the Green Grade
Environmental initiatives at
Champlain College are having
a measurable effect on the
institution’s carbon footprint—and
earning accolades in the process.
According to a study conducted by Spring
Hill Solutions, a carbon management and
energy solutions consulting firm based
in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain’s
greenhouse gas emissions per student
are among the lowest for colleges in the
The study inventoried emissions
related to such energy uses as facility heating; student, faculty,
and staff commuting; travel to study abroad locations; and waste
generation. On a per-student basis, Champlain’s emissions are
some of the lowest calculated for the northern U.S. Factors
in this performance include a compact campus with a low
building-to-student ratio, few
energy-intensive labs, use of lowemissions
energy sources by the
Burlington Electric Department,
and proactive energy and
Study results showed that
nearly half of Champlain’s
carbon footprint comes from
which the College has been
working to address through a
range of transportation options, such as free access for faculty
and staff to the Chittenden County Transportation Association
The study will become a guiding document for improving
the College’s energy efficiency and environmental impact.
According to Michel George, vice president of Capital Planning & Auxiliary Services, those next steps include establishing carbon
reduction goals and a management plan; continuing to integrate
cost-effective energy efficiency, conservation, renewable energy,
and sustainable design into new construction and renovation
projects; and broadening the team of students, faculty, and staff
working to promote changes in campus policies and operations. “We hope that our partnerships with Burlington Electric
Department, Chittenden Solid Waste District, and Campus
Area Transportation Management Association, coupled with our
own initiatives, will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint
even more and to become a collegiate and community leader in
addressing climate change,” George says.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
The following tips come from Gabe Calvi, member of Sustain Champlain:
|Screw in a CFL (Compact Fluorescent Light): For a couple of
years now, Champlain College students have
been switching out incandescent lightbulbs for
CFLs, which use up to 75% less energy.
||Drive Less: The daily commute of Champlain College’s faculty and staff produces 20% of our carbon footprint. Could your commute
||Unplug: Phantom load or vampire power from
appliances and electronic gadgets waste electricity
when they aren’t even on. Studies estimate that
unused appliances are responsible for 5% to13% of
our domestic electric consumption.
|On Your Way Out the Door...Turn off
||Plan a Staycation: Stay close to home
during time off, read a book for an adventure, or
travel by train, which will produce one-tenth the
carbon per mile than a flight of the same distance.
||Put on a Sweater When You're Cold: Accept that this parental frugal
advice was sound. Turn down the thermostat
a few degrees.