Submitted on May 17, 2010; last updated on May 17, 2010
The science and methodology of calculating GHG emissions is evolving rapidly. Based on calculations using the widely accepted Clean Air Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator version 6.4, Colby intends to become carbon neutral by 2015. However, should accepted emissions computation methods change materially, the College will have to re-evaluate the validity of its strategy and target date for carbon neutrality.
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Colbys plans for mitigating greenhouse gases include: building a biomass boiler plant to connect to the current steam facility, which is currently fueled by residual oil; continuing the process of building renovations and equipment and HVAC upgrades originally outlined in the Colleges Strategic Plan, conserving both heating fuel and electricity; continuing to buy 100 percent green power, something Colby has done since 2003; designing and building all new buildings to a minimum of LEED Silver standard; implementing pilot wind, photovoltaic and/or solar thermal projects; replacing aging vehicles in campus fleet with highly efficient, hybrid or alternative energy vehicles; hiring a sustainability coordinator to promote and educate campus community members about conservation and environmental awareness; enhancing existing recycling and composting programs to further reduce waste; exploring additional sequestration options; buying carbon offsets.
Campus sustainability and resource conservation are among the seven fundamental core values of the College, which help guide Colbys plans for the future. Started in 1971, Colbys Environmental Studies Program is one of the oldest in the country and the Colleges Strategic Plan identified the reinforcement of the Environmental Studies Program in both the scientific and the policy realms as a strategic objective. Faculty from many different departments and each of the academic divisions at Colby teach courses related to environmental sustainability and faculty development and integrated studies grants have and will continue to encourage new courses with sustainability themes. The College intends to encourage further curricular development by supporting faculty and student research projects that examine environmental sustainability problems or issues.
Colby will continue to encourage and support learning that extends outside of the classroom through co-curricular opportunities such as organic gardening, recycling, creating artificial wetlands, using buildings as laboratories, and encouraging involvement in and supporting student organizations that promote awareness of the environment, resource conservation and sustainable living.
Colby faculty members are recognized nationally and internationally for their scholarship and research on environmental issues. Colbys Environmental Studies Program also emphasizes student research and project-based learning opportunities. The College intends to expand financial support for student internships, research assistantships and field experiences related to environmental sustainability.
Through the Environmental Studies Program and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement at Colby, faculty and students continue to work with local and state communities and organizations on issues of concern related to the environment and sustainability. Through coursework, student internships and research projects, Colby will continue to support studies of the health of area lakes, the state of Maines environment, the mapping of the environment in Maine with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and involvement with municipal governments to develop community plans for sustainability and resource conservation.
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