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2010-2015 Policies & Actions Status

Prior to the official launch of the current GreenROUTES initiative in September 2009, many steps had already been taken at Colby-Sawyer College to move towards a more sustainable campus. Read more about the "History of GreenROUTES at Colby-Sawyer College."

Our GreenROUTES Climate Action Plan for Colby-Sawyer College outlines specific policies and actions for the time frame from 2010-2015 designed to help us achieve our first milestone of a 50 percent reduction in our baseline emissions by 2015.

View our current progress and programs in the GreenROUTES Sustainability Timeline.

This page provides the updates on our progress through February 15, 2012, and, where available, status details are provided in green below.


  • DONE: Conduct an annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory using Clean Air-Cool Planet's Carbon Calculator™ to identify areas for improvement and stay in compliance with ACUPCC reporting requirements. First Greenhouse Gas Inventory conducted by students in Fall 2008, and the last inventory was completed in Fall 2011 to be submitted to the ACUPCC in Spring 2012. Next report due January 2013.

  • DONE: Revisit our Climate Action Plan at least every other year in conjunction with the completion of our Greenhouse Gas Inventory in order to track our progress towards our carbon neutrality goals and make necessary adjustments to our strategy. In 2010 we developed an internal strategic matrix to track our progress; we also conduct a data-based comparison of our CAP alongside our annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

  • Appoint an Energy Conservation Officer/Team to identify opportunities for energy savings and efficiency, and coordinate those efforts. This position/team has not been created, but in February 2012 our student Eco-Reps began looking for ways to conduct outreach about energy conservation.

  • DONE: Schedule a commercial energy audit to develop best next steps for conservation, efficiency, weatherization, insulation, and retrofitting opportunities on a building-by-building basis. Two energy audits (each with a slightly different focus) have been completed; one in April 2011 and one in February 2012. The administration is currently reviewing the recommendations outlined in those reports.

  • ONGOING: Conduct campus-wide conservation efforts including an assessment of thermostat settings, disseminating information about turning lights/computers off, and developing positive norms. In February 2012 our student Eco-Reps began developing outreach materials and activities around energy conservation and other sustainable behaviors, and additional opportunities for infrastructure changes also surfaced during the energy audits.

  • Reduce energy consumption from hot water usage through more efficient appliances, investigation of renewable energy alternatives, and behavior change initiatives.

  • DONE: Investigate the feasibility of a campus-wide Energy Star appliance purchasing policy. This policy was instituted on March 4th, 2010.

  • DONE: Research the potential to use wood pellets to provide a portion of the heat on campus, specifically a system designed to supply Hogan and Ivey and decide whether or not to implement such use by September 2010. The administration decided NOT to install a wood pellet system for those buildings, but as of February 2012 other alternative heating systems were still under consideration.

  • DONE: Engage World Energy to help us identify a vendor where we can purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for our electricity consumption by May 2010. Three year contract signed in April 2010, effectively reducing the college's carbon footprint by 43% (based on 2008 baseline levels).


  • DONE: Consider creating a no-idling policy for Colby-Sawyer College fleet vehicles and vehicles visiting the campus and decide whether to do so by September 2011. No-idling policy for fleet vehicles and visiting busses instituted in Fall 2011.

  • Encourage carpooling and alternative transportation options for faculty, staff and students. As of June 2010 a flex-time policy is in place allowing some people to work fewer days (therefore commuting less as well); some offices are also trying to utilize video-conferencing for meetings to avoid long-distance and/or airline travel.


  • Develop a plan to monitor/reduce water consumption in buildings.

  • Develop a plan to monitor/reduce water consumption for landscaping.

  • Create a native/edible species landscaping policy wherein purchases made for campus landscaping favor these types of plants and trees. No formal policy in place, but with the creation of the “Anne Baynes Hall Tree Nursery and Organic Garden” in summer of 2010, many native/edible species were added to the nursery to provide plant stock for campus landscaping.

  • DONE: Institute a campus-wide non-toxic cleaning policy, so that all products used in residence halls and other campus buildings are environmentally-friendly and not harmful to humans and/or other species. “Procurement Guidelines for Campus Health and Sustainability” approved by Senior Staff in February 2012.


