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Sierra Club Names Bentley University One of America’s Greenest Campuses
The Sierra Club recognized Bentley University as one of America's greenest campuses, according to Sierra magazine's Top 100 Coolest Schools list. Rankings were based heavily on energy supply, along with nine additional categories: energy efficiency, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, administration, financial investments, and a section entitled "other initiatives."
"Climate change affects everything and everyone," says Amanda Navarroli King, Bentley manager of sustainability and a former environmental consultant at Boston-based Environmental Resources Management. "Combating climate change is about coming together to solve an environmental, economic and quality of life issue."
In 2007 Bentley President Gloria Cordes Larson signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. As part of the commitment, Bentley's initial efforts included calculating the university's operational carbon footprint; creating a Sustainability Task Force comprised of faculty, staff and students; and developing a Climate Action Plan to lay the path towards carbon-neutrality.
Recent sustainability initiatives at Bentley include:
- Green upgrades in residence halls:
- Miller Hall bathrooms were upgraded with dual-flush toilets that are predicted to save 300,000 gallons of water annually. Bathrooms were also retrofitted with low-flow faucets and showerheads that use 40 percent less water than standard fixtures.
- Stratton House was renovated with Energy Star windows and appliances; 30 percent recycled content wood cabinets; dual-flush toilets; and low-flow faucets and showerheads.
- Outreach programs:
- The Office of Sustainability works closely with the Bentley Green Society, Bentley's Eco Reps (a new position within the Residential Housing Association), and the Student Government Association Sustainability Project Group. These partnerships were formed with the goal of engaging students in sustainability initiatives and ramping up environmental awareness among our student body.
- The Office of Sustainability has also developed a faculty and staff Eco Rep program as a means to engage Faculty and Staff in sustainability initiatives.
- The Blackout Challenge:
- The Office of Sustainability will once again assist the Green Society with The Blackout Challenge, an energy conservation competition between residence halls. The February 2010 program saved enough wattage to power 5.3 homes for one year. Another four-week challenge will kick off on October 1.
- The Office of Sustainability is currently working toward Energy Star certification and LEED Existing Building certification for four residence halls
The Sierra Club surveyed 900 colleges and universities across the United States about their sustainability efforts to produce their rankings. Highlights are published in Sierra magazine's September/October 2010 issue and available online at http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201009/coolschools/
The Yawkey Foundations have recognized Bentley University’s longstanding commitment to service-learning and awarded the university $500,000 to educate students to effectively lead nonprofit organizations and expand student efforts to help community groups.