Sustainability in School Operations
Sustainability in the context of school operations is defined as school-wide practices and policies that minimize the use of energy, water, and other resources as well as the production of waste while supporting and improving the long-term viability of the institution.
Managing the long-term impacts that Choate has on its students, others, resources, the environment, and quality of life requires the collaboration of various groups including students, trustees, senior administrators, faculty, staff, the financial office, information technology, human resources, and custodial, dining, and facilities services.
Sustainability Goals for School Operations
- Carry out a full and accurate assessment of the school’s carbon footprint.
- Develop an alternative energy plan.
- Continue with and expand current efficiency improvements.
- Modify purchasing policy to include more or all green choices.
- Develop a construction policy.
- Analyze and improve waste reduction and recycling.
- Assess in an ongoing manner the technology, broadly defined (computers, lighting, HVAC, alternative energy systems, etc), that the school employs and how it is used.
- Analyze the environmental impact of grounds maintenance procedures.
- Track and reduce campus water use, including waste water (all non-irrigation water) and potable water (includes irrigation).
- Assess the cost, availability, and pros and cons of carbon offsets.
- Implement a training program for new staff and faculty and resources for continued education.
- Develop a transparent mechanism for reporting the school’s progress to the community.
Greater Energy Efficiencies
We continue to upgrade campus facilities with more efficient windows and lighting, motion sensors, and low-flow bathroom units. All new construction projects are designed and built in accordance with LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards. Read more about LEED standards on the U.S. Green Building Council website.
Additionally, Choate has been actively tracking its carbon emissions annually via the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP) since 2005. The emissions inventory (see below) goes back to 2005 and includes all scope 1 and 2 emissions and includes the following scope 3 emissions: directly financed business travel.
There are now recycling containers in every dorm room and classroom as well as attached to all outside garbage receptacles. In addition to the usual recycled items (cans, bottles, paper, magazines, and cardboard), Choate keeps other items out of the landfills such as clothing, furniture, mattresses, electronics, and printer cartridges through donation or other recycling programs. Use of new MAX-R waste & recycling bins to forward sustainability efforts on campus.