  • DONE: Use Energy Star appliances for any new Dining Hall renovations. An EnergyStar purchasing policy was instituted on March 4th, 2010, and significant Dining Hall renovations, including efficient appliances, are scheduled to begin in May 2012.

  • DONE: Look into eliminating 1948 conveyor system for dishes in Dining Hall. In August 2010 the conveyor system was taken offline and has not been replaced; during the 2012 renovations an energy-efficient dishwasher will be installed.

  • ONGOING: Continue to power-down energy intensive equipment during less busy times and utilize smaller appliances instead. The Dining Hall makes smaller appliances, such as toasters, available to students to save energy during slower times; more changes may take place during 2012 renovations.

  • DONE: Divert all organic waste away from the landfill towards “Chows for Sows” and/or additional compost programs. In February 2012, with the help of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), we acquired additional compost bins and hope to increase our diversion rate in the Dining Hall this year. The facilities department works to capture yard waste in their own compost area on campus and use it for landscaping college grounds. And, there are small vermiculture bins for organic waste in the Environmental Studies suite, College Communications, the Library, and Student Development.

  • DONE: Plant a fresh herb garden for use in Dining Hall meals. In May 2010, thanks to a donation by Anne Baynes Hall, work began on CSC seedling lot and organic garden and several native tree species, vegetable varieties and herbs were planted in the garden by Jamie Trombley, an environmental studies intern; Zac Lamas, CSC alumnus, also placed several bee hives near the garden and a Wesson Honor Student, Maria Cimpean, received an IDEA Grant to do bee research this summer on them; “free veggie Fridays” began on June 25th where extra produce from CSC garden (and employee gardens) are exchanged in Colgate. In 2012, with the help of a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, we will create a Permaculture Garden and Sustainable Living Laboratory and hire a full-time student Garden Manager and two summer interns to manage the project.

  • Educate students about recommended portions and taking only what they need to avoid leftover food (ort).

  • Utilize SMART (Sustainability Measurement And Reporting Tool) developed by the Office of Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility to develop a baseline and identify performance objectives consistent with Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Commitments in areas of: Carbon, Waste, Water, Nutrition, Health and Wellness and Local Community Development. In Spring 2010 a Sustainable Dining Intern began gathering data for SMART, and in Spring 2011 the data entry was finalized. Sodexo is still working on developing performance objectives.

  • Offer vending machines with healthful/organic alternatives.


  • Apply the 6 R's policy for resource use and purchasing decisions (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Rebuy) to save money and reduce waste and consumption.

  • DONE: Develop data collection system for measuring trash/recycling outputs. This is a requirement of the ACUPCC, as this value needs to be reported in the annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory. In December 2011 Casella conducted the first Waste and Recycling Audit for the college, and Casella will continue to do an audit every year in both November and April.

  • ONGOING: Utilize technology to decrease overall paper usage (Blackboard/Moodle, e-records management, etc.). As of June 2010 many offices are beginning this process, for example: Financial Services office no longer using paper billing so all statements are online; Student Development office providing insurance updates online only; van reservation process for fieldtrips “paperless”; Career Development office using “Interfolio” to manage all student and alums' letters of recommendations, resumes, etc. online; survey from Student Affairs re: usefulness of paper catalog and possibility of online course catalog; several departments are using document imaging to eliminate paper and develop efficient, online filing systems.

  • DONE: Institute campus-wide policy for the purchase of 100% post-consumer recycled paper for printers/copiers. President Galligan approved the campus-wide switch on June 1st, 2010.

  • DONE: Utilize print counting software to raise awareness in all constituencies (faculty, staff, students) to reduce paper consumption. A hard print quota would be considered a last resort and may not be necessary if norms shift on their own. NETPOP PrintLimit was linked to all CSC accounts on October 26th, 2010 and provides onscreen count that tracks paper used in networked computers and shows users their environmental impact in terms of trees used, carbon emitted, and energy needed.

  • DONE: Shift toward recycled paper/non-toxic ink for all print materials (catalogs, business cards, magazines, etc.) The Winter 2010 Edition of the Alumni Magazine was printed on recycled paper that was FSC and rainforest certified using vegetable-based ink and a 100% wind powered printer. On March 25th, 2010 the decision was made by the Recycled Paper Committee to use 100% recycled paper for all college letterhead and those supplies arrived on campus on June 23rd. Materials published by College Communications, Advancement and Admissions are printed “green” whenever that option exists.

