Sustainability efforts at TU are largely driven through our students, faculty and staff. We have several committees dedicated to furthering green initiatives, as well as an Office of Sustainablity who guides the development of sustainability policies and projects on campus. Working together—and under the guise of the Climate Commitment signed by TU’s president in 2007, the committees have established policies, strategies and long-term plans that are building the sustainable campus of TU’s future.
The mission of the PCC committee is to meet Towson’s obligations under the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and work towards a carbon neutral campus by making recommendations and facilitating implementation of sustainability initiatives. The ACUPCC Committee was formed in 2007 after Towson signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. It is composed of faculty, staff, and students and chaired by Roger Hayden, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management. Since 2007 the ACUPCC Committee has commissioned greenhouse gas inventories of the university, developed a Climate Action Plan for the university, and implemented initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. The committee meets once a month on the first Friday of each month.
Many of the university’s long-term plans for achieving carbon neutrality are aligned with the Presidents' Climate Commitment. As a signatory of the commitment, we pledged to achieve carbon neutrality, and then created a climate action plan to help us get there. The strategy behind the action plan involves conducting annual inventories of campus greenhouse gas emissions which provide data for comparisons and trending of campus energy usage. That trending data is then used to identify energy reduction projects and develop best practices that help to reduce overall consumption. Such initiatives include the development of standard occupancy hours to guide the use of electricity in campus buildings, standard practices for turning down heating and air conditioning (HVAC) units in residence halls during the summer and winter breaks, as well as the installation of energy efficient LED lighting systems in campus buildings. Specific reduction projects are highlighted below.
In spring 2010, TU’s Student Government Association (SGA) established a Green Fund to direct $30,000 worth of SGA funding toward the implementation of sustainability programs and initiatives on campus. The fund was created following a campus-wide survey that indicated that roughly 80% of students supported the use of student fees for campus green initiatives.
In spring 2011, the SGA passed legislation which made the Green Fund a permanent allocation of the SGA budget. The funds are managed by the Towson Student Civic Engagement Committee and the SGA Director of Civic Engagement, who coordinate with campus administrators such as the Director of Sustainability and the Campus Energy Manager to plan and launch projects. Students interested in helping with the SGA green fund should contact SGA Director of Civic Engagement Kristen Gazzara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010-2011 SGA Green Fund Allocations
LED lighting renovation in Newell Hall
80% reduction in energy usage; 3-year project payback
Raised campus awareness of the need for conservation of resources such as water, paper, and electricity
Water bottle refill stations to be installed before fall 2011
Four bottle refill stations will be placed throughout campus and assessed for frequency of use to determine the campus demand. Stations will encourage the use of reusable water bottles, with the goal of decreasing the impact of plastic bottles on the university's waste stream.
Bike rental program pilot
Initial investment in a bike program which is currently under development. The program will encourage eco-friendly transportation for students, faculty and staff who want to use a bike but do not own one. The program aims to promote biking and decrease TU’s carbon footprint associated with transportation.
Office of Sustainability
General Services Building, Room 132A (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.