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Climate Action

The Office of Sustainability is dedicated to making Bentley University more sustainable in every way possible. Here's how Bentley University is making strides towards climate action. 

Carbon Footprint

Bentley University's building square footage and population have grown by 3.49% and 4% respectively since 2008. Despite this increase, the university has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 70% over the same time period. 

The biggest contributors to the university's carbon footprint are greenhouse gas emissions from: grid electricity used to light and cool buildings, natural gas boilers used to make heat and hot water, daily commuting and study abroad air travel. 

Our Approach
Carbon Footprint

The campus’ carbon footprint reduction success thus far is the result of a four-pronged approach:  

  1. Continuous energy efficiency upgrades to reduce electricity and natural gas use. 
  2. Investment in offsite renewable energy via Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates. 
  3. Investment in Verified Emissions Reductions Credits (VERCs) to offset emissions from air travel. 
  4. Investment in onsite renewable energy opportunities.

 

Verified Emission Reduction Credits
Bentley

Bentley purchases Verified Emissions Reductions Credits from the New Bedford Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project which produces 3.3 megawatt hours (MWh) of clean electricity per year. Landfill gases like methane and carbon dioxide are captured from the degrading trash in the New Bedford Landfill and used to fuel four reciprocating internal combustion engine-generators. The project produces power for the regional electricity grid and reduces the amount of methane (a potent greenhouse gas) released into our atmosphere. By purchasing Verified Emissions Reduction Credits to support this project, Bentley is able to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from annual Study Abroad airline travel and contributes to the “greening” of the local electricity grid.

Sustainable Construction

In 2018, Bentley University constructed a 76,000 square-foot multi-purpose ice arena. The Bentley Arena was named the most environmentally sustainable in the United States and was the first standalone ice arena to earn the United States Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum Certification. The Bentley Arena has half of the carbon footprint of peer buildings thanks to a combination of high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment; high efficiency ice making equipment; a state-of-the-art heat reclamation loop; smart LED lighting systems and a 504 kilowatt rooftop solar array. The Bentley Arena also uses 50% less water than peers and provides the perfect venue for students to explore the impacts of various sustainable technologies on natural resource use and operating costs.  

Arena2

Arena1

STARS CERTIFIED
Stars

Bentley University submits their STARS report once every three years.

AASHE's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) is a holistic measure of campus sustainability efforts. Beyond financial payback, STARS affirms the merit of sustainability programs that aim to increase awareness, engagement, and environmental stewardship.

Read Bentley’s entire STARS report.

Bentley was also named a top performer on the Sustainable Campus Index.

Compare Bentley's performance to other STARS-rated institutions.