Spring 2015 Updates
In May 2013, Tufts’ Campus Sustainability Council released a report containing recommendations in the areas of waste, water, energy and emissions, and cross-cutting issues that emerged as recurring themes across all three areas.
The 2015 Progress Report contains sustainability highlights presented in the same four sections as the original report. Each section features notable areas of progress toward related goals and objectives from the report, graphical data from fiscal year 2014, and examples of upcoming projects.
Campus Sustainability entries from the Strategic Digest
from the Office of the President
Issue 13, February 20
The Board of Trustees Buildings and Grounds Committee approved in concept last week an energy master plan for the Medford/Somerville campus. The plan targets a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and recommends investing in major energy-saving projects such as a campus-wide energy metering system, cogeneration (combined heat and power plant), and a central chilled water plant. Energy conservation measures and upgrades to existing equipment were also cited.
Issue 12, February 4
In 2011, Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus earned a Silver Rating in the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating System (STARS) developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for universities to measure their sustainability performance, benchmark against peers and publicly share the results. This year, Tufts is participating in STARS version 2.0, collecting data from departments across the university and on all three campuses on topics ranging from diversity to waste management. Princeton Review and Sierra Magazine both use STARS to create their green college rankings.
Fall 2013 Updates
Issue 11, December 5
In line with the goal to reduce waste by at least 3% on average every year, Tufts Recycles has created a “Lift the Lid” campaign to encourage the recycling of bulky items. Please do your part and recycle your coffee cups, to-go containers and other odd shaped items. See theTufts Recycles website for more information.
Issue 10, November 21
Tufts’ latest renewable energy initiative is a 99kW solar array on the roof of Dowling Hall that will generate 125,000kWh of power for the Medford/Somerville campus. The project is a capstone for the City of Medford’s just completed campaign to “solarize” the city and also supports green efforts fostered by the Massachusetts’ Clean Energy Center and the Department of Energy Resources.
Issue 9, November 7
A transportation working group is convening this semester to begin work to address energy use and emissions from campus transportation. In line with Energy and Emission Goal #5, we will be using information gleaned from the annual commuting survey required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. If you are part of the sample group selected for this survey, please respond as your participation is very important. Read more about the Transportation Working Group.
Issue 6, October 10
Building surveys are in process to understand the current state of utility meters on the Medford campus. The TEAM working group on energy and sustainability will be discussing what type of building data would be useful to various different stakeholders during their next meeting. If there is building data that you would like to see, please email your ideas firstname.lastname@example.org before October 16th.
Issue 5, October 3
Tufts Recycles! announced a new partnership last month with Save That Stuff Inc. to help Tufts assess its total solid waste output and create a comprehensive waste minimization program to reach its goal of reducing waste by 3% per year. Next week, from Oct 9-16, theEco-Reps invite you to join them in helping reach this goal by participating in the university-wide Zero Waste Challenge. Prizes are available to participants!
Issue 4, September 26
Curious about what Tufts has already done to reduce its energy and water use, waste and greenhouse gas emissions? Always wondered how much energy Tufts uses or how much trash and recycling is generated? You can find answers to these questions and more in theSustainability Report. Read on Tufts Now about how we’re linking Sustainability with academics and research at Tufts.
Issue 3, September 19
In line with the Energy & Emissions goal to “develop transportation initiatives to reduce the impacts of campus vehicles, commuting, and business travel,” the first Electric Vehicle charging station will be installed in Dowling Garage this week. Tufts also joins the rest of the state in celebration of Car-Free Week, an annual event promoting green transportation options. The Office of Sustainability was at the Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, September 18, signing up participants for nuride.com, a rewards program for car-free travel.
Issue 2, September 12
Culture change emerged as one of the key cross-cutting issues in the campus sustainability council report and two programs that help educate Tufts’ community on sustainable practices started up with gusto this semester. The Eco-Ambassador program graduated 10 new staff members from the Cummings, Dental, Fletcher, Friedman, and Medical schools and HNRCA in August. They joined 59 colleagues helping ‘green’ Tufts’ offices and labs. To reach out to the student body, last week 17 new Eco-Representatives started work in the staffed residential halls on the Medford/Somerville campus.