  • DONE: Develop a comprehensive campus-wide recycling policy and program for cans, bottles, newspapers, cardboard, paperboard; including hiring full-time staff to manage this initiative. In August 2011 we implemented Casella's Zero-Sort™ recycling system that increased the volume of materials that could be recycled on campus. In February 2012 we hired 11 student Eco-Reps to manage the recyclables in all of the Residence Halls and also conduct sustainability outreach across campus.

  • DONE: Develop a policy for hard-to-recycle items including batteries, Styrofoam, hazardous waste, metal, and print cartridges. In Fall 2011 we created a “Hard(er)-to-Recycle” program that encourages our community to responsibly divert materials such as: cell phones, printer cartridges, plastic shopping bags, batteries, Styrofoam peanuts, CFLs and more.

  • DONE: Consider participating in RecycleMania beginning Sunday, January 17 through Saturday, March 27, 2010. The Students In Free Enterprise group (SIFE) organized the college's 2010 participation in RecycleMania and have enrolled each year since then.


  • DONE: Expand the GreenROUTES section of the CSC website to include pages about education, events, projects, ACUPCC progress and more. In Summer of 2010 that initial content was added to the GreenROUTES website. It is periodically updated and will undergo another major overhaul during the 2012-2013 rebranding effort.
  • DONE: Include information about climate neutrality and sustainability in all future orientations. Campus Activities included sustainability themes in the Orientation Program for incoming students for the first time in Fall 2010, and has done so each year following.
  • DONE: Include information about climate neutrality and sustainability in new employee orientations. In Fall 2010 we began including information about sustainability in these meetings.

  • ONGOING: Expand our research on climate neutrality and sustainability and integrate those findings into our classrooms, operations, publications, and decision-making process. This is an ongoing activity that has had implications across the campus.

  • ONGOING: Incentivize creative sustainable actions with the entire campus community through recognition, awards and more. In May 2010 the college introduced its four Strategic Themes: Engaged Learning, Linking to the World, Living Sustainably, and a Dynamic Devotion to Excellence. Since then all employees are “re-engineering” their roles and goals to be consistent with these themes, and employee reviews and evaluations are beginning to also include reference to these initiatives.

  • ONGOING: Offer educational opportunities and outreach programs for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and local residents for reducing carbon footprints and moving towards whole systems sustainability. Programming such as: Home & Office Sustainability, Bee Keeping, Lasagna Gardening, Apple Pruning, and the Northwest Earth Institute's discussion courses “Menu for the Future” and “Sustainable Systems at Work,” have been offered for our campus community.

  • ONGOING: Cooperate with external stakeholders including, but not limited to, the Town of New London, New London Hospital, local farms, grocery stores, schools and other businesses. This is an ongoing initiative.

  • DONE: Develop a tool and metrics for assessing how many classes already include sustainability principles. In Fall 2011 we conducted a “Sustainability in the Curriculum Survey” with faculty to obtain a baseline metric; and the Sustainability Teaching and Academic Resources (STAR) Task Force has developed resources for faculty who wish to integrate more of those principles and practices into their classrooms.

  • DONE: Convene a group of passionate faculty who wish to explore how CSC might eventually integrate sustainability into its curriculum. Faculty Working Group on Sustainability in the Curriculum was formed in March 24th, 2010, and in Summer 2011 changed its name to the Sustainability Teaching and Academic Resources (STAR) Task Force. A comprehensive website and a curriculum guide have been developed for faculty to support this initiative.

  • DONE: Empower interested faculty who wish to begin integrating sustainability into their curriculum to do so. Faculty Working Group on Sustainability in the Curriculum developed a rough draft of a Sustainability 101 Resource in 2010, and that guide, and an accompanying website, was finalized and published in Summer 2011 by the STAR Task Force. Additional programming is constantly under development by the Task Force.
  • ONGOING: Explore funding and/or faculty development opportunities related to environmental issues, “greener” teaching practices, new course topics, and integrating sustainability into existing classes. In Summer 2011 the STAR Task Force received funding to develop a curriculum guide for faculty, and this working group meets regularly to explore the opportunities and initiatives outlined above. Some of the new curricular offerings include: Green Business Concentration, Permaculture Design Certification, Environmental Law, Sustainable Living, and Fair Trade.