Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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 a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
No

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

A copy of the strategic plan:
---

The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
---

Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
---

The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
---

The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
No

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Section 3 of Bowdoin's Carbon Neutrality Implementation Plan is titled Education, Research, and Community Outreach. This section includes recommendations for over 15 sustainability-related actions to achieve by 2020, many of them measurable, related to curriculum and research. A few of them are listed below. This plan is being updated with a new plan anticipated in the spring of 2020, which will cover the time period between 2020 and 2030.
By 2020:
• 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.
• Connect with Bowdoin College alumni working in the field of climate change and sustainability in order to keep abreast of evolving technologies and initiatives and to connect students with future internship or employment opportunities in this field.
• Develop a sustainability and climate-focused Orientation trip that will introduce first-year students to climate action and the College’s commitment to carbon neutrality.
• Organize an educational outreach program to promote energy conservation across campus.
• Develop an “eco-award” to promote energy conservation and environmentally friendly behaviors among faculty and staff as part of the annual employee recognition program.
• Develop a wider array of first-year courses that can provide more academic opportunities for environmental literacy among Bowdoin students.
• Continue to support faculty and student scholarship on topics related to climate change.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

From Bowdoin's Carbon Neutrality Implementation Plan (pg. 49)
· Bowdoin will utilize its resources, including the Bowdoin Scientific Station (BSS) on Kent Island and the Coastal Studies Center (now Schiller Coastal Studies Center) and on-campus lab space to continue teaching and fostering research on climate change.
· The BSS in particular will continue to collect data on the island's bird population as part of a long-term dataset used to understand decade-scale impacts of climate change.
· Develop a summer institute at the Coastal Studies Center to support climate change and environmental research in addition to existing year-long use of the property for scientific research.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Carbon Neutrality Implementation plan includes a section on behavioral change as a carbon emission reduction strategy. Behavioral changes are encouraged through campus engagement, with written pledges to reduce energy usage, prompts and reminders throughout dorms, and expanded resources for alternative transportation. Behavioral change and campus outreach effectiveness will be measured with the energy metering system called Dashboard, installed 2009-2010. This system measures energy use of individual buildings, including dormitories and student study spaces. With the monitoring system, energy use can be compared from year to year. The stated goal in the plan is to reduce electricity use by 5% by 2020, and 10% by 2050.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Community Outreach chapter of Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan include specific suggestions for public engagement.

By 2020:
*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 cocurricular 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.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Bowdoin's Climate Action Plan includes several objects related to Air and Climate. By 2020 & Ongoing

• By 2020 achieve a 100% reduction from the business-as-usual scenario from all sources. (From 24,000 tons to 0 tons of CO2e)
• Improve metering, tracking, and auditing capabilities of greenhouse gas emissions and energy usage on campus.
• Complete the repair and upgrade of the underground steam distribution system.
• Complete the cogeneration and boiler replacement project for the campus central utility plant.
• Continue the conversion of College facilities from higher carbon distillate oil to natural gas. Continue to collect and use fry oil produced by dining services.
• Evaluate solar thermal for the two largest users of hot water on campus: Greason Pool and Thorne Hall.
• Implement all conservation measures that have attractive economic returns immediately. These include setting inactive public computers to sleep mode, weatherizing buildings, and various
lighting upgrades.
• Evaluate the performance of diode bulb lighting at the current and future pilot projects. Monitor improvements in the technology and the experience of other institutions with diode lights. Plan
for widespread adoption of diode lighting as a replacement to compact fluorescent lighting.
• Update the greenhouse gas emissions inventory each year and this action plan every second year.
• Establish new efficiency standards/targets for renovations and construction.
• Replace single pane windows in Coles Tower and Hawthorne-Longfellow Library.
• Make efficiency a key criterion when the Coles Tower elevator needs to be replaced at the end of its useful life.
• Monitor improvements in diode tube lighting technology and plan for widespread adoption of diode lights as a replacement to super T8 fluorescent tube lighting once costs have been cut in half from today’s levels.
• Consider geothermal HVAC systems or new heat pump technologies at all new building projects. Implement mechanisms to better evaluate payback and performance metrics compared to an
equivalent facility without geothermal systems.
• Use only Energy Star rated or better equipment when replacing any non-lighting equipment on campus.
• Prioritize the purchase of hybrid vehicles within the College-owned fleet when current vehicles are up for replacement with the goal to be 100% hybrid by 2020.
• Consider planning for a potential 2,000 kW solar PV installation on land that will be acquired at the Brunswick Naval Air Station


