Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lady Liberty Goes Green!

A recent visit to Liberty Island was most impressive. Lady Liberty was grand and the history fascinating. For example – did you know that the statue is made of copper only as thick as two pennies pressed together? I didn’t! But because I wasn’t expecting it, I was absolutely blown away by Liberty Island’s environmental record. Their approach is multifaceted including building practices, energy monitoring purchasing, food/beverage sourcing, water conservation and waste reduction efforts.

So I wondered….how does Union compare? Would someone be as impressed when they visit our campus?

Environmentally friendly  approach to ……
Liberty Island
Union College

100% Green Power User Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) purchased to support electricity generation equivalent to Liberty Island’s consumption via wind power.
100% Green Power User
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) purchased to support electricity generation equivalent to Union College’s consumption via wind power.

All lights are turned off each night!
With the exception of lighting for safety/security academic and administrative buildings turn their lights out each night. Lighting controls are used wherever applicable to reduce consumption.
Heating & Cooling
Geothermal heating and cooling reducing energy demand by 35%

Geothermal wells are utilized for summer reheats in the Peter Irving Wold Center & for dehumidification in the Schaffer Library. Geothermal is also the sole source of heating for the Kelly Adirondack Center.
Water Conservation
Rainwater collection that reduces water usage by 40%
Water sensors on high efficiency sinks and toilets
Waterless urinals – saves 395,000 gallons water/year
Rainwater collection fulfills most watering needs for Octopus’ Garden.
Installation of low flow showerheads, high efficiency toilets and sinks with new construction/renovation.

Waste Diversion
Green Building
LEED platinum Gift Pavilion     (ex: 43% of building materials with recycled content)
LEED Gold Peter Irving Wold Center. (20% of building materials with recycled content)
All new construction & renovation is built to LEED standard.
Equipment Standards
All new equipment is Energy Star qualified.
New appliances/computers are Energy Star or EPEAT Gold whenever possible.
Cleaning Products

All Green Seal cleaning products!
 100% recycled paper products
Green Seal products used wherever effective.
100% recycled paper products
Organic, free trade, shade grown coffee
Aspretto by Sodexo is 100% ethically sourced coffee and tea
All produce is either organic or locally grown

All produce used for Ozone Café & O3 Marketplace is either locally grown or organic.
All product grown in Octopus’ Garden is organic.
Condiment pump system instead of individual packets eliminated >3 million condiment packets/year
Condiment pump system used in all dining locations. Packets are used only  when necessary at events.
Dining Ware
Disposable coffee cups with a corn starch lining rather than plastic, biodegradable, compostable & chlorine free – always composted never sent to the landfill. All other dining ware is reusable on Liberty island.

100% of dining ware used in resident dining halls is reusable. China is also available upon request for your event.
Majority of disposable dining ware used on campus is compostable and composting occurs at all resident dining locations as well as upon request for events.
2012 Sustainability Award  & 2012 Innovator of the Year from National Restaurant Association, 2001-2005 WasteWise Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency, 2002 US Department of the Interior Environmental Achievement Award & Certified Green Restaurant in 2002.
2013 & 2014 EPA Green Power Leadership Club, 2012-2013 EPA College & University Green Power Challenge winner for Liberty League, Participant in the Energy Star Low Carbon IT Program, 2011 & 2012 Recyclemania Per Capita Classic and Cardboard Winners, 2014 NEEP award recipient

Liberty Island ‘s footprint may be small but their impact is great on 4 million visitors per year. Lady Liberty standing up for freedom and sustainability – a model for us all.

Thank you to the National Parks Service for all that you do!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DIITD Results: Congratulations Communications!

Communications at 69 University has won Union's Do It in the Dark competition with an overall reduction of 37.7%!

Below is an image of the final results.

On Monday, March 10, 2014 we went to 
congratulate those who work Communications...

We brought them a banner and a cake!

Meghan presented the office with an invitation to the first U-Sustain meeting of spring term (Wednesday, April 9) to officially receive their plaque and prize.

How did they reduce their energy use by 37.7%? Well, they said that they turned the heat down in the entire building. They turned the heat off in the bathrooms. 
And, they turned their lights off whenever possible. 

Congratulations Communications!
We applaud your inspiring energy and efforts in taking the steps to reduce your energy use.