Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 4.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Mgmt
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have current and formal plans to advance sustainability in the following areas? Do the plans include measurable objectives?:
Current and Formal Plans (Yes or No) Measurable Objectives (Yes or No)
Curriculum No No
Research (or other scholarship) No No
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement Yes No
Air and Climate Yes Yes
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds Yes Yes
Purchasing No No
Transportation Yes Yes
Waste No
+ Date Revised: April 19, 2016
No
+ Date Revised: April 19, 2016
Water No No
Diversity and Affordability No No
Health, Wellbeing and Work No No
Investment No No
Other No No

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Curriculum:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Research (or other scholarship):
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Research plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:

Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan includes a chapter on Community Outreach. The Community Outreach chapter covers several areas including Student Involvement and Participation; Faculty/Staff Awareness and Participation; and Civic Engagement and Climate Change. For the complete report please visit: http://www.bowdoin.edu/sustainability/pdf/2009-implementation-plan.pdf .


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Campus Engagement plan:

The measurable objectives include increasing the number of student Peer-to-Peer EcoReps in the residence halls. The Sustainability Office added a 3/4 time staff member in August of 2012 whose specific duties are to promote community engagement around Bowdoin's sustainability efforts. One of the Outreach Coordinator's recently completed initiatives has been to increase the number of student EcoReps from 16 residence halls to 24 residence halls. The Sustainability Office has partnered with the Residential Life Office for the past three years on a survey distributed to all first year residents at the end of the fall semester. The goal of the survey is to assess the campus engagement strategies being utilized by the EcoReps. Residents are asked to identify which dorm and floor they live on, and are then asked "How effective has your Eco Rep been at promoting sustainability in your dorm?", "To date, what have been the best programs/information offered by your Eco Reps this year?" (they are given a drop down list to choose from), and "What would you like to see improved in your dorm in terms of sustainability?" The survey has consistently provided detailed information about which programming ideas are best engaging the student body. The survey results are received over the winter break, providing the Outreach Coordinator an opportunity to review material and make changes before the spring semester. The Outreach Coordinator meets with each EcoRep at the start of the spring semester to review their individual dorm results and make suggestions for improvement and provide goal setting opportunities for the spring semester.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Campus Engagement plan(s):

Bowdoin Sustainability Office


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Public Engagement around sustainability:

Two of the specific goals in the Community Outreach chapter of Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan are: *Work closely with academic departments to infuse the topics of climate change and sustainability throughout the curriculum. Community based learning will continue to provide opportunities to engage students and faculty with the local community and provide students the experience to address the topic of climate change.
* Continue to offer co-curricular programming in order to inform Bowdoin faculty, staff and students about climate change and provide opportunities for members of the Brunswick community to continue to learn more about this topic. Specifc examples of public engagement around sustainability during the 2014-2015 academic year can be found here: http://www.bowdoin.edu/mckeen-center/docs/Public%20Engagement%20in%20Courses%20and%20Indepedent%20Study%2014-15.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Public Engagement plan(s):

While the Public Engagement section of the Climate Action Plan only provides goals and not measurable objectives, the number of courses and independant studies offered around public engagement and sustainability are tracked each year and the college is continually looking for opportunities to expand opportunities to engage with the surrounding community around issues of sustainability.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Public Engagement plan(s):

Includes, but is not limited to, Bowdoin's Environmental Studies Program, Sustainability Office, and the McKeen Center for the Common Good.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:

Bowdoin developed a Climate Action Plan in 2009 under the auspices of the ACUPCC. The Plan set an ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):

The measurable objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. The CAP suggests over a dozen projects aimed at reducing the college's greenhouse gas emissions. Bowdoin's greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in FY 2015 were 14,477 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is 24% lower than the FY 2008 baseline total of 19,153 metric tons.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):

Sustainability Office, Facilities Management and the Treasurer's Office


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Buildings:

There is a detailed section in Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan dedicated to New Construction and Renovations (see pp. 26 and 27 http://www.bowdoin.edu/sustainability/pdf/2009-implementation-plan.pdf ) Adhering to Bowdoin’s sustainability principles, the College incorporates the LEED process into all new buildings with a strong focus on reducing energy use. With a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020, we realize any building renovation or new building project is an opportunity to help us reduce our long-term carbon footprint. For examples of specific energy efficiency measures that have been incorporated into projects in recent years, see http://www.bowdoin.edu/sustainability/green-bowdoin/green-building.shtml .


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Buildings plan(s):

Measurable objectives from Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan: Bowdoin will strive to make near-term construction and renovation projects at least 20% more efficient than the average of the 2008 building stock, and to increase efficiency standards incrementally to achieve a 46% reduction of energy usage by 2020. The College will measure its progress by continuing to improve metering and monitoring capabilities on new and renovated buildings to gather information on electricity, water, and steam consumption, and to evaluate the performance of specific upgrades.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Buildings plan(s):

Sustainability Office, Facilities Management and the office of the Vice President of Finance and Administration.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Dining Services/Food:

Bowdoin Dining has a formally adopted commitment to sustainability. Through Dining's Environmental Committee, they advocate action and monitor adherence to departmental environment policies. They select and monitor "best practice" sustainability indicators suitable for Bowdoin Dining operations as a method for tracking performance improvement. Dining keeps the College community informed and aware of their environmental initiatives and process and detailed information about Dining's Sustainable Policy can be found on their website http://www.bowdoin.edu/dining/green-incentives/dining-sustainability-commitment.shtml.

