Plymouth State University Sustainability Report 2014-2016

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Sustainability Report 2014 - 2016

“Making Green More Than The School Color.”

Statements from PSU Sustainability My name is Dr. Brian Eisenhauer, and I am honored to serve as the Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability, as well as being a member of the faculty. Environmental issues, particularly global warming, are some of the most important challenges facing society today, and at Plymouth State University our faculty, staff, and students are working together to address these challenges to create a more sustainable future. This is our first biannual report on our sustainability achievements at Plymouth State University, and we are excited to continue to share our efforts and accomplishments with others. We have had a long, successful series of efforts to become a more sustainable community, and the 2014-2015 academic year was no exception, as we were excited to see the addition of a new sustainability academic program and the results of continued efforts to bring renewable energy to our campus. The material you find in this report will present just some of the many ways we are working hard to be make Plymouth State University more sustainable, and we look forward to working with you to “make green more than just our school color.

Steve has been working with the Office of Environmental Sustainability since 2009 on the EcoHouse project and on various other initiatives. Steve’s primary areas of academic specialty are ecological design and community planning. Much of his work is embodied in Permaculture, and he teaches courses on campus and abroad regularly. Steve’s work focuses on creating solutions that make our properties and communities more resilient in a changing world. From his own homestead to farm designs and urban revitalization efforts he strives to restore ecological function while supporting the needs of human populations. At Plymouth State University Steve has worked with students, faculty, and staff to create examples that we all can learn from. While this started at the EcoHouse it is now spreading to all sections of campus through an innovative partnership with the staff in PSU’s Physical Plant Department. Steve and the others involved in sustainability efforts at Plymouth State University look forward to continuing our efforts to make the campus and the community an example of resilience.



Dr. Brian Eisenhauer

Steve Whitman

Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability

Office of Environmental Sustainability Programs Coordinator



About PSU

1.  About PSU 2 - 3.  Education 4.  Office of Environmental Sustainability 5.  Campus Engagement 5.  Beyond Campus Engagement 6 - 7.  Ecohouse 8.  Facilities 9.  Energy 10.  Carbon 11.  Water 12.  Food 13.  Purchasing 14.  Waste 15.  Credits

Plymouth State University is nestled between the Lake Region and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and its beautiful setting and many outdoor amenities are essential to the University’s identity. Our efforts to be more a sustainable university are anchored in a commitment to educate students about a sustainable lifestyle, to study and care for the environment we enjoy and depend on, and to promote sustainability to the campus community and the world beyond. Sustainability efforts are evident throughout campus; in a program that integrates sustainability across the curriculum, in residential life, and in dining services. For over 25 years, Common Ground, a student environmental and social justice organization, has been focusing on environmental issues through events and service projects. The University’s commitment to the environment also encompasses a new courses and majors aimed at preparing graduates for careers in environmental science, stewardship, and policy; a long-standing campus-wide recycling program; and EcoHouse, a “living-learning laboratory” that shows students how even small-scale environmental design features can have important environmental implications. In 2007, Plymouth State University (PSU) demonstrated its commitment to being a campus leader in sustainability by becoming a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). As part of that commitment the University developed a Climate Action Plan in January of 2010, pledging to reduce campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% by 2025 and to make its operations greenhouse gas neutral by 2050. In addition to changing our carbon footprint, Plymouth State University also pledged to ingrate sustainability throughout its operations, including the curriculum, to prepare our students to address critically important environmental and social challenges. We continue to create new sustainability goals while striving to meet existing ones, and seek to engage as many members of our community as we can in our efforts. Pursuing sustainability through changes in campus operations, the creation of new programs and curricula, and improved efficiency in our energy procurement and use requires contributions from all of us, and the PSU community is committed to instigating meaningful change. Please join us!


Education Sustainability is implemented throughout multiple courses and degree programs across Plymouth State University. Whether it’s a topic during a day in a Business class, a chapter during a Environmental Science and Policy course, or the main focus of a semester long course in the Sustainability Minor, discussing environmental issues and how we can address them is an important part of learning at PSU.


Sustainability specific courses.

12 : 1 Student to Professor ratio.

PSU offers a Sustainability Minor The Sustainability Minor at PSU is an integrative program, sometimes defined as the union of equitable economic growth, social well-being, and thriving natural systems. The program at PSU is interdisciplinary and provides students with many ways to be engaged learners, including experiences that use our campus as a “livinglearning laboratory” to learn about energy issues and other dimensions of sustainability. In addition, PSU offers many off campus experiences to emerse yourself into diverse situations, such as Steve Whitmans’ Permaculture Design Course, which went to Maya Mountain Research Farm in Belize, Spring of 2015.

