By Gary Thomas
Wellesley’s Colleges honored as Green Power Partners by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Babson College, the Wellesley College and the Massachusetts Bay Community College/Wellesley Campus took part in the ‘Power to Choose Renewable Energy Program’ of the Town of Wellesley.
The Wellesley colleges are committed to sustainability and are on a proactive endeavor to provide support for the development of New England’s renewable generation capacity and also decrease the environmental impacts of their power consumption. The three colleges consume over 2.5 million kWh of green power every year. This consumption is equivalent to the prevention of CO2 emissions from approximately 200 residences.
The colleges are utilizing renewable energy, and have implemented initiatives for waste reduction and conservation of water. They are also teaching sustainability courses to students. The Massachusetts Bay Community College and the Babson College have signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment. The Babson College and Wellesley College are Charter participants in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) framework. The system is a self-reporting framework for assessing the college’s progress toward sustainability.
At its Wellesley Hills campus, the Massachusetts Bay Community College has made savings of $1.6 million in costs related to fuel and utility. It has implemented roof replacements, lighting control mechanisms, LED lighting and heating and cooling systems.
Through its sustainability programs, the Wellesley College has reduced its consumption of electricity by 25%. It has installed heating and cooling systems with better energy-efficiency, removed invasive plant species and has integrated pest management.
Wellesley town aims to reduce its energy usage by 10% below its 2007 baseline. Its Power to Choose Renewable Energy Program allows colleges, residents and the town to utilize the wind farm renewable energy from Spruce Mountain.