Eastern’s Commitments

Eastern’s Commitments



Greenhouse Gas Commitment

In September 2007, President Elsa Núñez signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging the university to carbon neutrality. In support of this commitment, Eastern has completed the following:



Climate Resiliency Commitment

In May 2014, President Elsa Núñez became a founding signatory of the newly formed Alliance for Resilient Campuses.

Higher education institutions in the Alliance for Resilient Campuses will:

  • Evaluate risk and vulnerability from the changing climate
  • Create tools for collaborative assessment and implementation
  • Evaluate progress and fill critical research and knowledge gaps

 

Eastern’s Sustainability Achievements

2000
On July 14th, the CSU Board of Trustees approved Resolution No. 00-74, establishing the Center for Sustainable Energy Studies at Eastern and Resolution No. 00-75, establishing the Endowed Chair in Sustainable Energy Studies. Eastern receives $500,000 of non-state contributions to support the endowed chair.

2001
The Board of Trustees of the Connecticut University System designates Eastern a “Center for Excellence in Sustainable Energy Studies” due to the creation of an undergraduate academic program in SES with an Endowed Chair and the establishment of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, with a goal to “identify, develop, and implement the means for achieving a sustainable energy future for Connecticut.”

2004
A Minor in Sustainable Energy Studies is approved as part of the EES major program.

Dr. Fred Loxsom is appointed as the first endowed chair in Sustainable Energy Studies at Eastern.

The Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University provides the education program design and coordination for the International U.N. Children’s Conference on the Environment, which brings 450 middle school aged children from 51 countries around the globe to Connecticut to discuss the impact of energy use on the environment.

2005
“Sustainable Energy and the Environment”, a general education course, is offered for the first time by the EES department as part of the Sustainable Energy Studies program. This course has gone on to be very successful, with several on-campus and online sections of this Tier II science course offered every semester.

“Sustainable Energy Resources”, an advanced course in sustainable energy studies, is offered for the first time by the EES department as part of the Sustainable Energy Studies program.

The new Child and Family Development Center opens on campus, which incorporates many high performance building techniques, including special emphasis on the use of natural light.

Eastern installs two 2.5 kW solar photovoltaic systems on two of its dormitories to power perimeter and emergency lighting, and six smaller PV arrays to provide LED lighting for bus shelters and recycling stations around campus.

2006
Online sustainable energy general education and advanced courses are offered by the EES department as part of the Sustainable Energy Studies program.

Five small grants for sustainable energy research or course development are received by the Center for Sustainable Energy Studies, including: “US and Canadian Sustainable Energy Study Tour”, Canadian Embassy; Environmental Community Grant, Northeast Utilities; “The Effect of Windows on Energy Consumption in New England Homes”, CSU-Research; “Modeling Building Energy Consumption”, CSU-Faculty Development; and “US and Canadian Sustainable Energy Study Tour”, CSU-Course Development.

The Center for Sustainable Energy Studies begins the development of a campaign to increase campus recycling and to nurture a campus environmental ethic. During the summer, the Sustainable Energy Technical Assistant and the student Recycling Assistant present a series of orientation talks about campus recycling to incoming Eastern students.

The Center for Sustainable Energy Studies sponsors Earth Week, with a week of events including lectures, a poster session, food, environmental organizations, a climbing wall, a bio-blitz, poetry reading, and music. Center staff makes presentations about renewable energy and recycling to attendees.

2007
Eastern Connecticut State University President Elsa Núñez signs onto the American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), and Eastern became one of the first 50 institutions of higher education to make the commitment to carbon neutrality.

Eastern’s Green Campus Committee is formed in September as a result of the University signing onto the ACUPCC. Since its formation, the committee continues to meet monthly to discuss current energy and sustainability initiatives and opportunities on campus.

The individualized major plan for Sustainable Energy Studies is approved.

The Center for Sustainable Energy Studies offers a renewable energy summer workshop for community college teachers.

Eastern’s South Residential Village housing complex is awarded LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, consisting of Constitution, Nutmeg and Laurel Halls.

2008
“Global Climate Change”, a general education course, is offered for the first time by the EES department as part of the Sustainable Energy Studies program.

“Sustainable Energy Laboratory”, a general education course, is offered for the first time by the EES department as part of the Sustainable Energy Studies program.

A grant for sustainable energy research or course development is received by the Center for Sustainable Energy Studies:  “Monitoring Solar Hot Water Systems”, from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management.

Eastern opens the new 174,000 square foot LEED Silver Science Building, equipped with day-lighting controls, grey-water system, variable speed drives, and overall systems and materials selected to minimize energy use and impact on natural resources.

2009
Eastern submits its first Climate Action Plan to the ACUPCC, which is meant to serve as a blueprint for energy efficiency and sustainability on campus.

Center for Sustainable Energy Studies staff work with colleagues at other universities to develop a national energy workshop for Geoscience teachers. A workshop is offered during May at Wyoming State University as part of the On the Cutting Edge series, supported by NSF and the National Association of Geoscience Teachers.

The Sustainable Energy Studies Department receives funding for the “Renewable Energy International Service Project” from the Connecticut Campus Compact to take two students to Jamaica for the initial phase of a service learning project.

2010
Eastern begins to offer a Sustainable Energy track and minor within the Environmental Earth Science department, where students complete a series of courses designed to educate them about energy-related environmental issues and policies and prepare them to design, analyze and monitor fossil fuel and renewable energy systems.

Students and staff from Eastern’s Sustainable Energy Studies department travel to Lucea, Jamaica for a service-learning project focused on designing and implementing renewable energy systems, installing a small wind power system for a local school and providing community outreach as well as a learning experience for both parties.

2012
Eastern installs a 400 kW fuel cell on the west side of the Science Building, with 100 percent of the electricity generated going to the buildings main electric room and supplying a majority of the power needed to run the facility. Excess heat produced by the unit is used in both the Science Building and the rest of Eastern’s power infrastructure, giving the fuel cell an operating efficiency of 90 percent, more than double that of traditional power sources.

ECSU completes installation of Encelium Energy Control System into J. Eugene Smith Library, achieving a 27 percent reduction in energy in the first month of operation, with a projection to save $114,000 in energy costs annually.

2013
Eastern begins construction of the new 118,000 square foot Fine Arts Instructional Center, being built to LEED Silver standards.

Eastern Connecticut State University is selected as one of seven institutions of higher education nationwide to participate in the Department of Homeland Security’s Campus Resilience Pilot Program, which aims to develop emergency preparedness plans for campuses in the face of both man-made and climate-related challenges.

Eastern establishes a community garden with the help of faculty, staff and student volunteers. The 50’ by 50’ garden produced more than 50 pounds of fresh vegetables for the local soup kitchen during its first summer in operation, and there are plans to provide Hurley Dining Hall with herbs for the Fall of 2014.

2014
Eastern adds a “Sustainable Behaviors” course into the curriculum to be offered in the Fall as a collaborative effort by the Psychology and Business Departments.

Eastern hires a new Endowed Chair for the Department of Environmental Earth Science, to begin Fall 2014.

The Institute for Sustainable Energy Hosts first statewide Campus Sustainability Conference at Middlesex Community College, with participation from students, faculty, staff and administration from private and public colleges and universities across Connecticut.

 

 

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