+ Date Revised: April 6, 2016

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

Bowdoin Dining tracks initiatives that encourage best practices like local and organic purchasing, using no styrofoam, reducing, reusing and recycling waste. Presently Bowdoin sources approximately 34% of food purchases from local vendors, a number that is tracked each year.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

Bowdoin Dining


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Energy:

Several sections of Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan incorporate plans to advance sustainability in energy. Specifically, sections 2.2 Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies and 2.3 Onsite Renewables. These sections of the report including measurable objectives for electricity conservation, physical plant upgrades, fuel switching to lower carbon fuels, and objectives for increasing onsite renewable energy. http://www.bowdoin.edu/sustainability/pdf/2009-implementation-plan.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Energy plan(s):

The measurable objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020. Chart 3 on page 7 of Bowdoin's "Blueprint for Carbon Neutrality" provides a quick view of the many strategies and projects that college plans to implement (or has implemented) along with a timeline for implementation. http://www.bowdoin.edu/sustainability/pdf/2009-blueprint-for-carbon-neutrality.pdf


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Energy plan(s):

Sustainability Office, Facilities Management and the Treasurer's Office


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Grounds:

Bowdoin's current master plan, developed by architectural, design, and engineering firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) includes sections on designing the campus to support the use of more fuel efficient technology, as well as continuing to have the college be a steward of the natural environment, to view Bowdoin as a campus arboretum, and to strengthen quadrangles and pathways that continue to make Bowdoin a walkable campus. This plan was developed in 2003 and is currently being updated for January, 2017.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Grounds plan(s):

Measurable objectives the college has been monitoring related to grounds maintenance include increasing the amount of land that is treated organically while also decreasing the amount of water usage for the maintenance of lawns and gardens.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Grounds plan(s):

Organic Treatment of Grounds: The Town of Brunswick’s aquifer protection zone includes Bowdoin’s Whittier Field, home of Bowdoin’s football team. Because of this designation, the college began treating the field organically in 2002. Utilizing an organic program of aeration, compost tea, and hand weeding, over time the college has developed a superb playing field that is completely organic. Bowdoin has expanded the organic treatment across campus, which now includes 60 percent of the central campus, including the Cleaveland Quad, Main Quad, Coe Quad and the President’s residence and guest house. The treatments utilize ingredients such as corn gluten, seaweed, bone meal and manure, and pest deterrents such as red pepper and garlic oils.

Water Conservation: The campus landscapes with native species that do not require irrigation. High visibility grassed areas of campus do receive water during dry weather. In recent years, as a means of conserving water, the college installed a below ground irrigation system on athletic fields at Pickard Field and the Main and Cleaveland Quads. These systems monitor the moisture in the soil and only water accordingly. The systems are automated to operate in the early morning hours before the sun rises to reduce evaporation during the watering cycle. The campus maintains a mowing height of 2.5 to 3 inches, which encourages deeper root growth, thus reducing the need for watering. Utilizing mulching mowers, grass clippings are left on the lawn. On the rare occasion when they need to be removed, the clippings are composted.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Purchasing:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Purchasing plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Purchasing plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Transportation:

Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan has set forth a goal to transition our vehicle fleet, first to 100% hybrids by 2020, and from hybrid to electric by 2025.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Transportation plan(s):

Transition Vehicle Fleet, first to 100% hybrids by 2020, reducing emissions by 156 tons of CO2e per year. Transition Vehicle Fleet From Hybrid to Electric by 2025.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Transportation plan(s):

Facilities Management and the Treasurer's Office


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Waste:

In the fall of 2012 Bowdoin's Sustainability Office, which oversees waste reduction efforts for the college, set an ambitious goal of becoming a "zero-waste" campus. Each year the College researches and adopts new practices that will help bring them toward the goal of zero-waste.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Waste plan(s):

The Sustainability Office reports out annual trash and recycling data each year, monitoring total tonnages and the ratio of trash to recycling. Tonnages of both trash and recycling are included in Bowdoin's annual GHG tracking. Examples of strategies employed in recent years to reduce waste and increase recycling include the installation of outdoor recycle bins on campus, establishing a pallet recycling program, instituting a reusable "Eco Container" program for to-go items at the Bowdoin Pub, and switching to an on-line method for the course catalog and course registration. The 2014-2015 fiscal year was the best year on record in terms of the ratio of recycling to trash (47% recycle:53% trash).


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Waste plan(s):

The Sustainability Office in cooperation with Grounds, Housekeeping, and Dining Services.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Water:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Water plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Water plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the other plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the other plan(s):
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The institution’s definition of sustainability:
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Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

Guiding Principles: A Strategic Plan to Guide Future Growth at Bowdoin College
Prepared by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
October 25, 2003 (plan is currently being updated for release in January 2017)
Bowdoin College is a compact and mixed use campus
Bowdoin College is a walkable campus
Bowdoin College is a historically significant campus
Bowdoin College is connected to the Town of Brunswick and the larger community
Bowdoin College is a steward of the natural environment
Bowdoin College is an ecological campus with established standards for sustainability and energy consumption
Bowdoin College will have clear design standards for all construction and renovation projects

http://www.bowdoin.edu/facilities/pdf/Guiding%20Principles%2010%2025%2003.pdf


The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.