Paul D. Camp Community College is striving to constantly improve its sustainability by identifying and implementing initiatives that conserve resources and reduce costs, educate the community, and reduce our environmental footprint.
The following initiatives are ongoing or planned for the near future:
HVAC and lighting improvements
PDCCC contracted with Schneider Electric in 2007 on a project to upgrade the college’s HVAC and lighting systems. The 15-year project is guaranteed by Schneider Electric to provide at least $31,866 in energy savings per year. As of June 2013, the project has saved more than $265,000 in energy costs and is on schedule to far exceed its guarantees.
Classroom Occupancy Sensors
On the average college campus, approximately 40% of electricity used for classroom lighting is wasted on unoccupied rooms. To address this waste, PDCCC is piloting a program to install occupancy sensors in all of its classrooms. These high-sensitivity motion sensors monitor movement in the classroom and turn out the lights if none is detected for 20 minutes. The sensors are projected to save the college more than $4,400 a year on classroom lighting alone.
For more information and how to participate go to the Green Office Program page (Coming soon!).
A recent study by the Arizona State University School of Business reported that ‘97.5% of executives in large businesses would value sustainability related skills in a potential candidate’. Ensuring that our students are exposed to sustainability concepts across their curriculum will help ensure that they are competitive in our changing economy.
This type of education is not limited to Environmental Science courses. Sustainability related skills can be incorporated into every discipline and PDCCC is working to expand the number of courses that feature these concepts.
Beginning in Spring 2014, PDCCC is also offering a 3-credit course focused on sustainability titled “Understanding Our Environment: An Economic Introduction”. For more information on the course, please contact Terry Hayes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sustainability Scholars Program
Following recommendations from the Virginia’s Community College System, PDCCC is striving to become the second college in the system to offer a Sustainability Scholars Program. Students participating in this program would receive a special designation on their degrees or certificates recognizing their course work in sustainability.
To minimize the burden of additional classwork, students will be able to earn the designation by taking existing degree requirements that have been certified as incorporating sustainability topics. The Sustainability Scholars Program will likely become available for students during the 2014 – 2015 academic year.
PDCCC plans to introduce a comprehensive recycling program across its campuses by early 2014 that will allow for the recycling of glass, plastic, paper, aluminum, batteries, and electronics. Keep an eye out for recycling bins coming to your campus!