Sustainability at a Glance
At a Glance:
- Saint Michael’s has universal recycling and composting, based upon the Vermont law that is designed to keep as much solid waste as possible out of the landfill
- Saint Michael’s Eco-Reps are undergraduate student leaders who promote sustainability on campus
- The college uses both geothermal energy and a solar array for heating, cooling and electricity in order to reduce our carbon emissions
- In 2017 Saint Michael’s became just the 27th college in the country to receive the designation of Bee Campus USA
- The 400 acre Natural Area adjacent to campus provides resources for long-term research and environmental education programs
- Saint Michael’s was among the first colleges to sign the St. Francis Pledge, a commitment to care for the natural world, and to advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change.
At Saint Michael’s, we do our best to minimize the impact of our energy choices. Since 2015, the college has been focusing on renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance of fossil fuels. Across campus off of Lime Kiln road, the college’s solar array collects power from the sun and produces about 270,000 kWh annually. The campus also utilizes geothermal energy pumps to heat and cool our newest buildings on campus.
Since 2001, the college has worked closely with Efficiency Vermont to identify opportunities to reduce energy demands via more efficiency lighting and technology. To date, thanks to our partnership with Efficiency Vermont, the college has saved over 3.1 million kWh annually. Pomerleau Alumni Center is a LEED certified building; Dion Family Student Center and Quad Commons Residence Hall exceed LEED efficiency.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Each year the Office of Sustainability updates the college’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory (which tracks Scopes 1 & 2 emissions). Here is a snapshot of our current inventory. You’ll see that the College has reduced its carbon emissions by 28% since 2003. This is significant as we’ve added 6 buildings over this time period!
Stewarding our Campus Lands
Our grounds department manages the campus landscape with the environment in mind. This means caring for the land in a manner that is the least impactful to the environment and the various organisms (other than just people) that call Saint Michael’s home. The majority of the campus is not watered, and the central green is watered only in the driest of summers. For the Doc Jacob fields, we use a ground water recycling system. Young trees are watered for the first year or two, but just localized to their root area. Pesticides and herbicides are not used. All grass clippings and leaves are incorporated into the College’s Compost site (also managed by the Grounds Department).
Bee Campus Certification
In April of 2017, Saint Michael’s became the 2nd campus in Vermont and 23rd campus nationwide to be certified as a Bee Campus. The Bee Campus USA designation recognizes educational campuses that commit to a set of practices that support pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds, and bats, among thousands of other species.