a whole, will undoubtedly expand research in the areas of climate neutrality.
Villanova students participate in sustainability research both in and out of the classroom. Research opportunities exist in all academic areas, including the sciences, engineering, humanities, social sciences, and business. In addition to these more formal research projects, several students from a variety of units are involved in projects that have a strong environmental sustainability emphasis. For example, in 2010, projects include Increasing Bicycling on Campus, Promoting Promoting Recycling on Campus Developing a Green Fair, Introducing Organic and Fair-Trade Clothing to the Bookstore, Promoting Donations at the End-of-the-Year Move, Performing a Sustainability Assessment of White Hall, and Improving Water Resources and Reducing Use of Plastic.
Faculty members in the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Engineering are pursuing individual research projects which have a bearing on climate neutrality and sustainability. Several of these projects are funded by extramural funding, including NSF. The success of these research programs in the past bodes well for the future.
In addition, several centers and institutes are funded and supported by Villanova. Examples include the Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering (VCASE; established Fall 2009 within the College of Engineering) and the Center for Global Leadership and the Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship Center, both in the Villanova School of Business.
Please describe your institution's plans to expand community outreach efforts toward the
achievement of climate neutrality.
offering programs similar to two recent national/international conferences involving specialists from around the nation that were open to faculty/staff, students, and the local community - Catholic Social Teaching and Ecology (9-11 November 2005) and the International SustainAbility Conference (22-25 April 2009), and a recent (2008) regional program sponsored by the College of Nursing entitled, Greening of a Community Health Curriculum: Promoting Environmental Health; (2) continuing to sponsor departmental seminars, such as a recent one (Spring 2009) on Climate Change held in the Department of Geography and the Environment; (3) continuing to host on-going seminars, such as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvanias Sustainable Stormwater conference held biennially since 1998; (4) supporting Earth Day events that educate the community at large about environmental sustainability and climate neutrality; and (5) continuing to develop pieces on climate neutrality and sustainability for the University website and printed media to inform and educate the Villanova community about the initiatives on campus.