Posts tagged ‘Waste reduction.’

Project Updates: Yale’s Progress

from Yale University | Connecticut, USA

by Matt Ramlow

Yale has completed the first phase of its dual project with MIT by compiling a list of 88 different environmental initiatives throughout the different departments at Yale. We then began to sort the projects into our major 3 sub-categories; built environment, behavioral, and communications projects. Yale has also drafted a preliminary survey to interview each of the projects and gather information regarding the development, funding, work hours, participation, goals, transparency, savings/reductions, and level of success of each project. Our next step is to continue to collaborate with MIT to create a final draft of the survey that can be administered across both campuses. We hope to have this completed in early April so we can conduct our interviews before the end of the spring semester (mid May) and start to gather the data from the different projects.

To view the Project Database and Preliminary Survey Questions, click on the following link.

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April 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm 1 comment

Project Highlights: Green Residence Competition

from University of British Columbia | British Columbia, Canada

The team will work with students, staff, faculty members and the UBC Sustainability Office to design and implement a resource consumption competition in UBC’s junior residences. They will be launching this competition in the fall semester of 2010.

The competition will be piloted in Totem Park Residence for first year students. The project will draw on the readings of energy and resource monitoring devices to create a friendly competition that will ideally be delivered every year in Totem and hopefully expand to other residences as well.

The purpose of the competition is to:

  • Reduce consumption of campus resources (water, electricity and steam)
  • Engage students in sustainability learning and practice and
  • Measure the impact of real time monitoring and the use of promotions and incentives to reduce the consumption of resources.

On university campuses, the vast majority of energy consumption takes place within buildings. The environmental and financial consequences of this consumption are considerable. For example, in 2009 UBC consumed over 3.8 million cubic meters of water, 330 million kg of steam, 150,000 gigajoules of direct natural gas and 185 million kWh of electricity, at a cost of approximately $24 million per year.

With approximately 8,000 students living in residence on UBC campus, a substantial percentage of total campus resource use takes place within dormitories. In residential settings, it has been demonstrated that 50% of energy use depends on lifestyle choices, while the balance depends on physical characteristics of buildings and building equipment. Students living in dormitories have a high degree of lifestyle control over electricity and water use. Personal choices, such as how long they shower and whether they leave lights, stereos and computers on have the potential to reduce energy and water consumption. Residence halls are therefore an obvious target for conservation measures.

The measurable goals of this project includes measuring the competition impact, which will be measured in terms of consumption reduction, cost savings, and impact of real-time monitoring and incentives on behavior. During the project design phase, they will be working with student, staff and faculty stakeholders to design the competition and develop our indicators of project success.

April 2, 2010 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

Project Highlights: Near-Zero Waste Events

from Carnegie Mellon University | Pennsylvania, USA

The primary goals of the project are to reduce total event waste and divert as much landfill waste as possible. The project team will work with event coordinators to reduce the total food-related material purchased per head with the goal of integrating low-waste purchasing into event planning for 1-3 departments. The department demonstrations will be used to develop low-waste event purchasing practices. If possible, the project team will work with purchasing and event coordinators to estimate benchmarks for current practices. The team’s goal is to apply best practices to freshmen orientation events for the incoming class of 2014. This endeavor may demonstrate to the public that all flatware, cups, napkins, and food waste can be recycled or composted for an event serving several hundred heads. In terms of measurables, the team plans to measure the waste composted, recycled and land filled per head at all demonstration events. They will also create a simple mechanism to track the number of students, faculty and staff served by low-waste events.

February 4, 2010 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

Project Highlights: Green Action at SCIENCE

from University of Copenhagen | Copenhagen, Denmark

The team aims to concentrate its efforts on empowering students and faculty in the university’s Science Department to help Copenhagen become one of the most sustainable universities in Europe. In targeting the students, the team plans to inspire the tutors to host an introductory course on Sustainability ( e.g. encouraging freshmen to use public transportation, buy locally produced organic food, etc). We hope to encourage more sustainable-minded freshmen class through actions such as designing ‘green’ t-shirts for the tutors, and encouraging course directors to educate students on how to behave more sustainably in laboratories and computer facilities. In targeting employees, the team plans to monitor wasteful electrical consumption through the use of appliances at night when no one is in the building. They will use this data to engage in dialogue with employees to reduce this waste. The project’s measureable results will depend on data gathered via questionnaires and measurements of electrical consumption in different departments.

February 4, 2010 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

Project Highlights: Leadership building through Energy Efficiency & Resource Saving Plans

from Tongji University | Shanghai, China

Upon surveying their university’s green campus achievements and shortcomings—the team identified needs to increase energy efficiency in electric appliances and recycling rates of paper on campus. Tongji University will take an educational approach, with plans to host classes to change the community’s consciousness level in regards to the team’s two goals. In addition to promoting these green goals, the project shows promising in the ability to empower student groups, connect them to helpful administrators and incorporate graduates of the classes into the project.  The team hopes to use measures of proportion of  energy efficient appliances to the total appliances, the proportion of the recycled paper to the total consumption, the ratio of the energy and paper saving, the number of the sponsored activities to assess the team’s effectiveness.

 

February 4, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

Project Highlights: A Cross-University Integrated Study

from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University | Massachusetts and Connecticut, USA

This team plans to study over 50 programs at MIT and 88 at Yale. The study will look at different factors involved that affect the success of various programs. Analysis will be completed to look at the relative success of different programs and identify which factors are sufficient and/or necessary for program success. Such analysis will guide future decisions for institutional support of energy and sustainability programs. The project will also yield an inventory of campus programs in energy and sustainability and a host of information on each project including how the programs are linked to the organizational make-up of the institution at the administrative, departmental and student level. The major deliverable of this project will be the final report which should be complete by March of 2010.

January 28, 2010 at 9:18 am Leave a comment


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