- Clark wins 2012 MassRecycle award for innovative waste reduction and recycling programs
- Lasry Center for Bioscience receives LEED Gold certification
- Clark's cogeneration plant
- Clark Community Thrift Store >
- Clark's recycling has increased by 60% in one year >
- Clark Dining: trayless and composting 200 tons / yr.
- Students at Clark's Hadwen Arboretum
- Professor Jennie Stephens wins NSF grant >
Clark's long history of environmental engagement and our current initiatives are clear indicators of the University's commitment to sustainability. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about Sustainable Clark and how you can make a difference.
Sierra's Cool Schools 2011 ranks Clark #17 in the US; Princeton Review, Aspen Inst. & Entrepreneur agree
Right up there with institutions known for their highly-visible sustainability features, Clark's green beating heart shines through! We might not have a giant solar array, but Clark has a long and strong tradition of stewardship and innovation, on and off campus. Our dozens of student-led initiatives and deep institutional commitment to sustainability demonstrated to the prestigious Sierra Club that Clark is a very Cool School. Princeton Review agrees, again placing Clark in the top tier of Green Colleges for the third consecutive year in 2012. Clark's Graduate School of Management is recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a top green business school, and is ranked among the top 100 in Beyond Grey Pinstripes, Aspen Institute's guide to sustainable business programs worldwide.
Student Sustainability Fund Awards 5 Projects
The new Student Sustainability Fund (SSF) is "a resource for advancement of sustainable practices, education and infrastructure" on campus, according to the SSF Guidelines; supporting student-led initiatives that are "environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable"; demonstrate partnership with other sectors of the Clark community; and have an educational outreach component as well as a positive environmental impact. In its first round of funding December 2012, the SSF received project applications in excess of its $20,000 allocation from student activities fund. The SSF awarded 5 student teams the funds to make their green dreams come true, ranging from alternative menstrual products to adding recycling infrastructure, expanding the Thrift Store, installing water filtration stations in the residence halls, and building a collaborative program to collect compostable organic materials (including soiled paper) in all the freshman dorms next year. For more information on the SSF, visit the SSF blog, or click on Resources in the box at top right.
Green Campus Renovations Summer 2012
Clark's summer projects included a number of improvements to campus sustainability. Eighty percent of the furniture in the new Johnson-Sanford Center is repurposed/reconditioned, while JSC construction conformed to LEED Silver standards regarding local materials, recycling construction debris, low VOC paints, carpet and finishes. Streetlights along Downing and Woodland Sts. were upgraded to LED's. Several residential halls also upgraded to LED's, and the closure of Downing Street created 2/3 more porous surface.
Energy & Climate
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction on Track
As of the calendar reporting year 2012, Clark University is on track to meet and exceed its interim goal of a 20 percent reduction over 2005 emissions levels by 2015, and therefore closer to the ultimate goal of climate neutrality. Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 were 13,469.2 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalents. This represents a 12% decrease from total 2011 GHG emissions and a 6% decrease compared to 2010 emissions. Total energy consumed (thermal and electrical) was also lower than all prior years. The year-to-year impact that Clark has achieved since the baseline year of 2005 continues to display a strong downward trend. Complete 2012 Update | Complete 2011 Update | Complete 2010 Update
Clark's Bold Climate Action Plan—Net Neutral by 2030
Clark University released its Climate Action Plan in 2009, detailing mitigation strategies for the University to reduce its greenhouse gas toward two goals: an interim goal of reduced emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2015 and climate neutrality (net zero greenhouse gas emissions) by the year 2030. Clark signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in June 2007.
Vending Machines Upgraded
Drink vending machines are now Energy Star models with up to 55% lower energy use than standard units. Some have timers to shut down energy-hogging refrigeration coils at night, and some have Vending Miser sensors to reduce lighting when not in use. Machines may appear dark but they are still on â€“ just sleeping! And drinks will stay cold due to super insulation in the new Energy Star models.
New Cogeneration Engine Operating January 2013
Ground-breaking in its time, Clark's cogeneration engine has been plugging faithfully away underneath Jonas Clark Hall since 1982, producing electricity for central campus and capturing the waste heat from electrical generation in a complex water loop that provides thermal energy—heat—to many campus buildings. In 2010, the cogen switched from oil to natural gas, greatly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the engine's efficiency a little, but still not to modern standards. A recent incentive program allowed Clark to upgrade the old cogen to a larger and much more efficient engine, installed this fall and in full operation January 2013. The new cogen is already making a difference, operating with efficiencies 50% greater than previously and reducing emissions.
