Gordon is committed to conserving energy on multiple levels.
Energy Conservation Program
Our energy conservation program policy is in full implementation. This is our formalized effort in encouraging the campus community to reduce energy use. Here is some of what we’ve done:
- Gordon College has converted 95% of its buildings from oil and electricity to natural gas heating. As a result, this has greatly reduced our emission of greenhouse gases and keeps the groundwater safe from possible heating oil tank leaks.
- A new generation of energy management systems have been installed to some of our larger buildings: Chase, Bennett, Jenks, Ferrin, Barrington and Lane Student Center. These transformations increase comfort, reduce greenhouse gases, and save funds in our energy budgets.
- Gordon College has entered into a contract with Direct Energy to purchase “Renewable Resource” energy as provided in the Green-e Renewable National Standard for a portion on our purchased electricity. This will provide approximately 293MWs of our electricity per year.
- Gordon College installed a 5.6 KW photovoltaic system on the roof of Roosevelt Hall to provide electricity on campus. We are currently forgoing our RECs to count the electricity produced as green. This will produce about 8MWs per year.
- Gordon College has natural gas use meters on all of our buildings. Electric meters or sub meters are on 75% of our buildings. All of Gordon's energy use and costs are tracked each month.
- Gordon is participating in a load demand response program, the Demand Response Program, where we will shed electrical load during peak times of increased demand.
- In the past six years we have completed 46 lighting retrofit projects across campus. 1,315 light fixtures have been replaced or retrofitted , including:
- T5 Lighting Fixtures
- LED Light Fixtures
- Occupancy Sensors
- Daylighting Systems
- Energy Efficient Lighting Ballasts
- We have also implemented:
- Energy Efficient Boilers
- Energy Efficient Air Conditioning Units
- Variable Speed Drives for Large Motors
- Variable Speed Drives for Large Motors Energy conservation measures include:
- 262,925 KWH of electricity
- 571,676 pounds (271.7 metric tons) of carbon dioxide
- 16,834 therms of natural gas
- $86,916 in energy expenses
- Over $100,000 in rebates from National Grid
Policy to Reduce Paper and Plastic Use on Campus
Gordon is committed to reducing paper and plastic use on campus. Here are a few things the College has done to enforce this commitment:
- The Dining Services Department has made a dedicated effort to drastically reduce the amount of plastic bottle use by installing filtered water stations at key points throughout its service areas.
- The College has worked with HT Berry Paper to convert to a compostable and disposable product line to replace past non-compostable products.
- Gordon has collaborated with vendors to reduce the amount of packaging required per case of product ordered and received.
- Dining Services purchases from two companies that have warehouses that are completely solar-driving. Both HT Berry, our paper supplier, and Performance Food Group North Center, broad line food supplier, run their entire warehouses by solar energy at no cost and even sell off the excess energy for a profit.
- Physical Plant has a policy regarding waste disposal for the entire campus called “Single Stream – Recycling Made Simple.” Within this program, Dining Services disposes of flattened cardboard, magazines, office paper, brown paper bags, newspapers, junk mail, phone books, paper board, glass bottles and jars, all kinds of aluminum, steel cans, and aerosol cans all into one container that is picked up by the disposal contractor.
While Gordon does these things now, it has also done a lot in the past to reduce paper and plastic use on campus and be environmentally conscious. Here is some of what we’ve done:
1988: Programs for recycling and trash reduction began.
1989: "Paper Only" bins were placed next to the Bromley trash shed and the HUD dorms.
The recycling program saved Gordon about $20,000 in 1989.
1990: Deposit areas for aluminum cans and glass were constructed. Dining Services made an effort to decrease waste and increase recycling.
1991: "Plastic Only" barrels were added on campus. Receptacles for the collection of high quality paper were added to offices. Gordon recycled 52 tons of paper in 1991 alone.
1992: Dining Services agreed to purchase more recycled products if economically reasonable. Bookstore planned to purchase more recycled paper products and removed environmentally unsound products from the shelves. Mail room contacted catalogue companies and advertisers in an effort to cut down junk mail. Print shop began looking for ways to use recycled paper.
1994: Dining Services eliminated all plastic except silverware. Gordon adopted a section of highway in the Adopt-A-Highway program.
1996: Effort was made to increase student and staff awareness of recycling program. Dining Services began to use recycled napkins.
1997: Recycled paper was made available in the Print Shop. Steps were taken to reinstate former policies in the Mail Room, Bookstore, and Print Shop in regards to recycled paper use. Grapevine was put on VAX to reduce paper waste by 1500 sheets a week.
1999: Recycling containers purchased and placed in every student's dorm room for bottles, cans, and paper. Continual re-labeling of trash containers for awareness. A cardboard compactor was purchased to improve the collection and recycling process of cardboard.
2007: Design Center started buying 100% post consumer waste copy paper which is supply for printers and copiers around campus.
2008: Single Stream Recycling - our new recycling program combined recycling into one bin.
Water Conservation Program
Our systematic, formalized water conservation program is in full implementation-mode. Here is some of what we’ve done:
Water Filtration in Lane
In 2009, all of the drinking water stations in the Lane Food Court were fitted with "Aqua Pure" filtration systems. This upgrade provided the Gordon community with pure drinking water and the opportunity to reuse water bottles, preventing more plastic from going into landfills.
Low Flow Shower Heads and Toilets
In the past three years, all 318 campus shower heads have been changed from 2.5 gal/minute heads to 1.6 gal/minute heads. This has led to an annual savings of:
- 3,348,000 gallons of water
- $64,616 in water/sewage costs
- $21,092 in water heating costs
Energy Efficient Appliance Usage
Gordon’s plan for energy efficient appliances usage, which includes more energy-efficient appliances and lighting fixtures replacing conventional appliances is fully employed. This policy has been in place for several years. Two years ago, all washers and dryers were replaced with high efficiency units. All new appliances, including microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, etc. must be energy efficient. Gordon will remain committed to this practice.
Additional Conservation Efforts
- In conjunction with the Wenham Conservation Commission and with input from state agencies, $250,000 was invested in a wetland restoration project in 2003. This project reclaimed a wetland that had been paved over behind Frost Hall. Twenty-five much needed parking spaces were given up, a drainage system was installed to improve water quality and the wetlands were planted with native wetland species.
- At one time, sand and salt were used on Gordon access roads and lots in the winter to manage snow and ice. However, this method had unnecessary ecological consequences. Sand ended up in residence halls, deep sump manholes and in the nearby wetlands. Gordon switched to using Magic Salt, mixed with road salt, to eliminate the need for sand while lessening the corrosive effects of the road salt on the wetland ecosystem. The benefits include:
- Magic Salt use eliminated the use of sand for winter ice control
- It coats roads to make salt less corrosive
- Sand does not end up in the wetlands
- Sand does not collect in the deep sump manholes (which reduces their effectiveness)
- This method saves campus carpets and countless vacuum bags