Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.16
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Green Mountain College
PAE-5: Climate Plan

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Bill Throop
Provost's Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a plan to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief summary of the climate plan’s long-term goals:

Midterm goals (2020) will be achieved after the college conducts a comprehensive thermal and electrical energy audit to identify next steps in reducing GHG emissions. As old infrastructure is upgraded, new technology will also be explored as an educational tool. For example, a 200 kW solar photovoltaic system has been discussed as a possible means of expanding use of renewable, locally produced electricity. Interactive data streaming will likely expand to include water, heat and electricity usage in most campus buildings. This will help to inform infrastructure development and restructure personal consumption patterns.

By 2050, GMC envisions producing all of its energy on site using regionally sourced renewable fuels, having a climate neutral campus fleet, and reducing emissions from air travel by 80 percent. The campus will serve as a laboratory for experimenting with renewable energy systems and sustainable social and economic systems. As achievements are made on the GMC campus, they will radiate out into the wider Poultney community, influencing the behavioral norms governing life in rural Vermont in a post-petroleum age.

A brief summary of the climate plan’s short-term goals:

GMC's Climate Action Plan identifies short term goals to be reached by 2011. By this date, the College committed to dramatically reducing GHG emissions through the conversion of the campus heating plant, which burned #6 fuel oil, to a 400 horsepower, combined heat and power (CHP) biomass facility. The new facility, completed in Spring 2010, was predicted to shift 85% of fuel oil usage to biomass and burn an estimated 4,500 tons of wood chips annually. This should reduce consumption of fuel oil used for space and water heating from 230,000 gallons to an estimated 40,700 gallons per year, necessary only on the coldest days.

Based on our 2011 GHG Emissions Inventory, this ambitious shift from fossil fuels to a renewable fuel source has resulted in a 32% reduction in Scope 1 emissions compared to 2007 levels. This reduction took place during the commissioning period for the new heating plant, and we are confident that significant reductions will continue in upcoming years as the plant operates at maximum capacity.

The new facility is also estimated to produce 400,000 kWh of electricity per year, once the co-generation system is fully activated, which is expected to reduce scope two emissions by 8%.

Improvements in the GMC fleet fuel efficiency and the implementation of procedures associated with a new transportation policy has reduced emissions related to commuting and institution sponsored travel.

As outlined in the plan adopted in 2009, the College is installing an interactive data streaming interface enabling real-time tracking of energy production and fuel use by the new biomass facility, as well as displaying electricity usage in the residence halls.

Year the climate plan was formally adopted or approved:

The website URL where information about the climate plan is available:

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