Dartmouth undertakes sustainability initiatives

Dartmouth College has undertaken several energy efficiency initiatives as part of a $16 million grant from the College’s Board of Trustees to improve sustainability on campus.

As a part of the initiative, Dartmouth purchased green energy credits worth $50,000, according to associate vice president of facilities operations and management Frank Roberts. In addition, the college will fund 7.3 million kilowatt-hours of green energy production annually for the next five years, which will offset 10 percent of Dartmouth’s total energy usage.

Other projects include the LEED Platinum-certified Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, which was completed in 2011, as well as replacing windows and light fixtures to conserve energy.

The improvements have contributed to Hanover, N.H., the town where Dartmouth College is located, being designated as a Green Power Community by the Environmental Protection Agency, a designation that recognizes communities that draw between 5 to 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources.

Despite these initiatives, Dartmouth still faces several sustainability challenges, according to director of sustainability Rosi Kerr. For example, the college uses fuel oil No. 6, which is particularly unsustainable, to heat its buildings, Kerr said. The fuel has the highest emissions per energy unit of available fuel sources and is extracted in an unsustainable manner, but the school is working to find more sustainable options, she added.

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