The Projects

Colgate’s Sustainability and Climate Action Plan highlights specific actions to advance sustainability while mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

Each individual project highlighted here was analyzed and thoroughly discussed by the Climate Action Plan Steering Committee, members of each of the seven subcommittees, the Sustainability Council, and individuals most directly responsible for the implementation of the project.   Click the category heading (the hyperlink) to learn more about each project.  While the information here provides only the "headlines" for each project, it is important to note that we considered (as much as practicable given available time and resources) community and operational impacts, costs, carbon reductions, and overall environmental impacts for each project. In some cases, we lack necessary information to make accurate cost estimates, resource savings, environmental impacts, and estimated greenhouse gas reductions.  As a result, the estimates, data, and individual projects listed here lay the groundwork for ongoing discussion and research. 

In the end, the Sustainability and Climate Action Plan received endorsement from President Herbst and other members of Colgate's senior administration.

OPERATIONAL PLAN - LIST OF PROJECTS

4.1 BEHAVIOR CHANGE AND CAMPUS CULTURE   
4.1.1 Green Office Program
4.1.2 Green Living Program
4.1.3 Green Events: Waste Minimization and Recycling
4.1.4 Employee Training and New Employee Orientation
4.1.5 Sustainability in the First-Year Experience
4.1.6 Campus Sustainability Awards

4.2 ENERGY AND BUILDINGS
4.2.1 Fuel Switching: eliminate fuel oil #6
4.2.2 Wind Energy
4.2.3 Solar Thermal Energy
4.2.4 Geothermal Heat Exchange
4.2.5 Sanford Field House Energy Conservation Measures
4.2.6 Olin Hall Energy Conservation Measures
4.2.7 McGregory Hall Energy Conservation Measures
4.2.8 Adaptive Computer Power Management and Data Center Efficiency
4.2.9 Green Building

4.3 FOOD AND DINING
4.3.1 Dining Services Switches to Trayless Operations
4.3.2 Increase purchase and consumption of local food on campus

4.4 LAND USE AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
4.4.1 Establish ‘reduced mow’ areas
4.4.2 Reforestation of open spaces
4.4.3 Colgate Forest Sequestration (carbon accounting project)
4.4.4 Promote walking at Seven Oaks Golf Course

4.5 PROCUREMENT AND PURCHASING GUIDELINES
4.5.1 Create an environmentally preferable purchasing policy
4.5.2 Create a vendor code of conduct
4.5.3 Purchasing preferences for Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) certified computers and monitors on campus
4.5.4 Implement a $50 minimum for department orders from Staples and Office Max
4.5.5 Recycled Paper Purchasing Policy (eliminate the use of non-recycled paper on campus)
4.5.6 Increase multi-functional printer/copier/fax devices as campus standard
4.5.7 Purchase items/products with packaging/materials that can be recycled, made of post-consumer content, or are environmentally benign

4.6 GROUND TRANSPORTATION
4.6.1 Encourage carpooling
4.6.2 Encourage employee bicycle commuting
4.6.3 Encourage student bicycle commuting
4.6.4 Create policies to encourage flexible work schedules
4.6.5 Zipcar service to campus
4.6.6 Offer group purchasing of fuel-efficient vehicles
4.6.7 Purchase electric vehicles
4.6.8 Purchase hybrid-electric vehicles
4.6.9 Biodiesel (B20 Blend)
4.6.10 Implement a no-idling policy

4.7 AIR TRAVEL
4.7.1 Increased use of video and teleconferencing options
4.7.2 Purchase individual carbon offsets for air travel

4.8 WASTE MINIMIZATION AND RECYCLING
4.8.1 On-Site Composting Project 
4.8.2 Reuse and redistribution of used office equipment and supplies (office swap program)
4.8.3 Establish 0.5" paper margins as campus guideline
4.8.4 Reduce the use of one-time use cups during campus events
4.8.5 Reduce junk mail coming to campus
4.8.6 Encourage paperless courses
4.8.7 Tour the Madison County landfill, volunteer for the end of the year Salvage program, or spend one shift working with the B&G crew on their recycling run 
4.8.8 Reduce bottled water consumption on campus

4.9 WATER CONSERVATION AND PROTECTION
4.9.1 Install low-flow showerheads in first- and second-year housing
4.9.4 Reduce watering of artificial turf



Some of the goals and projects in this report make good sense because they advance sustainability on campus and may reduce operating costs (e.g., dining operations, composting, water management, procurement, and others) even though they may have little to no overall effect on the campus carbon footprint.  The table below provides a complete overview of only the projects that will reduce our campus carbon footprint.  The financial impacts and estimated greenhouse gas reductions for each project is listed by fiscal year.  The Sustainability and Climate Action Plan has a one-time implementation cost of $8.1 million (with the heating plant upgrade project costing $7.3 million) and a cumulative operating cost of over $400,000.  On the flip side, we anticipate that Colgate will avoid spending over $2 million in operating costs between 2012 and 2015 with the implementation of this plan while avoiding over 35,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Climate Action Plan: potential projects, financial analyses, and avoided metric tons of greenhouse gas (MTeCO2) emissions.