Initiative Expected to Deliver More Than $580,000 in Lifetime Energy Savings to College
Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, April 14, 2015
The nation’s oldest women’s college also happens to be one of the most energy conscious among private higher-education institutions. Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, is part of an innovative energy-efficiency project to enhance labs and facilities that is expected to result in more than $580,000 in lifetime energy savings for the college.
The benefit is rooted in Mount Holyoke’s participation in the Mass College Green Initiative, launched in 2013 by the state’s finance and development agency, MassDevelopment, as part of a $2 million structured financing placement in Mass College Green, a pilot program that seeks to speed up the adoption of energy efficiency measures by private colleges in the state.
Mount Holyoke’s initiative includes new energy-efficiency measures underway in five campus facilities: Carr Laboratories; Clapp Laboratory; Kendall Sports and Dance Complex; Kendade Hall; and the college’s central power plant, according to Nancy Apple, Mount Holyoke’s director of environmental health, safety, and sustainability. Kendade, Carr, and Clapp halls will get LED lighting upgrades, and both will also benefit from optimized ventilation. The biggest energy impact will be made in Mount Holyoke’s central heating plant, which will get a boiler economizer.
“These projects will not only reduce energy costs for Mount Holyoke, they will also help to make our campus more sustainable by focusing on our labs and heating plant,” said President Lynn Pasquerella. “Mass College Green has provided an innovative financing approach that is helping us move forward in meeting the College’s energy and sustainability goals.”
Mass College Green was developed through a partnership with the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), MassDevelopment, and GreenerU. The initiative was designed to help independent colleges in Massachusetts improve energy efficiency on their campuses.
“Energy efficiency and sustainability projects are critical to helping our colleges keep higher education affordable for students,” added Richard Doherty, president of AICUM. “This initiative integrates what the Mount Holyoke faculty teach and what students and staff care deeply about—a smarter, more environmentally sustainable campus.”
Several years ago, the Mount Holyoke College community established specific sustainability goals as part of the college’s green initiatives. To track progress toward achieving these goals, Mount Holyoke recently established five Environmental Indicators measuring energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, recycling rate, campus land use, and storm water management. These indicators are presented to the trustees annually.
The college has also made a commitment to transparency in energy use to support the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions and to keep all members of the campus community apprised of and engaged in energy conservation and efficiency.
Mount Holyoke College has received a STARS Silver Rating in recognition of the college’s sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). STARS, the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, is a program that measures and encourages sustainability in all aspects of higher education.
Located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College is a highly selective, nondenominational, residential, research liberal-arts college for women. Mount Holyoke is renowned for educating leaders, from medical pioneers to business executives to Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights.