Wellesley One of the Only Communities in U.S. with City-wide College Participation in EPA’s Green Power Partnership
May 21, 2012 (Wellesley, Mass.,) -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named all three of the colleges located in Wellesley, MA, Green Power Partners. This makes Wellesley one of the first communities in the nation with all of its institutions of higher education named Green Power Partners.
By participating in the Town of Wellesley’s Power to Choose Renewable Energy Program, the colleges are reducing the environmental impacts of their electricity use and supporting the development of new renewable generation capacity in New England.
The combined green power use of the three colleges amounts to more than 2.5 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually. This is equivalent to avoiding the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of more than 200 average American homes annually.
“Colleges and universities have an incredible opportunity to lead the way in reducing the risk of climate change by choosing green power,” said Blaine Collison, Director of EPA’s Green Power Partnership. “Babson College, Massachusetts Bay Community College/Wellesley Campus and Wellesley College are excellent examples of schools that are making this proactive choice and by extension, reducing carbon pollution and protecting public health. EPA is excited to welcome all three schools as Green Power Partners.”
These colleges are committed to sustainability and are implementing a wide range of environmental initiatives including water conservation and waste reduction, as well as increasing energy efficiency while using renewable energy -- making Wellesley one of the greenest college towns in America. The students benefit from sustainability courses as well.
Babson has committed to adhere to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). Babson College is also a charter participant in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability.
In addition, Babson and Massachusetts Bay Community College are signatories of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. Wellesley College is a Charter participant in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS).
“All across the Babson campus there are staff, students and faculty tackling issues of sustainability and resource efficiency and working to solve these integrated challenges,” said Shelley Kaplan, Associate Vice President, Facilities at Babson. “The Babson Sustainability Office works to support, enhance and coordinate these efforts,” he said.
“For the past nine years, Massachusetts Bay Community College has realized a $1.6 million savings in its fuel and utility costs on its Wellesley Hills campus through management controls of its heating and cooling systems, installing LED lighting and lighting control mechanisms, and roof replacement projects,” said Marco Brancato, Director of Facilities. “We are diligent in our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environmental sustainability.”
"Wellesley College is pleased to partner with our neighboring colleges and the town of Wellesley for the Renewable Energy Program,” said Andrew Evans, Vice President for Finance & Treasurer at Wellesley College. “This partnership extends Wellesley’s commitment to sustainability, and it builds on the conservation efforts of the College’s institution-wide sustainability program. In the past six years the College has reduced electricity consumption by 25 percent. Through this partnership, we’re delighted to continue our efforts with support for alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind power."
Environmental sustainability is highly valued at Wellesley College. The College has shifted to integrated pest management and removal of invasive plant species, more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and increased use of local vendors to supply College needs. Students are active partners, participating in programs that include a free bike-share program and Sustainable Move-Out, an effort to reduce the waste stream by donating clothing and household goods discarded by students leaving campus.
“We are proud to be part of a community where more than 10 percent of residents, and many retailers and educational institutions are minimizing their carbon emissions and moving toward using the Town of Wellesley’s Power to Choose Renewable Energy Program as part of their overall carbon reduction goals,” said Selectman Barbara Searle, Town of Wellesley. “The higher education community in Wellesley is strengthening the collective commitment to creating and implementing environmentally sustainable practices,” Searle said.
Wellesley’s Power to Choose Renewable Energy Program enables the Town, its residents, retailers and large users such as the colleges to choose renewable energy sourced primarily from Spruce Mountain, a wind farm in Maine. This gets the town of Wellesley closer to its goal of reducing energy usage 10 percent below the 2007 baseline by 2013.
For more information, please contact:
Michael Chmura, firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Jeremy Solomon, 781-239-3122
Sofiya Cabalquinto, email@example.com
Wellesley’s Power To Choose Renewable Energy Program
Phyllis Theermann, Phyllis@Theermann.com
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Power Partnership
Mollie Lemon, Lemon.Mollie@epa.gov