Goddard College

Plainfield
,
Vermont

Winner
2013

Background

The Goddard campus is located in rural Vermont on a former farm estate that includes 134 acres of meadows and forests. In 2007, Goddard’s president signed the ACUPCC, a sustainability committee was formed, and we conducted a carbon inventory, created a climate action plan, and began working to reduce emissions and to integrate sustainability into all aspects of college activities. Our goal is to be carbon neutral in fuels burned on campus and electricity usage by 2020.

Student Preparedness

Goddard has been offering a Master’s degree in Sustainable Business and Communities since 2006. In spring 2011, we launched a BA in Sustainability Program, and Bill McKibben gave a keynote titled “Local and Global: Updates from the Climate Fight.” In the BAS, students explore foundation studies in sustainability and then focus on a final project in sustainable agriculture, energy, economies, or communities. Faculty offer workshops in sustainability and climate change, and students have designed studies in climate education, environmental leadership, economic reform, sustainable community development, water conservation, ecovillage design, local food systems, rainwater catchment, permaculture methods, green building, sustainable business, and sustainable agriculture. We send weekly email messages about climate change and sustainability resources to a listserv open to all members of the Goddard community.

Climate Innovation

We are in the permitting process for a biomass heating facility that we project would reduce our use of heating oil by 80-90%, or about 50,000 gallons per year, and reduce our carbon emissions by 560 tons/year.

We are in the early stages of developing a Sustainability Entrepreneurs' Challenge that would offer support to entrepreneurs who are starting a business that provides solutions to sustainability issues.

Energy Efficiency

We have retrofitted two thirds of our buildings with additional insulation and new windows, resulting in reducing the use of heating oil by 19% over the last five years. We have installed energy efficient lighting, replaced desktop computers with thin clients, and reduced our Internet servers from ten down to three. Over the last six months we have reduced electricity use by 15%. We have replaced paper with digital storage of final products, resulting in using 40 fewer reams of paper and eliminating the use of 125 final product binders/year.

Food Service

We are working to make the food served in the cafeteria 100% Vermont local. All our baked goods are made in the Goddard kitchen from whole wheat grown and milled in VT. We get fresh, organic produce from a local farm to table program and from our campus greenhouse and garden. In spring 2012, we inoculated 12 maple logs with shiitake mushroom spawn to produce mushrooms for the kitchen. All kitchen wastes are composted, the compost goes back into the garden, and the excess is sold. Bottled water has been replaced with filtered water coolers, paper cups have been replaced with ceramic cups, and we have adopted green purchasing guidelines. In addition to supporting local farms, local sourcing is proving to be more cost effective.

Green Revolving Fund

We have established a small green revolving fund as a dedicated source of capital for sustainability projects.

Planned Projects

We are increasing our work in sustainability education through our webpage, our radio station, orientations for new staff, faculty, and students, integrating sustainability into student advising, and raising awareness about energy use. We are also finalizing a campus lighting policy and creating a carpooling network."