Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.74
Liaison Karen Talentino
Submission Date May 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Saint Michael's College
EN-5: Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kristyn Achilich
Director and Instructor
Center for the Environment; Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at students and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Has the institution held a sustainability-related outreach campaign during the previous three years that was directed at employees and yielded measurable, positive results in advancing sustainability?:
Yes

Name of the campaign:
Annual Spring Electricity Competition (students)

A brief description of the campaign:

Each spring, we run an Energy/Electricity competition within some portion of our residence halls. The competition is typically a 3-week long event in which students are challenged too see which unit will have the lowest total per capita kWh consumption.
SMC's Continuous Energy Improvement intern was hired in late February of 2020 and worked in a paid and credit bearing internship through October of 2020. She worked with the College's Facilities Team to identify energy inefficiencies, and isolate inefficiencies that would serve as as reasonable educational tools for campus behavior change. One of the first year residence halls was targeted and the resident life team was leveraged to achieve the desired results. Although they tracked their energy-friendly actions. They signed a community commitment poster. They played an informative energy trivia game. The winning hall earned the most points and used the least electricity over the three-week period. Although COVID restrictions had a major impact on our ability to complete the competition as designed, students became educated about energy conservation and their capacity to make a difference through lifestyle changes. As part of the campaign, we were able to install precision electricity meters so that future competitions can be more impactful. See: https://www.smcvt.edu/about-smc/news/2020/october/powervine-smcs-energy-newsletter-autumn-2020/


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign:

300+ students were engaged, reduced energy consumption in 1 of 2 dorms, and we were able to install better monitoring hardware and software systems set up to maintain effort in coming years. Measured savings from the 3-week competition have ranged from 25,000 kWh to 40,000 kWh; reduction was far less this year, as fewer students were involved, and the event was cut short due to COVID. Students were given points for their behavioral changes, and signed sustainability commitments. The hall that used the least electricity during the three week period was celebrated with a pizza party. We learned a lot from this year's competition and will design a more robust event next year, with expanded capacity to make precision measurements.


Name of the campaign (2nd campaign):
Continuous Energy Improvement (students and staff)

A brief description of the campaign (2nd campaign):

In November of 2019 the College committed to a cohort model led by Efficiency Vermont to engage students across 5 local colleges in energy improvement projects around their campus. SMC has been working with Efficiency Vermont for years on a long-term energy efficiency plan which we have been implementing, with great success. SMC's first intern was hired in late February of 2020 and worked in a paid and credit bearing internship through October of 2020. She worked with the College's Facilities Team to identify energy inefficiencies, isolate inefficiencies that would serve as as reasonable educational tools for campus behavior change. In addition to coordinating the energy competition, the intern produced an Energy newsletter, Power Vine, which was made available to the entire community (see https://www.smcvt.edu/about-smc/news/2020/october/powervine-smcs-energy-newsletter-autumn-2020). The intern became a knowledgeable source regarding energy on campus, and has helped with the development of the STARS report, in addition to advising various offices and individuals regarding energy conservation initiatives.


A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign (2nd campaign):

Although COVID restrictions and financial constraints prevented some of the desired outcomes, the work of the intern and our Energy Team (SMC, Efficiency Vermont, Temperature Controls of Vermont) allowed us to identify inefficiencies in several areas. We invested in optimization controls changes, as well as numerous cost-savings initiatives, especially in residence halls. Partially as a result of this work, we will be completing our installation of LED lighting throughout our science building. The visibility of campus energy management and the importance of conservation efforts was enhanced significantly through this campaign, and the intern's newsletter was critical in that achievement. Essentially, this was a transitional year for SMC in terms of how we understand and manage our energy use. Next year, we should start to see the benefits of our changes and improvements, and we will continue our efforts to become a more sustainable campus.


A brief description of other sustainability-related outreach campaigns:

Over the past two years we have been implementing a planting campaign, both on our Natural Area (planting native floodplain trees as part of the restoration), as well as on our broader campus (pollinator species). This past few weeks, we have had several planting events, attracting students, staff and faculty volunteers. Provides great opportunity for education about sustainable landscaping. Measurable outcomes will be the number of trees and shrubs planted.
https://www.smcvt.edu/about-smc/news/2021/may/planting-events-foster-growth-across-st-mikes-campus/


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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