SUSTAINABILITY AT CENTRE
Centre College is committed to sustainable, environmentally friendly practices and energy conservation.
CENTRE’S SUSTAINABILITY PLEDGE
Acknowledging Centre College’s Statement of Purpose “to prepare students for lives of learning, leadership, and service,” the College is committed to environmental sustainability.
We recognize the fragility of our planet and therefore our responsibility to account for the wasteful consumption and effects of human behavior that compromise the environment for all living things, and negatively affect the economy, health, and overall quality of human life. We seek climate neutrality through appropriate behavior and decisions and are determined to actively fulfill our responsibility as a signee of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. The College shall seek new ways to capitalize on the intelligence, wisdom and creativity within our community, and where necessary, seek outside help and resources. To accomplish these goals, the College will continue to prepare our faculty, staff, and students to be global citizens, promoting responsibility and awareness through education and practice at Centre and beyond.
From student organizations to the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Committee (PCCAC), members of the Centre community are united in their desire to reduce their environmental footprint.
In 2007, in a student-initiated ballot, 82% of the student population voted for the adoption of a Green Fund, which requires each Centre student to pay a $20 surcharge on tuition that goes toward purchasing renewable energy credits from the local Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station. Centre was the first educational institution in Kentucky to support the local production of green energy.
Mother Ann Lee
The local Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station is a 2,040 kwh run-of-river hydropower plant located at Lock and Dam 7 on the Kentucky River in Shakertown, Ky., just a few miles from Centre’s campus. The project is one of only a few dozen hydropower plants nationally to have received “Low Impact” certification from the Low Impact Hydro Institute. Centre buys 370 blocks of renewable energy credits (RECs) per month, offsets that represent approximately 30 percent of the College’s anticipated use. Visit the Hydroelectric Station’s website for more information about its origins and current initiatives.
All light fixtures that are replaced are replaced with LED fixtures. Many additions and renovations incorporate both motion occupancy sensors and LED lighting. LED lighting use only 14 watts to produce the same lumens as a 150-watt bulb and last up to 20 years.
Air Travel Mitigation Fund
The Air Travel Mitigation Fund allows students and faculty to purchase carbon offsets, contributing money toward carbon-reducing initiatives that counterbalance emissions that cannot be reduced or avoided (such as those generated via plane rides to study-abroad locations). Students studying abroad are asked to contribute varying amounts based on the air miles they travel.
The College’s Recycling Coordinator organizes campus recycling pick-up and promotional activities. Recycling is available for aluminum, cardboard, paper, steel cans, glass, and 1 and 2 bottleneck plastic.
Centre currently uses Circon, a state-of-the-art energy management system, in 90% of all campus facilities to allow technicians to read and control the temperature in any building, as well as set schedules that reduce energy use.
A student led, sixty-panel photovoltaic array has a total rated capacity of 19.8 kW producing 24,000 kWh per year
Centre’s four most recent major buildings have been recognized by U.S. Green Building Council.
- All cooling systems on campus have been replaced by low-energy systems
- 75% of windows on campus are dual pane, increasing annually, reducing heating and cooling waste
- All chillers use CFC-free refrigerants and fountains are winterized with biodegradable antifreeze
- Expanded use of electric cars and golf carts
- Students have the option to buy high-efficiency dorm refrigerator
- Repeated use takeout containers
- Water bottle filling stations
- Low-flow toilets used when replacements are needed
- Mineral spirits, used to clean paintbrushes, reused through a basic filtering process
- Much of the food served on campus is sourced locally
- A campus garden provides food for local food pantries and students
- Compost made from all pre- and post-consumer waste from Cowan Dining Hall
American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
The institution is committed to reporting its carbon emissions levels annually and to achieving zero emissions by the year 2040.
An ad hoc advisory committee is appointed each year by President Roush to advance the College’s pursuit of climate neutrality, coordinate Centre’s participation in the ACUPCC and advise the President on matters relating to sustainability and environmental concerns. All meetings are always open to visitors. The committee is appointed annually.
Centre College Climate Action Plan
In early 2007, Centre President John A. Roush became a charter signatory of the
American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). By making this public commitment, Centre has agreed to:
Complete a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory
- Set a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral
- Take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Integrate sustainability into the curriculum and educational experience
- Make the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available
Annual Reports of Advisory Committee
Year-end report AY 16-17
1. Emphasize the need for energy conservation in all new construction: All new buildings and major renovations will be designed and built using LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver standards or equivalent. Certification through the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be pursued as appropriate.
2. Adopt an E.P.A. Energy Star© purchasing policy: Energy consumption and life cycle costs will be considered in purchases of all equipment and appliances. The intention will be to purchase E.P.A. Energy Star© products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
3. Promote waste minimization throughout campus: Support activities such as a vigorous recycling collection program in all major buildings; the College’s participation in the RecycleMania competition; encourage the use of re-useable drink containers.
