Bellevue College has made substantial progress on our 2010 Climate Action Plan and sustainability more broadly. In the fall of 2010 we hired our first full-time paid sustainability coordinator position. With the support of the Student Environmental Sustainability Fund we now have an Office of Sustainability with two full time staff, three regular part-time student staff, and four faculty stipended positions. Working together with the student government, administration, faculty, and staff we have been implementing projects across campus to reduce our footprint and strive towards sustainability and climate neutrality. In 2013 our efforts were rewarded with Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature for Associates Colleges and we were certified STARS Silver. The following includes a more specific summary of progress on the four elements of our Climate Action Plan: Buildings and Energy Use, Transportation, Purchasing, Waste and Other Strategies, and Education and Culture Change.
Buildings and Energy use:
As part of the Puget Sound Energy Resource Conservation Management program we hired a resource conservation manager, audited all buildings, created resource conservation guidelines, and outlined and implemented a series of low and no cost measures to reduce energy consumption, building on early measures such as Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) with occupancy. We conducted office area education campaign called BC2 in selected areas to educate occupants. We then began a series of Energy Service Performance Contracting projects, including campus-wide lighting and energy retrofits, HVAC Controls replacements in buildings N, R and S, and a small solar array. We also now have building level energy meters that provide better information for energy auditing. There are still potential opportunities, some which will be accomplished over many years, including weatherization/building envelope, standards for smaller renovations, upgrading all building roof-top units and controls, additional solar PV, virtualization of computing, and office practices.
Through the work of a stakeholder taskforce, the College identified and implemented a transportation management plan. The plan included parking fees with options for daily or two day a week parking, revising the student bus pass program for sustainability, implementing car-sharing, improving bike facilities, launching a custom ride-matching site and grants for prizes for sustainable commuting. It also includes advocating for transit service, a dedicated student transportation coordinator, providing one-on-on transportation assistance and creating advertising for sustainable commuting. Other opportunities include adjusting schedules, new bike facilities, reducing idling and more.
Purchasing/ Waste/ Other
The college has seen waste decline with visible stations in coordinated colors with photo signage encouraging recycling. Composting was implemented in the Cafeteria, including all compostable food service supplies, and is now growing across campus, including offices with Captains of Sustainability. Captains also collect batteries and the college will soon offer styrofoam recycling. Printing has taken a sharp decline, especially among students with a limited allotment of free prints for the first time and PaperCut visibly displaying the environmental impact. Business managers are encouraged to buy green via the Office Depot portal. The Sustainable Foods Group is working with food services to encourage sustainable alternatives. Additional work is still to be done on procurement and evaluating the GHG impact of the things we buy.
Education and Culture Change
Earth Week never fails to bring attention, last year hundreds of faculty pledged to teach climate change and thousands of students attended lectures, took pictures with a melting ice globe, or checked out the electric car show. Fifty Faculty members have now participated in the quarte- long Integrating Sustainability workshop and built sustainability issues into their syllabus. Student led projects like water-bottle fill stations and EV chargers continue to build awareness of a better way to do things. The Student Garden attracts student, faculty and staff, sometimes for a snack, Partnering with the Environmental Priorities Coalition for the regional legislative training our students led among colleges engaged in environmental issues in the state capitol in 2013.
Last Updated April 8, 2014