Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.29
Liaison Holly Andersen
Submission Date March 30, 2022

STARS v2.2

Bennington College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Utilizing infrastructure and operations as a living lab for applied student learning - behavioral science and energy use in buildings. There are numerous projects in the Dickinson Science Building that are ongoing that are designed to understand sustainability, as well as our student run Purple Carrot Farm.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:

"Beyond Plastics Project Launched"
Bennington College announced today that former Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Judith Enck is launching a project, Beyond Plastics, that will work with college students and community leaders around the country to reduce plastic pollution.

Srichchha Pradhan '22 and Elene Charkviani '22 hosted a screening of Bag It, an award-winning environmental documentary about the impact of single-use plastic bags.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

Each first year student at Bennington takes classes to learn more about Bennington. There are 8 one hour courses that information students on issues specific to our campus. This year we began teaching first year forum classes entitled "Fighting Climate Change from your House" and "The underbelly of campus-- where you get you lighting, heating, and hot water and how you can help fight climate change." Both of these classes highlighted how individual actions can affect air and climate quality.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

Bennington college built an online dash board, much like other energy management companies such as Livid- to look at all our fuel and electrical use per building and synthesis how we can better manage our building systems through data analysis.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

Bennington college built an online dash board, much like other energy management companies such as Livid- to look at all our fuel and electrical use per building and synthesis how we can better manage our building systems through data analysis. The biomass is being monitored, delivering low pressure steam to housing and academic buildings.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:

"Empty Bowl"
Bennington Empty Bowls soup supper supports the Kitchen Cupboard of Greater Bennington Interfaith Community Services (GBICS) which provides food for one quarter of Bennington's population. This project is a collaboration between GBICS and Bennington College's academic course, "Social Kitchen: Ceramics, Food and Community" and is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to address the systemic causes of food insecurity in Bennington County.

"No plastic boxes for take away"
Bennington College has partly canceled plastic boxes for take away in the Dininghall, which will reduce the plastic pollution in the Dining-hall section.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

There are weekend walks and classes on biodiversity, dendrology, bird watching, and other classes regarding land use. Also, we have 5 students working the purple carrot farm that grows vegetables that we use in the dining halls.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:

Continuous Energy Improvement
Bennington College has been working closely with Efficiency Vermont's "Continuous Energy Improvement" project. We purchases equipment that consumes less energy. On the other hands, those products are even more productive than the one we used to have before.
https://www.efficiencyvermont.com/services/project-support/strategic-energy-management


IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

Bennington College offers public shuttles for the students, which will drastically improve the energy-usage efficiency as less students need to drive their own car to go to local places and more people share the same car.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

With all new construction at Bennington College, we replaced paper towels with hand dryers.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:

We have a drinking water machine at our technology building that recycles water while others are filling water to their bottles. It has saved tons of clean water over the years.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

"Sustainability Working Group"
The Sustainability Committee is made up of staff, faculty, and students from all areas of the College. The Committee's mission is to advance a shared sense of responsibility towards the social, economic, and environmental well being of the College and beyond in order to educate Bennington students and lead by example. The Committee's goals are to advance the ethic of sustainability in College operations, academics, and campus life and to build bridges between the College, the local community, and the world at large. The Committee is chaired by the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management and Planning.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

The President's Working Group is an group of students, faculty, and staff generated in 2020 to address Anti-Racism. This working group is working on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As part of this work, we are working on advancing advocacy of all things related to climate change.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

The student lead group called the Leaders in Educational Sustainability are working with the Business Office to educate the community as far as divestments. They have been holding open community sessions regarding divesting from fossil fuels.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:
Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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