4. Pursue sustainable energy sources: Continue the search for and support of purchasing electricity from sustainable sources, including the Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station on the Kentucky River.
Green House Gas (GHG) Inventory
This inventory, in the format required by the ACUPCC, is publicly available online here.
Each year we update and add current year data. The full cumulative report is available here. GHG Emissions Report 2008 to 2015
Ultimate goal: Climate neutrality by 2040
2020: Reduction of GHG emissions by 25% from 2007-08 levels
2030: Reduction of GHG emissions by 50% from 2007-08 levels
2040: Climate neutrality
Committee Members for 2017-2018
Preston Miles (chair), Mark deAraujo (drama), Beka Bruner (Centre Environmental Association), Andrew Crown-Weber (community rep), Matthew Devensky (facilities), Michelle DeWitt (admissions), Aaron Godlaski (psychology), Elizabeth Graves (development), Elizabeth Haynes (development), C. Henson (alumna), Patrick Kagan-Moore (drama), Scott Messer (facilitites), Cindy Long (communications), Anne Lubbers (biology), Patrick Noltemeyer (institutional planning), Rose Marie Roessler (biology), Zach Schmucker (Student Government Association), Russ Strunk (information technology), Brett Werner (environmental studies).
LEED CERTIFIED BUILDINGS
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design. Centre is the only college in Kentucky to have four LEED-certified buildings including two at the Gold level.
THE A. EUGENE BROCKMAN COMMONS
Address: 141 South Beatty Avenue
- Student Residence
- LEED-Certified Silver
Built in 2012, Brockmon features apartment-style housing for 124 upper-class students.
Given Centre’s commitment to sustainable building practices, every effort was made to meet LEED qualification. Brockman has geothermal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and the first solar powered trash compactor on campus.
The $15-million project was made possible by a generous gift to the College from Centre trustee Robert Brockmon through the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust.
THE CAMPUS CENTER
Address: 601 West Walnut Street
- Campus Dining
- Student Activities Center
- Student Life Office
- LEED-Certified Silver
Built in 2009, the Campus Center serves as the dining and student center on campus. Sustainable design methods and materials were used throughout the building.
The two-level, 50,000-square foot building was designed for comfort and socializing with informal seating areas surrounding fireplaces and 42-inch flat screen HDTVs. The first level includes two dining facilities, a large food court featuring made-to-order stations, grab-and-go snacks as well as grilled and fresh fare, a spacious dining room with various-sized tables, two private dining rooms, and bistro seating along the main corridor.
The second level has a game lounge with pool tables and Wii game systems and designated spaces for student organizations. There are four meeting rooms, a large conference room and connecting catering kitchen for student, faculty, and staff gatherings. The Student Life Office is also on the second floor.
NORTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Address: 300 South College Street
- Newlin Hall
- Weisiger Theatre
- Grant Hall
- Ex Astris (sculpture)
- The Haven Gillespie Fountain and Plaza
- LEED-Certification status for an existing structure
Built in 1973, renovated in 1994 and in 2010. The most recent renovation included replacing a 500-gallon boiler with two 100-galon water heaters, replacing all windows and doors with thermo pane glass, replacing all exterior 150-watt can lights with 14-watt LED bulbs, installing dual flush toilets throughout the building, installing dual technology motion sensors in halls and bathrooms and more. The updates qualified the building for LEED status.
Address: 525 West Main Street
- Student Residence
- LEED-Certified Gold
Built in 2008, Pearl Hall features apartment-style housing for 148 upper-class students.
Given Centre’s commitment to sustainable building practices, every effort was made to meet LEED qualification. All paints, adhesives and sealants contain no harmful ingredients, and the carpeting meets the requirements of Green Label Plus carpeting. Recycling containers are prominently displayed, and students use efficient, front-loading washing machines.
The variable irrigation system eliminates the need for permanent and constant use of water for irrigation. Low-flow shower heads, lavatories, sinks, and dual-flush toilets all contribute to efficiency. The geothermal heating and cooling system provides more constant temperature underground (warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer) to reduce energy consumption. The system employs 65 wells drilled 300 feet deep and utilize 7.3 miles of piping. Water is pumped through the pipes and absorbs, retains, and radiates the desired temperature depending on the season.
Pearl Hall was made possible by a generous gift to the College from Centre trustee Robert Brockmon through the A. Eugene Brockman Charitable Trust.
Address: 620 West Walnut Street
- Faculty Offices
- Science and Math Laboratories
- Lecture Hall
- Computer Center
- LEED-Certified Gold
Built in 1970 and renovated in 2010, Young Hall is home to the programs in psychology, behavioral neuroscience, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and organic and inorganic chemistry.
The $20 million project features a 40,000-square-foot addition that created six new large classrooms, eight new teaching labs and eight new faculty research labs, as well as several new common areas to support student-faculty collaborative research.