Creating Colgate's Sustainability and Climate Action Plan was over two years in the making. From committing to climate neutrality in January of 2009 to completing our initial inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in January of 2010 to publishing the final report in September of 2011, our process engaged a broad spectrum of stakeholders on and off campus.
The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan effort was guided and supported by the strong leadership of President Jeffrey Herbst. We commend him for championing sustainability and committing Colgate to the worthy pursuit of climate neutrality. Central to this report was David Hale, Associate Vice President for Finance and Administration. His direction and valuable insights greatly enhanced the integrity of this report. Sustainability at Colgate and the process of climate action planning benefited tremendously from the support of Lyle Roelofs who served as interim President and Provost and Dean of the Faculty throughout most of the planning process.
The preparation of the final report was led by members of Colgate's Sustainability Council represented by Christopher Henke, Council Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology, Barbara Brooks, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Julie Dudrick, Upstate Institute Project Director, Paul Fick, Associate Vice President for Facilities, Tim McCay, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Michael Michonski '12, Lauren Miller '11, Beth Parks, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Cary Peppermint, Assistant Professor of Art and Art History, John Pumilio, Sustainability Coordinator, Geoffrey Reid, Assistant Director of Residential Education for Civic Engagement & Diversity Initiatives, Abby Rowe, Director of Outdoor Education, and Trish St. Leger, Associate Provost.
Council members worked hand in hand with Colgate's Climate Action Plan Steering Committee which helped to coordinate the efforts of the Climate Action Plan Subcommittees. The Steering Committee included Ian Helfant, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Associate Professor of Russian, Christopher Henke, Paul Fick, John Pumilio, and Trish St. Leger. Over the course of 18 months, the five members of the Steering Committee gathered weekly for a planning and coordinating meeting.
In March of 2010, interim President Lyle Roelofs officially charged seven subcommittees to research and explore potential mitigation strategies for Colgate to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This report would not have been possible without the effort of the subcommittee members who contributed their time and expertise to this endeavor. Subcommittees and members included:
Air Travel Subcommittee
Ground Transportation Subcommittee
Land Use and Grounds Maintenance Subcommittee
Waste Minimization and Recycling Subcommittee
Engineering firm, O'Brien and Gere, provided expert consultation in helping us with the energy portion of our plan. Their professionalism helped Colgate better understand our opportunities associated with energy conservation and efficiency.
The Heating Plant Upgrade Feasibility Study was completed by an expert team of individuals and firms who have considerable work experience at Colgate. The team was composed of:
• Peterson Guadagnolo Engineers, PC (lead firm)
• Combustion Designs, Inc. (major equipment)
• Buck Engineering (environmental and permitting)
• Klepper, Hahn, and Hyatt, PC (structural and civil engineering)
Due to the technical complexity of the decision-making process, high cost, and long-range impact of determining Colgate's energy future, we are grateful for the expert analyses and long-standing professional partnerships we have with these firms.
Sustainability Office intern, Ben Taylor '10, led the effort to complete Colgate's 2009 baseline greenhouse gas inventory that is our key benchmark for this report. Over the course of a few months, Ben compiled and analyzed data and helped to write the final report. Summer 2010, sustainability interns Meghan Kiernan '11 and Andrew Pettit '11 did terrific work advancing sustainability on campus. Meghan helped to create and implement our Green Living Program and recycling efforts. Andrew created an input tool that simplified our greenhouse gas inventory process and he completed a cost-benefit analysis for composting that was referenced in this report.
Students in CORE 128 (2009), F-SEM 124 (2010), ENST 480 (2009 and 2010), and ENST 390 (2011) contributed valuable research and helped improve our understanding of sustainability on campus. These students made much of the data in this report possible and we are grateful for the leadership of Professor Catherine Cardelus, Professor Robert Turner, and Professor Frank Frey.
Finally, this plan has benefited from the efforts and enthusiasm of hundreds of Colgate students who participate in the Green Summit and who serve on one of the numerous environmental groups on the Colgate campus.