Making the Grade in Sustainability

10.07.2009 | Energy and EnvironmentThe University of Dayton's dedication to creating a greener campus has paid off with a letter-grade jump to a B+ in the 2010 College Sustainability Report Card released today.

The University's overall grade tied for second among 16 Ohio schools represented in the study. The University of Dayton improved in five of the nine categories and stayed even in the other four. It received A's in administration, endowment transparency and investment priorities.

The other categories include climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, shareholder engagement, student involvement and transportation.

"We appreciate the work of our staff and University community in helping the University become better stewards of the environment in the Catholic, Marianist tradition," said Beth Keyes, assistant vice president for facilities management.

Now in its third year, the College Sustainability Report Card is an independent evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at the colleges and universities with the 300 largest endowments in the United States and Canada. The report card is designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example on sustainability.

Since the first report card, the University of Dayton has jumped two and a half letter-grades.

Some of the improvements the University has made in the past two years include:
  • Occupancy sensors switch off lights and shift climate-control settings into reduced-power mode when buildings and rooms are not in use. When rooms are in use, the University will set reasonable limits on space temperatures — 74 degrees in the summer and 70 degrees in the winter.
  • Automated controls for the central boiler plant ensure optimal performance.
  • Aggressive preventive maintenance keeps equipment operating at optimal efficiency.
  • Academic units are looking at ways to use classroom space more efficiently during low-occupancy periods such as summer so the University does not have to light and air-condition entire buildings for only partial or occasional use.
This year, the University is taking a lights-out approach to an ambitious campaign to help reduce campus-wide energy use by 10 percent, or approximately $1 million. Roesch Library will remove half the lights and upgrade the others to high-efficient double-life lamps and electronic ballasts. The result is expected to be a reduction in energy usage of more than 50 percent for the library, with a barely noticeable reduction in light output, said Jim Blevins, University of Dayton director of general maintenance and energy manager.

Also, the University of Dayton is undertaking what is thought to be Ohio's largest institutional food-scraps recycling effort and one of the largest university food composting efforts in the nation, according to Doug Alderman, director of agricultural and environmental business at Garick Corp., whose South Charleston, Ohio, plant will process the compost. The goal is to eliminate the amount of food waste sent to landfills by 90 percent. Since the beginning of this school year, the University has diverted nearly 27 tons from landfills.
For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.