International Permaculture Design, Belize, C.A.

Courses include... • Intro to Permaculture • The Art of Sustainability • Sustainability is Residences • Sustainable Structures

Scan for more information on the Sustainability Minor.


Field Study Trip, Acadia, M.E.


Campus Engagement

Office of Environmental Sustainability The Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES) coordinates the efforts of many talented and passionate students, staff, and faculty who work on diverse projects to make Plymouth State University more sustainable. The primary objective of OES is to improve the Plymouth State University community’s relationship with the environment, including developing a concrete plan to achieve our Climate Action Plan goals: A 50% reduction in campus baseline emissions by 2025, and establishing a “carbon neutral” campus (no net emissions) by 2050.

To meet Plymouth State University’s sustainability goals, we must work together as a community. Sustainability initiatives at PSU are designed and implemented by many clubs, organizations, departments, and other groups on campus and in our community.

Student organizations acting sustainability at PSU... • Ending Genocide Around the World • ResLife

Including... • Permaculture Coordinators • Media Specialists • Outreach Program Coordiantors Student employees of OES • Special Project Personel


• Physical Plant • Sodexo • All Academic departments

Beyond Campus Engagement Some Outreach and Education efforts by Student workers...

Full Moon Campout

Energy saving Competition


Bring your tents and sleeping bags and experience A night “off the grid”

office of environmental sustainability

do it in the dark

October 1st - December 1st

Tuesday october 7th starting at 7pm mary lyon lawn

Plymouth State University

Leave your mark...a pledge to recycle!

slack-lining, corn-hole, glow in the dark frisbee and music

Tips to cut energy use kill the lights pull out...electronics not in use ditch the elevator


camping equipment will be available on-site on a first come, first serve basis, rentals are limited

Other OES Programs...

office of environmental sustainability

showerpool kick it old school, go outside roll up the shades, let in the light

Sustainability at PSU goes beyond the campus. We are lucky to have many project partners in the community, allowing us to pursue a sustainable lifestyle, environment or occupation. The logos of some of the organizations we work with that are committed to sustainability are featured here.

Plymouth State University

participating halls: Smith, Grafton, Langdon woods, Blair, pemi, mary lyon do it in the dark

Brought to you by the office of environmental sustainability, residential life and the psu outdoor center


Weigh the Waste

office of environmental sustainability Plymouth State University

• Earth Week


• Green Office Program


office of environmental sustainability plymouth state university

• Trash to Treasure


• Film Showings • & Many More! a national recycling competition the more you recycle = the better we do!



Ecohouse The mission of the Plymouth State University EcoHouse is to demonstrate environmentally sustainable technology in a residential setting, to provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities to PSU students and the surrounding region, to collect and disseminate information about sustainability, and to help others live in more sustainable ways. Since its inception in 2008, EcoHouse has been an oncampus residence for students available through the Office of Residential Life, and residents pledge to live in environmentally appropriate ways and contribute to activities at EcoHouse.


Ecohouse Renovations to date.



Informational Sign

Students housed each semester.

Some Examples of Projects Completed at Ecohouse:

Storage Shed

• Foundation renovated with insulating concrete forms • Cellulose insulation in attic and walls • Floorplan redesign to increase quality of living space • Solar hot water system and on-demand electric efficient water heater • 4 Wireless Programmable Thermostats • Rainwater catchment system


• Raised garden beds and rain gardens • Permaculture designed gardens • Storage shed from locally sourced timber with green roof and PV panel

Scan for Ecohouse Video.





All PSU facilities are held to high expectations of efficiency. While renovating existing structures, PSU focuses on preserving historical details and improving energy efficiency. New construction and renovations must meet LEED Silver Certification standards.

Pursuing energy efficiency has a long history at Plymouth State University. We are proud of our continued efforts to improve our conservation behaviors and energy efficiency while also finding ways to switch to more renewable energy sources. These efforts are an essential part of our efforts to achieve our campus sustainability goals.

Kilograms of CO2 Emitted per Dollar Spent on Energy

7of 8

Residence Halls have electricity use lower than regional average.

100% Of facilities have energy efficient renovations.

We are proud that we have continued to reduce our emissions while adding needed facilities on campus. This chart shows the amount of emissions produced for each dollar PSU spends on energy, and the reductions demonstrate our Physical Plant staff’s effectiveness at increasing efficiency and reducing emissions.

PSUs’ efficiency facilities and projects...

PSU’s Energy Efficiency Projects...

