The Mount’s Green Campus Initiative

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is moving toward becoming a more sustainable, “green” campus. We are taking steps to improve energy efficiency, conserve resources, and enhance environmental quality, thus creating a healthy living and learning environment and educating the Mount community about sustainability.

Currently underway are several key energy initiatives that will reduce our carbon footprint, reduce energy costs, reduce consumption, lower facilities maintenance costs, and provide a healthier, more sustainable campus.

Oil to Gas Conversions
By switching from a boiler system that uses heating oil to a more energy efficient system of high pressure natural gas, the College will reduce its annual utility costs and its carbon footprint.

Engineers are developing a plan to add solar panels to the roofs of several residence halls, the library, and the Peter Jay Sharp Athletic Center.  Solar-covered carports will be installed in the Villa parking lot, which will be expanded and completely rebuilt prior to installation. Adding solar to these areas will provide the equivalent of 520 KW of electricity that will not have to be pulled from the grid.

Lighting Upgrades
By replacing all incandescent fixtures with fluorescents or LEDs in residence halls, library and other campus buildings, the College expects to see a 7-10% reduction in electricity costs annually. Eventually all exterior lights on buildings and street lights will be enhanced with these new, energy-efficient fixtures. The project will save work hours as well—since LEDs last 10 times longer than average fluorescent bulbs, they won’t require replacement as often.

Energy Management
The College is taking steps to maximize the effectiveness of its Building Management System for HVAC systems, adding a scheduling component to regulate system heating and cooling temperatures based upon building occupancy, replacing manually-operated thermostats with digital, programmable units, and implementing additional building closure procedures that include checking for air conditioners and lights left on in unoccupied areas.

Recycling Program
Working in tandem with the New York City Department of Sanitation’s (DSNY) recycling program, the College has placed sets of color-coded recycling receptacles throughout campus for the easy separation of paper, cans and bottles, and trash. These receptacles are located outside residence halls, academic and athletic buildings, and other high-traffic spaces. Not only is the College contributing to the DSNY recycling program, but it is also saving significantly on the cost of trash removal—provided free by DSNY for its program partners.