Progress Report for St. Mary's College of Maryland
Submitted on Jan. 13, 2014; Last updated on Jan. 13, 2014
The Progress Report is intended to help signatories assess and track progress toward the goals outlined
in their Climate Action Plans and to share that progress with their stakeholders and the general public.
click on a section heading below to expand its content; click again to collapse
Since we began implementing our Climate Action Plan, the College has undergone a number of changes. In 2012, we did see the 5% decrease in energy usage from our 2008 levels, and this continued in the 2013 fiscal year. However, the green projects implemented in past years were not effective or have not been thus far. The College invested in LED lighting, which ended up with no financial or energetic return because the bulbs burned out far too quickly. A geothermal unit was installed this summer, and therefore we have not had the opportunity to reap the benefits of said system.
A recent increase in the energy usage of the college, especially fuel oil, can partially be attributed to extreme weather over the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. Temperatures remained below average for that year, and therefore more energy was needed to keep the buildings at a suitable temperature. In addition, we saw a de-emphasis on sustainability as far as college policy went due to budget cuts - which eliminated the sustainability officer position for a year and a half. During that time, with no one to submit and monitor data, it was very difficult to keep the different departments on track with their consumption.
Finally, with the procurement of a new president of the college and a new strategy for lowering emissions, we can finally put some of the programs we want to obtain to use, including solar projects, and a potential wind project, which would greatly increase the amount of energy we produce here on campus, and therefore lower the amount of purchased electricity that we will produce. We are very excited for the upcoming opportunities that will help reduce our carbon footprint!
|Climate Neutrality Target Date:||2020|
|Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target||Target Date||Baseline*|
|30% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions||by 2020||relative to baseline emissions in 2008|
|5% reduction in Purchased Electricity Emissions||by 2015||relative to baseline emissions in 2008|
|Reporting Year||Gross Emissions||Net Emissions||Full Time Enrollments||Total Bldg. Sq. Ft.||[action]|
|2008||25935.0||14213.0||1839.0||822651.0||[ view ]|
|2012||20685.4||7355.4||1909.0||928000.0||[ view ]|
|2013||21647.0||9403.0||1933.0||900200.0||[ view ]|
Change in GHG gross emissions
An increase in student travel due to our expanded study abroad program, greater fuel-oil use over the last year presumably due to colder weather, and a decrease in the cost of electricity has resulted in carelessness with electricity use.
Change in GHG emissions per 1000 sq.ft. building space
-7.47924864685Anne Arundel Hall, which was 27,300 GSF, was demolished in order to construct a new building. The emissions from that building were not calculated, but we did have to subtract the space.
Change in GHG emissions per full time enrollment (FTE)
-2.90411830582A slight increase in enrollment, but due to a low-enrollment admissions crisis, it was not as much as we anticipated.
How is your institution making climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students?Students are required to take a introductory level science class, and all of these classes have a focus on sustainability. In addition, St. Mary's College has an Environmental Studies Minor, and is developing an Environmental Studies Major for the 2015 academic year. Students involved in this major or minor are required to complete service hours on campus, maintaining the grounds, working in the composting program, helping on the farm, or other activities. Students are also encouraged to get involved with the environment through extracurriculars, including the Environmental Action Committee, the St. Mary's campus cleanup crew, and the St. Mary's Arboretum. Students can read and review the Climate Plan online, and the Sustainability Office works closely with the SGA to ensure that students understand the plan and what that means for the school, as well as testing out new sustainable initiatives.
Education methods in use
- Included sustainability in fulfilling regional accreditation requirements.
- Included sustainability in fulfilling state accreditation requirements.
- Included sustainability learning outcomes into institutional General Education Requirements.
- Other - Provided service opportunities/requirements for students in an environmental field.
Does your institution offer an undergraduate degree program(s) related to climate change/sustainability?Yes
Environmental Studies Degree in Progress for 2015. Students can also design their own major and focus on sustainability.
Does your institution offer a graduate degree program in climate change/sustainability?No
Does your institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts?Yes
Does your institution include sustainability prominently in new student orientation?Cleanup and community service activities are prominent during orientation.
If applicable, how is your institution expanding research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality research?Students in some majors are required to complete a St. Mary's project - essentially a senior thesis. In recent years, students have focused more on sustainability and what the school can do to reduce waste and our carbon footprint. Students from a diverse range of majors have participated in research that could benefit the school, including biology, chemistry and sociology.
Does your institution have a program to encourage faculty climate and or sustainability research?Yes
St. Mary's Projects receive funding from their department - if that particular project is on climate change or sustainability, the staff and the stuend can conduct near-fully funded research.
How is your institution expanding community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality?Our campus community farm is open to the public and promotes the understanding of where our food comes from, where our waste goes to, and what we can do about climate change. Soon, the Farm will have the capacity to start taking compost from the community. The Arboretum Association also hosts events that are open to the public, and some of these events focus on the results of climate change and how we can stop it.
Does your institution participate in community climate change and or sustainability partnerships?Yes
NSM colloquiums(science-based talks) are open to the public and are often focused on sustainability or climate change.
Has your institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance your goal of climate neutrality?Yes
The State's anti-idling policy
Energy Efficiency Projects
Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects planned, but not yet implemented:2
Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects completed since signing the ACUPCC:3
Number of buildings that have received a green building certification since signing the ACUPCC:0
Number of green buildings planned or scheduled for completion in the next 2 years:1
For all buildings, the green building certification/rating used is:USGBC:LEED
Annual output (in kWhs) for each renewable energy system utilized by St. Mary's College of Maryland
- Solar output: 3 kWh
- Geothermal output: 4324 kWh
- Other GHG mitigation efforts:
Composting program - reduces 39 metric tons CO2/yr
Has your Climate Action Plan and/or related sustainability efforts saved your institution money so far, e.g. by reducing operational expenses?yes
Amount spent on CAP projects:$50-99k
Estimated amount saved to date from implementing your CAP projects:$10-49k
Financial resources (dollar amount) secured from outside sources to support mitigation efforts related to the Climate Action Plan (grants, gifts, etc...) :3000
Additional information on secured outside funding:State grant from the MEA for our geothermal unit, that is all thus far.
- Financing Methods utilized for Mitigation or Renewable Energy Projects:
- Revolving Loan Funds
- Student Green Fees