Campus Sustainability Council update: Energy/Emissions Working Group

Since the beginning of March, the three Working Groups of the Campus Sustainability Council have been meeting bi-weekly to discuss the current state of energy/emissions, water, and waste policies and practices at Tufts, and to create new policy measures in these areas.

The Energy/Emissions Working Group met for the first time on March 15th and reviewed its roles and responsibilities, which include reviewing current energy usage and emissions, existing initiatives and goals, as well as creating recommendations for goals and implementation plans to present to the Campus Sustainability Council.

The group reviewed Tufts’ institutional commitments to energy and emissions reduction including the 1990 Talloires Declaration and Tufts Environmental Policy, the 1999 Climate Change Commitment to follow the Kyoto Protocol and reduce carbon dioxide levels to 7% below 1990 levels by 2012, and the 2003 New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan with the goal to be 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 75-85% below 2001 levels by 2050. The members also learned that many energy-saving initiatives at Tufts are already underway, including:

  • Occupancy sensors in most rooms on campus
  • Daylight sensing/dimming, lighting & controls
  • Ongoing technology updates include LED lighting
  • Equipment efficiency
  • State of the art boiler controls and boiler upgrades
  • Retro-commissioning of buildings
  • Heat-recovery programs
  • Energy Star vending machines & vending misers
  • Free CFL bulb exchange
  • IT upgrades (LCD screens, laptops)
  • Solar panels on Sophia Gordon Hall, Schmaltz House, Fairmount House
  • Management- Residence Hall winter break shut-down
  • Behavior modification
  • LEED Certification
  • Fuel Switching from oil to gas
  • Renewable energy such as solar and geothermal

The working group members discussed the differences between Tufts’ campuses energy use and emissions, life-cycle costing, ways to evaluate proposed solutions and appropriate metrics for evaluation. The group is in the final stages of assessing the current state of energy and emissions at Tufts and will soon move on to metrics and goal setting. The working group is co-chaired by Ann Rappaport, Lecturer at Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Betsy Isenstein, Director of Facilities Technical Services.

As always, Tufts community members are welcome to add their own suggestions for the working group through the easy, on-line form available on the Office of Sustainability’s website.

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