W&M also announces $19.3 million gift to further sustainability efforts
William & Mary and the 弗吉尼亚大学 have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030, the universities announced today. The two Virginia institutions will share information and collaborate on initiatives toward zero net greenhouse emissions. For W&M, those actions will include steps in efficiencies, sourcing renewable energy and behavior change.
William & Mary also announced today a $19.3 million anonymous donation to establish an 研究所综合保护，这将支持对环境威胁的世界人口政策研究和倡导保护生态系统和保障。成为有望运行在冬季到2020年，该研究所将形成教师，员工的多学科小组和学生地址保护问题和树立节约的专业人士组成的网络。
“Safeguarding the health of our environment, society and economy is one of the most complex challenges of our time,” said W&M President Katherine A. Rowe, “and will require sustained effort, close collaborations and unwavering commitment from our institutions. William & Mary has committed itself to all of these in today’s announcements of our bold new efforts, as we promise to unite our best minds with others throughout the commonwealth. We look forward to working with our colleagues at the 弗吉尼亚大学, and we recognize our responsibility to do our part, especially as an estuarine campus located in a region more susceptible to sea-level rise than many others.”
The announcements also build on the ongoing progress in sustainability efforts at William & Mary. Last fall, the university announced a long-range 可持续发展计划，其中包括扩大其绿色周转资金的承诺，投资于哪些项目在校园内既减少碳排放和产生的投资回报率衡量，并创建一个气候行动计划。该计划的一部分将包括朝向煤中立目标的步骤。
“实现ESTA的目标将涉及每个人 - 教师，学生和工作人员。它采取了很多的规划和利益相关者参与的从校园的各个领域得到了这一点，这是第一步迈向一个更大的计划。“
William & Mary and UVA will begin working toward achieving their shared goal in the spring. UVA’s Board of 访问ors this week will review details of the partnership as well as the university’s overall 2020-30 可持续发展计划. According to Waters Lake, the partnership will focus on three areas:
A large portion of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions comes from electricity, said Waters Lake. While past and current initiatives have reduced usage through efficiency measures such as LED bulbs, the next step is sourcing renewable energy, she said. As part of that effort, W&M Facilities Management is exploring a power purchase agreement that could source as much as 60% of the electricity used on campus from solar farms in the region.
Another challenge William & Mary and many other universities face is the use of natural gas for heating and steam production, said Waters Lake, adding that it makes up about a quarter of W&M’s emissions. The university will hire a consultant to come to campus next semester to provide advice on technology and alternative sources.
William & Mary has been working toward reducing its carbon footprint for years through W&M Sustainability，其中包括在可持续发展委员会，由目前的襁褓和法律教授琳达·巴特勒校长共同主持。该委员会于2008年实行学生呼吁学生“环保费”，募集资金用于可持续发展的努力之后创建的。湖的水域被聘为2014年大学的可持续发展的第一任主任。
W&M’s sustainability efforts began in full force at the behest of students, said Butler, and they have been the driving force throughout the past decade.
Throughout the years, the committee, working with Waters Lake, has found ways to save the university significant amounts of money while pursuing green efforts, including an LED lighting retrofit that saves W&M $17,000 per year. That project was made possible through the university’s Green to Gold Fund, which gives loans to W&M departments for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The savings from those projects then fund other initiatives.
W&M Sustainability has also saved the university money by supporting the installation of variable drives in the HVAC system at swem库, identifying issues with the university’s recycling contracts and funding a move from a paper course catalog to an electronic one, said Butler.
Through the Green Fee, W&M Sustainability has awarded grants to students, faculty and staff each semester for projects that help make the campus more sustainable in some way, from water bottle-filling stations to a solar table and charging station on the Sadler Center terrace.
W&M Sustainability has also supported research opportunities for students and faculty, and some support is provided to faculty and students who attend conferences related to sustainability, said Butler.
Last November, Rowe announced the adoption of the university’s first long-range, comprehensive 可持续发展计划, which included a commitment to the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge. For colleges and universities, the goal of the challenge is to invest a combined total of $1 billion in self-managed green revolving funds. W&M will do this through private donations, Rowe said last year.
“There’s an international call to action, which many scientists are calling a climate emergency or a climate crisis because we soon may reach a tipping point,” said Swaddle. “So there's a pressing need to do something in the coming decade, and William & Mary needs to play our part in that, and students need to see William & Mary is playing our part — it is a very important part of their education so they live as responsible citizens and leaders once they graduate.”