Phyllis Theermann

You may not realize this but our neighbor, Babson College, has had a sustainability office for 8 years working behind the scenes to make Babson a leader in sustainability.  We sat down with Alex Davis, Program Manager, GreenerU, Inc., who manages the College’s Sustainability Office to learn more about what is happening at Babson.

“Babson will soon release its 2017/2018 Sustainability Report which looks at sustainability as it relates to the College’s academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration,” said Davis. “Although it might seem challenging to measure sustainability, Babson uses the STARS tool — used by higher education institutions — to objectively measure its efforts in sustainability,” Davis said.

Babson has made substantial progress, and in some cases is a leader in higher education for some of its efforts including its hazardous waste management, electronics purchasing, and sustainable dining practices.

The College has made progress in many sustainability initiatives, but knows it has an opportunity to improve practices further when it comes to efforts such as outdoor air quality, building operations and maintenance, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as sustainable food purchasing.

Babson has seen a growing number of students getting environmental sustainability certifications as well as an increase in applications for sustainability office internships. The number of water bottle filling stations is also increasing — now up to 27 allowing the community to get 275,000 refills a year.  More will be installed as buildings get built and renovated. There are also 12 car charging stations on campus that have been used by 73 different drivers from faculty and staff, to guests and students this year alone; producing 5900 miles of electricity power.

To learn more about the campus energy, waste and emissions reductions efforts, click here.

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Sustainable Wellesley’s Leadership team recently wrote the following letter to the Wellesley College President and the Board of Trustees applauding the College’s commitment to sustainability, and its recent completion of the “Year of Sustainability.”

In addition, the letter urged them to continue to advance this leadership position by investing in renewable energy, rather than fossil fuel infrastructure, for the College’s new power plan, including the likely replacement of the cogeneration facility. For more details, see below. Consider writing to them yourselves —presidentsoffice@wellesley.edu and WellesleyBoard@wellesley.edu.

May 10, 2018

Dr. Paula Johnson, President, Wellesley College Board of Trustees, Wellesley College,

Dear President Johnson and members of the Board of Trustees,

Sustainable Wellesley is a non-profit grassroots organization whose mission is to engage the residents, businesses, and the Town of Wellesley in the actions required for sustainability. Our organization strongly supports the Town of Wellesley’s carbon reduction goals, adopted by Annual Town Meeting in 2014, which commit the Town to reducing carbon emissions 25 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. We have also been encouraging the Town to consider more ambitious goals for transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy sources.

Wellesley College has demonstrated leadership through its commitment to sustainability, and we applaud the College’s recent completion of its “Year of Sustainability.” We are writing to urge you to continue to advance this leadership position by investing in renewable energy, rather than fossil fuel infrastructure, for the College’s new power plan, including the likely replacement of the cogeneration facility. A sustainable power plan at Wellesley College will certainly assist with the Town of Wellesley’s carbon reduction commitment and will also reduce particulate matter and other pollutants in the air we all breathe.

Climate change represents an existential threat to the future of the young women who attend Wellesley College, and the future of all our children. We hope the College administration will consider the urgent need to address this threat as you make energy decisions that will affect us all.

Sincerely,
Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team