Hoosier Colleges Going Greener

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Butler University and Saint Joseph's College are making changes to reduce their environmental footprints. Butler is working to eliminate campus-produced greenhouse gases by 2050, while St. Joseph's is making the move from coal to gas to heat its campus.

September 18, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Butler University has devised a plan to eliminate greenhouse gases produced on the campus by 2050.

The Butler University Sustainability and Climate Action plan (BUSCA) includes a variety of strategies, such as energy efficiency and conservation measures, transportation strategies, long-term plans to incorporate renewable energy, and a goal to become a "zero waste" campus.

The plan also includes water saving and reuse strategies, sustainable procurement policies, and an emphasis on local food. Butler's plan was written by the 25-member Sustainability Council, which consists of faculty, staff, and students from across the university.

BUSCA comes a little more than two years after Butler University President Jim Danko kicked off Earth Week by signing the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a pledge to create a long-range plan to eliminate the campus’ net emissions of greenhouse gases.

The pledge, which has been signed by 684 presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities to date, expresses concern about "the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects."

Butler is the first Indianapolis university to sign the commitment. In the opening letter of BUSCA, President Danko states, "Through this pledge to achieve climate neutrality, Butler is reaffirming its commitment to serve as a champion for the City of Indianapolis and State of Indiana, helping to ensure that future generations of Hoosiers inherit a healthy planet."

Regular reports and assessment are planned to ensure the plan remains up to date and relevant. The plan can be accessed here: http://rs.acupcc.org/cap/1218/

About Butler University

Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Together, these colleges offer more than 60 undergraduate areas of study, eight pre-professional programs, and 19 graduate programs. Around 4,700 students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 49 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. This community-centered immersion is coupled with classroom learning that nurtures critical thinking, effective communication, cooperative teamwork, and ethical decision making to prepare students for both professional success and to have lasting impact in their communities. Butler’s overall placement rate for the class of 2012 was 96 percent, including 19 percent who went on to graduate or professional school.

Experts Guide: To find the ideal expert for your story, visit our Experts Guide at http://www.butler.edu/experts/

Source: Butler UniversitySeptember 18, 2014

News Release

RENSSELAER, Ind. -- In an effort to reduce its environmental footprint, Saint Joseph’s College has moved to eliminate its use of coal in its heating and cooling operations in favor of natural gas. This change is seen as having the added benefit of improving campus air quality and energy efficiency, as well as the air quality in the broader Rensselaer community.

“This is the first project of a bigger plan to improve campus infrastructure and sustainability,” said SJC Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer Hoa Hguyen.

The move to natural gas also means added revenue for the city of Rensselaer, which will install the natural gas lines on campus. SJC will become one of Rensselaer’s biggest consumers of natural gas.

By switching to natural gas, SJC will see approximately a 99% reduction in sulfur dioxide and 70% reduction in nitrogen oxide, as well as eliminating nearly 243 tons of ash. The reduction in pollution is equal on an annual basis to the pollution generated by 7,500 vehicles.

Named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation, a "Best Midwestern College" by the Princeton Review, and “Best Value” and "Best Midwestern College" by US News & World Report, Saint Joseph's College is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 35 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of nearly 1,200 students.

Source: Saint Joseph’s College