Sustainability at Coppin State University

Mintesinot Jiru, , Coppin State University

In March 2008, Coppin's president signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), a coalition of over 660 colleges and universities concerned about the impacts of global warming and dedicated to reducing campus greenhouse gas emissions. This was followed by the establishment of a University Sustainability Taskforce (UST) with the mandate to develop policies and strategies and inform the university and the surrounding community about climate change issues and best practices in sustainability.

The University's Sustainability Taskforce developed a comprehensive climate action plan that includes policies and procedures to reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions; actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the educational curriculum; and an increase in research on climate change and environmental sustainability.

In September 2010, the taskforce began to work on the following areas: Energy conservation and water management, on-site renewables, green power purchasing, new construction/green design, CFCs, and carbon offsets, GHG reduction strategies and projects. This team also worked on ways to infusing sustainability into the curriculum, co-curricular activities, plans for the development of future undergraduate and graduate degree offerings; and faculty and staff development.

The taskforce also developed community engagement strategies to extend CSU's environmental initiatives beyond the campus especially as it relates to student engagement within the community. This included identifying community partners and working with them to help low-income families lower electric bills by volunteering to do energy audits; starting community gardens etc. Communication strategy also included ways of keeping the campus community up-to-date on CSU's climate action efforts.

Current and ongoing activities include: waste recycling, installing new energy efficient heating and cooling systems and motion sensor lighting systems in our new facilities, installing in the Partlett Longworth Moore Library "green tile" which contains natural rock and recycled glass; and installing new energy efficient air handlers and a new motion sensor lighting system. The Physical Education Complex (PEC) is designed and constructed to track LEED certification and includes energy saving features. CSU worked with HP engineers to design a customized personal computer (PC) that optimizes CSU's needs and is Energy Star compliant, Category B, with 85% efficient power supply. This configuration will save CSU $40 per PC per year in power consumption (about a total of $45,000 per year).

Coppin State University has implemented eco-security measures and purchased battery-powered, zero-gas emission T-3 personal mobility vehicles. These police transport vehicles have three wheels, are extremely maneuverable, and run on electricity.

The newly built buildings (Health and Human Services and Science and Technology Center) are both fitted with energy and water conservation measures. The new Science and Technology Center just received a gold LEED certification. The building has waterless urinals and dual flush toilets which have a substantial effect on reducing water use. The labs are being planned to provide point-of-use water purification which wastes much less water and energy to purify water than a central purification system. The building envelope is designed to help reduce energy consumption by using low-E glass, a tight and well detailed air barrier and by providing a high level of insulation. A highly sophisticated lighting control system using daylight and occupancy sensors and timeclocks will be used to reduce overall energy use. Lighting has been designed to consume less than .8 watts per square foot of building; this is substantially below the IES standard of 1.1 watts per square foot for a lab building.

The University will continue to make a concerted effort to focus on a number of community and statewide priorities that will place both CSU and the University System of Maryland in the forefront of educational and institutional responses to global climate change.

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