• Mary Lyons Hall, 50% more energy efficient and much more comfortable

• Replacing & upgrading steam tunnels, producing heat and hot water on campus

• Langdon Woods, 1 of the nation’s top 10 LEED gold certified projects by Interior and Sources magazine

• Installing Geothermal power generation in Hanaway Ice Rink

• Rounds Hall, Recieved a slate roof and more efficient envelope strategies

• Central heating plant converted to Compressed Natural Gas, reducing Co2 and other emissions

• Campus, All external lights are LED and “Dark Sky” compliant, minimizing light pollution

• Installing Biomass heating in AllWell Field House

• Campus, All appliances are Energy Star Certified

• Taking steps to implement Biomass as central heating source for campus

FACT: 96 kWh PV solar array plans are final for near future! 8




PSU was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2025, and 100% by 2050. In the last 10 years our campus operations reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 8.7%, from 22,435.5 metric tons of CO2, the standard measure of greenhouse gas impacts to 19,586.8 metric tons of CO2. We continue to seek innovative methods to achieve our goals.

Water is a a precious resource, and we are fortunate to be in a region with plentiful clean water. As global citizens we have taken many steps to reduce our water use and consumption to lessen our environmental impacts. Many water projects, including the installation of low-flow shower heads, are efforts that have been designed and suggested by students.

Best Water Management Practices... PSU Carbon Reduction Trajectory

• All showerheads are 1.5 GPM • All toilets are 1.5 GPF

Water Usage at PSU has decreased

• 5 waterless urinals • 13 waterbottle filling stations • Raingardens implemented at Ecohouse, AllWell Center & Lamson Library • Stormwater runoff filtration BMP incorporated in Ice Arena parking lot


since 2005!

Steps taken to achieve these goals... • Conversion from oil to CNG as primary heat source

Steps needed to reach these goals...

• Facilities energy efficiency projects

• Conversion from CNG to locally sourced Biomass as primary heat source • Advanced lighting control upgrades

• Development of a Sustainability Action Plan with specific steps we need to take to achieve our goals identified • Development and delivery of conservation outreach and education programs • Long term planning to change campus fuel sources


• HVAC control upgrades • Compressed natural gas vehicles • Continue facility energy efficiency projects

Did you know? In 2009, PSU was recognized as a “regional initiator” for removing food

trays from the dining hall. This practice led to drastic drops in wastewater consumption and led by example of how other universities could do the same.



Food Some of the most fundamental and important connections we have with the environment are through the food we eat. We are continually striving to improve the sustainability of the food we serve on campus by increasing our use of local products and educating our community about the choices we make.

100% Eggs are Cage Free & Seafood is Sustainable.


Foods and Services are purchased for Sodexo from within NH.

Examples of local goods... • Stoneyfield Yogurts - NH • Green Mt Coffee & Monte Alto - VT/NH • D Acres produce (seasonal) - NH • McClures Syrup - NH • Owens Farm produce (seasonal) - NH • Black River Produce & Seafood - VT

What we buy as a campus has important implications for our environmental impacts, and we have adopted purchasing policies that support our sustainability goals. We favor providers who demonstrate a commitment to sustainability in their work for the University, and we continue to refine our procedures to encourage more sustainable practices.



Toyota Prius Hybrids for faculty fleet.

Of paper purchased is 100% recycled.



Virtual Servers, reducing electric consumption needed to cool servers.

Cleaning products are “Green” and used campus wide.



Organic Fertilizers since 2010.

Appliances are Energy Star Rated.

Did you know? Prospect Dining Hall supplies something locally sourced every meal! 12


Waste Plymouth State University has improved its waste management significantly over the last five years, and the campus has seen annual increases in the amount of waste recycled consistently over that time.


Reduction of total waste in 5 years.

35% of

PSU Waste is Recycled!

A sincere, thank you, to all who helped make this report happen! Brandon Lehman - Design, construction and execution of Sustainability report Dr. Brian Eisenhauer - Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability, Co-director of EcoHouse, Report design Steve Whitman - Co-director of EcoHouse, Office of Environmental Sustainability Programs Coordinator and Professor Melissa Leszek – Office of Environmental Sustainability Fellows Program Coordinator Justin Hardesty - Photos Hannah Smith - Photos Alan Spadafora - Photo

PSU programs for better waste management... • Recyclemania, national competition for waste reduction and recycling • Weigh the Waste, event showcasing indivdual food waste by weighing what each student wastes • Multi-annual, community led trash clean-ups around Plymouth rivers, beaches and trails • All landscaping waste is composted for campus use 14


“Making Green More Then The School Color.”