Energy & Climate
We've Got Issues... and Solutions
Randolph College was an early sustainability leader among institutions of higher learning, a role that continues unabated today:
In the early 1990's, President Linda Lorimer was among the first college presidents in the United States to sign the Talloires Declaration
sponsored by University Leaders for a Sustainable Future. This Declaration committed the College to "create an institutional culture of sustainability" through its curriculum, administration, and facilities management policies.
In 2000, the College established the Sustainability Council to bring together faculty, staff, and students to coordinate the College's recycling effort and promote sustainability initiatives on campus. There are currently five working groups: recycling and waste management, communication and outreach, climate action plan, energy and infrastructure, and sustainable design and landscaping.
In 2006, Randolph College was the first college in Virginia to sign the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment
, stating, in part:"We, the undersigned presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities, are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects. We recognize the scientific consensus that global warming is real and is largely being caused by humans. We further recognize the need to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80% by mid-century at the latest, in order to avert the worst impacts of global warming and to reestablish the more stable climatic conditions that have made human progress over the last 10,000 years possible."
(The rest of the committment text can be read here)
In Fall 2007, the College was selected by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) as one of only 90 colleges and universities nationwide to participate in a pilot program to develop sustainability assessment system for colleges and universities, called the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, or STARS
Randolph College students have conducted a campus-wide greenhouse gas inventory and a team of students and professors have drafted a Sustainability Proposal
with the help of many staff members in the summer of 2008.
A Green Facilities Master Plan developed by faculty, staff and students was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2008 to improve environmental sustainability. The plan includes an assessment of the infrastructure and addresses land use, landscaping, and design of proposed new and renovated buildings as well as energy use.
Both introductory and upper-division courses focus on energy and sustainability; a complete list is available in the Randolph College Academic Catalog
. In addition, we have associations with energy entities such as Areva and Edison2, an engineering group working on developing safe, fuel-efficient vehicles.
Besides these formal initiatives, sustainability is fostered daily in small but important ways at the College. Students are encouraged to report any energy inefficiencies they discover on campus for resolution by members of the Buildings & Grounds Department or the Sustainability Council. Review includes answering a series of important questions regarding student safety and comfort, energy efficiency, cost, and appropriateness.