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Climate Implementation Plan called for "Establish new efficiency standards/targets for renovations and construction," which can be found here: https://www.bowdoin.edu/facilities/pdf/building-design-standards-12-14-09.pdf .


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

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 include measurable objectives for electricity conservation, physical plant upgrades, fuel switching to lower carbon fuels, and objectives for increasing onsite renewable energy.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Yes, the Bowdoin Carbon Neutrality Implementation Plan discusses offices "leading the way" on Bowdoin's climate change efforts. Bowdoin Dining and Bookstore Services are called out for their leadership in forming their own environmental committee and striving to lower their own carbon footprint by serving locally grown and organic foods as often as possible in the dining halls and stocking eco-friendly merchandise and supplies in the bookstore. As part of the Climate Neutrality Implementation Plan, Maine Standard BioFuels repurposes all of Bowdoin’s fryolator oil each year (roughly 1000 gallons) into either home heating oil or biodiesel for transportation. This has the dual purpose of repurposing oil used in dining services and reducing #2 oil used. While heating oil produces over 22 pounds of CO2e per gallon combusted, the biofuel made from the fryer oil produces less than a pound of CO2e per gallon.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:

To support Bowdoin's climate action goals the college is exploring the use of electric powered grounds equipment. The college also tracks annual water usage on Bowdoin grounds and athletic fields as well as tracking the amount of campus land treated organically.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Bowdoin’s Carbon Neutrality Implementation Plan states a policy for replacing non-lighting electrical equipment including: HVAC, refrigeration, water pumping, and plug loads (computers, copy machines, vending machines and washing and drying appliances) is to use Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR rated or better technology.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Prioritize the purchase of hybrid vehicles within the College-owned fleet when current vehicles are up for replacement with the goal to be 100% hybrid by 2020. Monitor the improvement of full electric vehicles and begin to phase in their use as soon as the technology becomes commercially viable (Climate Action Plan). Prioritize that Bowdoin maintain it's compact and walkable nature for non-motorized transportation (unpublished master plan).


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Waste is addressed in Bowdoin's Environmental Mission Statement: "In its daily operations, the College will continue to reduce waste and pollution through conservation, recycling, and other sustainability practices. These efforts will continue to include the investigation and implementation of new technologies and methods aimed at reducing Bowdoin's impact on the environment." To monitor this effort the college annually calculates its solid waste, recycling, and composting tonnages track progress over time. The college also maintains a Hazardous Waste Management Plan that can be found here: https://www.bowdoin.edu/facilities/pdf/haz-waste-mgmt-plan-07-18-18.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
---

Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

Bowdoin is guided by an Environmental Mission Statement that is posted on line and in the academic handbook: https://www.bowdoin.edu/academic-handbook/overview/environmental-mission-statement.html


The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
---

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Bowdoin's Master Plan (2004) and Master Plan update (2017) prepared by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill includes sustainability on many levels, however this document is confidential and cannot be shared publicly in its entirety.
The seven guiding principles of Bowdoin's original Master Plan from 2004 that were reaffirmed in the most recent update from 2017 include: 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.

Bowdoin is guided by an Environmental Mission Statement that is posted on line and in the academic handbook: https://www.bowdoin.edu/academic-handbook/overview/environmental-mission-statement.html

Bowdoin Dining has a published plan that addresses sustainability listed on their website: https://www.bowdoin.edu/dining/sustainability/sustainability-policy.html

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.