Issue 1, September 9
Work on the sustainability report recommendations is underway with several areas being addressed through the Operations Division’s TEAM initiative. During the summer, van Zelm Engineers, leaders in utility and energy master planning as well as high- performance building design, completed a high level utility/energy master plan for the Medford/Somerville campus. The van Zelm team with Facilities Services and the Energy & Sustainability Initiatives TEAM Working Group are beginning to study the feasibility of campus chilled water production, cogeneration and related campus utility services upgrades. Programs to support university-wide energy and utility metering and building energy efficiency assessments are also in development. The goals of these efforts include improved energy and utility efficiency, reduced costs, emissions and maintenance requirements, and increased system reliability.
From a Postservice Announcment sent on 8/21/2013:
To: All Faculty and Staff, All Campuses
From: Dawn Quirk, Facilities Services
Re: Recycling and Waste Minimization News
In support of the goals established by the Campus Sustainability Council, Facilities Services and Tufts Recycles! are pleased to announce a new approach to waste minimization at Tufts. Our new resource management contractor, Save That Stuff Inc. (STS), is responsible for solid waste minimization and recycling on all three campuses. As a part of this new partnership, STS will help Tufts assess our total solid waste output and create a comprehensive waste minimization program which will include expanded recycling. STS is now collecting our trash, paper, glass, metal, and plastic university-wide, and will continue to collect food waste from several Medford campus eateries.
STS was instrumental in helping Boston University’s recycling rate grow from 3-34% over a three year period and for helping Boston College reach a 50% diversion rate over an eight year collaboration. We anticipate that this partnership will yield equally impressive results for Tufts.
Visual trash audits of central collection bins followed by in-building visits will gather data for school specific trash stream assessments. Visual audits of the Grafton and HNRCA campuses’ trash will be completed in the next month, followed by the Tufts Administration Building and the Meyer Campus Center in early fall.
Although our Dental School has a mixed-recycling program (glass, metal, paper, and plastic all in one) that caters to the varied backgrounds of the clinic patients, the rest of Tufts utilizes a dual stream approach, which means the paper is kept separate to help retain its high resale value. Single stream will be considered if our waste stream profiles reveal that it would help us reach our ambitious goal of a three percent annual waste reduction. In the meantime, please help us continue to keep our paper and boxes separate from other materials.
Need a quick refresher on recycling at Tufts? This month’s Periscope has a nice feature on recycling.
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Work on the sustainability report recommendations is underway with several areas being addressed through the Operations Division’s TEAM initiative.
During the summer, van Zelm Engineers, leaders in utility and energy master planning as well as high-performance building design, completed a high-level utility/energy master plan for the Medford/Somerville campus. The van Zelm team with Facilities Services and the Energy & Sustainability Initiatives TEAM Working Group are beginning to study the feasibility of campus chilled water production, cogeneration, and related campus utility services upgrades.
Programs to support university-wide energy and utility metering and building energy efficiency assessments are also in development.
All of the above efforts support sustainability goals such as improved energy and utility efficiency, reduced costs, emissions and maintenance requirements, and increased system reliability.
Spring 2013 Update
March 6, 2013 – The Campus Sustainability Council, convened by President Tony Monaco in January 2012, has released a draft report outlining its recommendations in the areas of waste, water, and energy and emissions.
[update April 2013] The period for public comment has now passed, but you can still download the executive summary (or scan the QR code on the left) or view the complete draft report (log in and use your Tufts username and password).
October 31, 2012 – During the summer, the Tufts Sustainability Council’s various working groups met to refine their visions and goals for Tufts in the areas of water, waste and energy/emissions reductions; and to work on strategies.
The Water Working Group envisioned Tufts having an integrated water management approach that reduces consumption, promotes reuse, and minimizes impacts on the environment enabling Tufts to become a leader in campus water management in higher education.
The Waste Working Group’s primary goal as discussed during their Summer meetings is an overall reduction of waste at Tufts by 3% a year through source reduction, improved waste management strategies, and a general culture change on campus with regards to waste.
The Energy and Emissions Working Group discussed ways for Tufts to demonstrate leadership in responsible climate action through energy efficiency, emissions reduction and adaptation. Under the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action plan, the Energy and Emissions group is committed to seeing Tufts reduce emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and reducing emissions to 75-85% below the 2001 levels by 2050.
The groups stressed a need for reporting, feedback, and community outreach to ensure that all of Tufts sustainability efforts and goals can be reached. Read more
Working group updates
Since March 2012, the three Working Groups of the Campus Sustainability Council have been meeting to discuss the current state of energy/emissions, water, and waste policies and practices at Tufts, and to create new policy measures in these areas. As the council progresses, more updates will be posted on this page.
Waste Working Group – April 30, 2012
Energy Working Group – April 20, 2012
Water Working Group – March 26, 2012