All three colleges in Wellesley, Mass., have been named Green Power Partners by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The education institutions – Wellesley College, Babson College and the Wellesley campus of Massachusetts Bay Community College – take part in the town’s Power to Choose renewable energy program, which reduces the environmental impacts of their electricity use and supporting the development of new renewable generation capacity in New England.
“Colleges and universities have an incredible opportunity to lead the way in reducing the risk of climate change by choosing green power,” says Blaine Collison, the director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “Babson College, Massachusetts Bay Community College/Wellesley Campus and Wellesley College are excellent examples of schools that are making this proactive choice and by extension, reducing carbon pollution and protecting public health. EPA is excited to welcome all three schools as Green Power Partners.”
The three colleges are pursuing a wide range of environmental initiatives including water conservation and waste reduction, as well as increasing energy efficiency while using renewable energy -- making Wellesley one of the greenest college towns in America, a town news release says. The combined green power use of the colleges amounts to more than 2.5 million kilowatt-hours annually.
“We are proud to be part of a community where more than 10 percent of residents, and many retailers and educational institutions are minimizing their carbon emissions and moving toward using the Town of Wellesley’s Power to Choose Renewable Energy Program as part of their overall carbon reduction goals,” says Wellesley Selectman Barbara Searle. “The higher education community in Wellesley is strengthening the collective commitment to creating and implementing environmentally sustainable practices.”
The Power to Choose program enables Wellesley, its residents, retailers and large users such as the colleges to choose renewable energy sourced primarily from Spruce Mountain, a wind farm in Maine. This brings the town closer to its goal of reducing energy usage 10 percent below the 2007 baseline by 2013, the town says.
The colleges' sustainability efforts:
Babson College. Babson has committed to adhere to the Principles for Responsible Management Education and is a charter participant in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge progress toward sustainability. Babson also is a signatory of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment.
“All across the Babson campus there are staff, students and faculty tackling issues of sustainability and resource efficiency and working to solve these integrated challenges,” says Shelley Kaplan, Associate Vice President, Facilities at Babson. “The Babson Sustainability Office works to support, enhance and coordinate these efforts,” he said.
Massachusetts Bay Community College. The college has saved $1.6 million in fuel and utility costs on its Wellesley campus through management controls of its heating and cooling systems, installation of LED lighting and lighting control mechanisms, and roof replacement projects. It also is a signatory of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment.
“We are diligent in our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environmental sustainability.” says Marco Brancato, Director of Facilities.
Wellesley College. The college is using integrated pest management and removing invasive plant species. It has installed more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and increased use of local vendors. Students take part in programs such as a free bike-share program and Sustainable Move-Out, an effort to reduce the waste stream by donating clothing and household goods discarded by students leaving campus. It also is a charter participant in STARS.
"Wellesley College is pleased to partner with our neighboring colleges and the town of Wellesley for the Renewable Energy Program,” says Andrew Evans, Vice President for Finance & Treasurer at Wellesley College. “This partnership extends Wellesley’s commitment to sustainability, and it builds on the conservation efforts of the College’s institution-wide sustainability program. In the past six years the College has reduced electricity consumption by 25 percent. Through this partnership, we’re delighted to continue our efforts with support for alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power."