Washington College, a small liberal-arts college in Maryland, has strong academic programs in environmental science and environmental studies. Yet until recently, the 237-year-old campus pursued a traditional approach to buildings and grounds management, which focused on minimizing costs and viewed “campus greening” as unaffordable. That practice exposed the College to skyrocketing maintenance needs, significant variability in energy costs, unconstrained waste management costs, and a student body that questions why the campus appearance does not match the principles taught in classes.
In early 2018, the College created a new Office of Sustainability to align campus practices with national norms and students’ expectations. With input from campus stakeholders, that office developed sustainability and climate action plans for the College. Today, the Office of Sustainability is overhauling energy use, with improvements in procurement, renewable generation, and fuel sources; re-examining their waste stream, and improving recycling practices and messaging; and planning improvements to campus stormwater infrastructure. In addition, the construction of a new, Living Building-certified laboratory facility marks the beginning of new construction practices.
During this session, Greg Farley will delve into the above initiatives, discussing the technical and strategic planning behind these. This will include insight on getting buy-in from stakeholders, pathways to financing projects, and the value of collaboration and communication.