Kalamazoo has a history of institution-wide resource conservation with initiatives such as the early adoption of 100% recycled paper and Dining Services’ purchase of food from sustainable sources. Even though the largest impact of the plan will come from decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, the College aims to continue its leadership in conserving resources. This plan identifies continuing and building upon conservation initiatives in multiple College operations, including:
- Hicks Resource Conservation
- Campus Surplus Sale
- Student-led Initiatives
The plan calls for improved conservation of resources by taking action in the following categories:
Storm Water Management
- Reduce campus storm/rain water runoff 50% by 2020
- Decrease the amount of impervious surfaces associated with the campus buildings and grounds.
- Promote the use of pervious pavement in any parking development or reconstruction on campus.
- Set a standard for storm water detention for all major renovation and new construction on campus.
- Develop a pilot storm water collection system to be used for watering campus areas not currently irrigated.
- Expand storm water collection for irrigation to other areas of campus.
- Develop planting schemes that will capture and utilize storm water on campus.
- Include “green” roofs in renovation/construction options.
- Improve the quality of water outflow.
- Develop water retention for irrigation purposes as part of the athletic field upgrades.
Potable Water Conservation
- Reduce potable water use 25% below 2008 levels by 2020.
- Expand the use of waterless urinals beyond their use in Hicks Center.
- Install dual flush toilets in the residence halls.
- Investigate the feasibility of using composting toilets in some of the Living Learning Units.
- Survey and inventory the use of low flow water fixtures already installed on campus.
- Develop a strategy to have 100% low flow fixtures in place by 2011.
- Reduce the use of potable water for irrigation.
- Expand the use of brown and gray water in campus systems currently using potable water.
- Develop strategies to significantly reduce water use by Dining Services – one of the major water users on campus.
Campus Landscaping and Green Space
- Develop an enlightened and environmentally sustainable landscape on the Kalamazoo College campus.
- Giving due regard to the traditional landscaping of historically important areas, shift the emphasis of campus landscaping to feature more sustainable species and concepts.
- Improve the methods of deploying landscaping equipment and supplies on campus.
- Preserve and work to increase green spaces on campus
- Reintroduce indigenous plant species.
- Eliminate invasive alien plant species.
- Reduce or eliminate landscape elements that are energy, pesticide, and/or fertilizer intensive.
- Plan landscape design for major projects so the need to mow or irrigate is limited or eliminated.
- Encourage student involvement in landscaping design and management.
- Develop gardens on campus designed to be maintained by students, faculty and staff.
- Commission a new Campus Landscaping Master Plan prioritizing the achievement of these goals.
Solid Waste Minimization
- Increase the level of participation in the College Recycling Program (current recycling rate of nearly 60% overall)
- Reduce total solid waste (including recycling) that is sent off campus by 25% by 2020.
- Develop the campus and regional infrastructure needed to compost College yard and food waste.
- Recycle 90% of all demolition and construction waste produced during campus projects.
- Increase the emphasis on reusing resources on campus while maintaining or improving the recycling rate of the remaining solid waste.
- Further develop a formal surplus recycling program designed to sell or redistribute surplus campus supplies, furniture, fixtures and equipment.
- Reduce the use of disposable paper supplies by introducing hi-efficiency automatic hand driers to selected areas of campus.
- Institute print management strategies to reduce use of and/or reuse paper on campus.
- Hold educational sessions for faculty and staff covering strategies to reduce the use of paper supplies (expanded use of Moodle, etc.)
- Reduce funding for printing for student organizations to stimulate more innovative and less resource-intensive advertising.
- Improve campus awareness of resources made available by the campus recycling department.
- Institute “best practices” materials handling for the bookstore and Dining Service operations.
- Maximize the use of Green Seal certified or equivalent cleaning products on campus
- Establish and publish a College-wide standard for “green” cleaning products.
- Continue the current program to increase the use of “green” cleaning products.
- Convert to “green” cleaning products only when cleanliness and health concerns are not compromised.
Purchasing Best Practices
- Reduce the environmental impact of College purchasing policies/decisions.
- Establish energy efficiency standards for all purchased equipment.
- Maintain the current comprehensive Energy Star purchasing policy.
- Encourage the use of Energy Star appliances by students in residence halls.
- Incorporate evaluation of sustainability practices in the selection of vendors and contractors.
- Maximize the use of local products when they contribute to sustainability goals.
- Consolidate purchasing efforts to eliminate multiple trips to the same store or parts supplier over short periods of time and maximize the use of vendor delivery when economically feasible.
- Work with vendors to minimize wasteful product packaging.
- Consider requiring vendors to retrieve packaging materials from their products so the college does not have to recycle them.
- Increase the amount of local foods purchased by Dining Services when justified by environmentally and economically sound principles.