Lane Community College

Student Preparedness

Lane Community College has four academic programs that use a blend of classroom instruction, project-based, and experiential learning modalities. The Advanced Tech Programs such as Auto Tech and Diesel Tech learn to work on hybrid vehicles and research biofuel options. The Construction Tech program is working on a “tiny house program” to address the unhoused population and provide a critical link to social justice and sustainability. Lane Community College uses their LEED-certified buildings and older legacy building as teaching tools for Energy Management Program students. The two-acre organic Learning Garden provides a critical link between local food security, their Culinary Programs, the local food bank, and on-campus student food bank. This garden provides a service-learning link for many programs on campus. They are going into their first year of a partnership with Whole Earth Nature School, a K-5 outdoor summer program that will provide experiential nature-based programming in our 180 acres of undeveloped forestland and natural areas. We are motivating behavior change in Science classes by using real life examples of progress measurements and energy use data from the college’s ongoing staff focused energy efficiency behavior change campaigns. The college is developing hands on lab kits as options for instructors/faculty to continue with these concepts in their pedagogy. We have executed partnerships with IBEW Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee, college’s facilities management & planning team, and Lane’s Renewable Energy program, to use Lane’s renewable energy capital projects as student, staff, and community training opportunities.

Climate Innovation

Lane Community College has a 36KW solar array that shelters 18 electric vehicle charging stations for staff, students, and the community to use free of charge. The college has four LEED-Certified buildings, two Downtown, contributing to the revitalization and economic successes of Downtown Eugene. The Grounds department plants natives, which require less water.  Lane Community College has a number of National Wildlife Certified Habitats in the campus landscaping. The Learning Garden is removing thirsty non-natives and planting them with food crops in the center of campus. They are engaging in climate and disaster resiliency discussions with the local utility, emergency managers, and local, county and state governments. They are part of statewide initiatives that are coordinating resources to form resilient coalitions. They have initiated and implemented ‘Low Carbon IT’ campaign with Lane’s Information Technology department to reduce the amount of computer equipment left on during unoccupied hours. They have conducted iterative software trials in partnership with Lane’s IT and hosted multiple departments as participants. Lane’s IT staff used outcomes to develop protocols with existing software that turns off almost 70% of Lane’s computer equipment when not needed. Four of their buildings are heated and cooled by a geothermal system. Approximately 14% of Lane’s power is certified green power. Lane has recently re-branded their Green Revolving Fund (Lane’s Living Green Fund) to expand the reach loan funding beyond energy projects to include water, recycling, and purchasing and are encouraging and increasing funding for their “Green Office Certification” projects.

Creating Opportunity

Lane Community College has a total of 53 KW total solar electric installations and has a 36KW solar array that shelters 18 electric vehicle charging stations for staff, students, and the community to use free of charge that is located along the I5 highway corridor and is part of the West Coast Vehicle Highway. Two of the colleges buildings have solar thermal systems, supplying hot water to the campus. Operable windows are designed into buildings, where appropriate, to provide fresh air to occupants. The Sustainability Committee and Foundation Finance Committee is recommending and finalizing language to support mission driven investment of endowments. Lane has chosen to increase its carbon offset and renewable energy commitments and purchases local and regional renewable energy credits and carbon offsets partners with local utilities (EWEB, Northwest Natural Gas), and the Bonneville Environmental Fund. The college has developed and implemented successful behavior change campaigns for staff called ‘Turn It Off’ (plug load and lighting energy efficiency) with measurement of outcomes and feedback to participants of progress benchmarks. Lane has developed a concept called ‘Making Good Choices’ (solid waste reduction, increasing recycling awareness, resource wise purchasing practices) to assist the campus community in meeting carbon goals. Lane is an EPA Green Power partner and annually report our Greenpower. Lane staff has given presentations at Billion Dollar Green Challenge (about GRF development), Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference about getting to project implementation and development, using measurement and verification tools to conduct successful energy efficient behavior change campaigns.