Clark Community Thrift Store Breaks Even, Diverts 9 Tons from Landfill
In only its second year of operation, the wildly popular student-run Clark Community Thrift Store succeeded in being a self-supporting venture! Founded by students to reduce move-out waste and provide a sustainable shopping alternative, the Thrift Store collected approximately 9 tons of donations in the 2011-2012 academic year—perfectly good items that were then resold at reasonable prices to Clarkies and the community. Also in the past year business consultants and interns from Clark's GSOM worked with the Thrift Store's co-managers to further the store's success; a student Art Gallery opened; volunteers staffed 'mobile retail' at Worcester events and around campus; and a convenient Summer Storage service began.
Clark Wins MassRecycle, Two Years in a Row
Once again Clark places high among Massachusetts colleges and universities for its innovative and successful recycling and waste management programs! In 2011, Clark was awarded the 'Green Binnie' for its effective composting program in Dining Services, averaging 200 tons of waste diverted to compost per year. In 2012, Clark University was recognized by the DEP's MassRecycle for its student Recycling Crew and their collaborative efforts with Physical Plant, the Thrift Store, students, staff and Sustainable Clark to increase recycling and decrease waste: in 2012 Clark's recycling rate topped 30%, and its diversion rate was 50%, while the University's waste to energy volume decreased by 50 tons! According to MassRecycle, Clark is third in the state behind Harvard and Tufts Universities - not bad company, considering the resources those two giants 'throw' at managing waste!
More Recycling Bins in 2012
200 new recycling bins throughout campus make it easier for the Clark community to recycle paper, all plastic #1-7, glass and metal. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated students in the Recycling Initiative of the CSC, CU Student Council funded the purchase as a loan. Clean recyclable paper and cardboard are an income stream for the University so by increasing our capacity to recycle with the new bins, the increased income will repay CUSC over a period of 10 years. A win-win-win for Clark, CUSC, and the planet!
Now it's your turn: Re-Imagine, Reduce, Reuse and RECYCLE !
Waste Audit 2012 Results: 500# of Garbage per Day in the Halls
We got down and dirty with your garbage in October 2012. Volunteers from Eco Reps, Recycling Crew, the Clark Sustainability Collaborative and Residential Advisors weighed and sorted one day's worth of garbage collected from all Residential Halls.
The surprising results? Clarkies generate over 500 pounds of garbage per day in the Halls. Was it all garbage? No. Break it down:
24% Recycle (paper, plastic #1-7, cardboard, bottles & cans, e-waste)
59% Compost* (food, soiled paper, compostable cups)
1% Reuse/Donate (books, clothes, etc)
16% Landfill Garbage (plastic bags, styrofoam, un-reusable articles)
Let's move that 24% recyclable materials from landfill to the recycle bins! For more information on the last three years of waste audits—to volunteer for the next waste audit—or find out more about Hall composting, ask an Eco Rep
*The protocol for waste audits requires that items are weighed rather than counted. Consider that an empty plastic bottle weighs very little, while half a pizza weighs much more. Since Clark does not collect compost in the Halls, that category says more about patterns of consumption and food waste than anything else. SSF has awarded funding to begin a Hall composting program based on a pilot.
Clark Now an EPA WasteWise Partner: Recycling Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Students and Recycling Crew members Lorelei Obermyer '13 and Heather MacKenzie '12 researched and compiled nine years of Clark's waste and recycling data to fulfill the EPA's requirements to be a WasteWise partner. Among other benefits, the system's WARM calculator converts volumes of different items recycled into greenhouse gas equivalencies incorporating full life cycle analysis. For example, the paper we recycled in 2011 equaled the carbon sequestration capacity of 5,963 trees over ten years. Clark's total recycling volume in just 2010 and 2011 reduced greenhouse gas emissions by almost 1,500 tons of CO2!
Food & Water
Water Bottle Filling Stations Installed
In 2012 Clark installed water bottle filling stations in three locations on campus: Kneller Athletic Center, University Center, and Jonas Clark academic building. The water bottle filling stations filter and chill municipal water, and are integrated into existing water fountains. The filling spout is motion-activated and dispenses 12 ounces of filtered, chilled water into refillable water bottles, eliminating the need to purchase wasteful and costly single-serving plastic water bottles. An automatic counter on the units shows how many disposable water bottles have been diverted from landfill by using the filling stations. At least three more stations are planned for the coming year, with a goal to have one in every well-used building on campus by 2014.
Clark Wins Award in Food Recovery Challenge
The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded Clark a coveted Acheivement Award in the national Food Recovery Challenge for 2011 and 2012. The Food Recovery Challenge measures efforts to reduce and manage food waste from dining and other functions. Clark composts all food waste from the Higgins Cafeteria, but also composts soiled paper waste from the University Center, the Recycling Center, and other locations. We compost over 200 tons per year!
Students Change the Clark Landscape with Rain Garden
Clark's first (and Worcester's third) rain garden was installed in April 2012 by a group of students who had researched the pollution-filtering technology in their Sustainable University class the previous semester. Will Maxwell, Samantha Sandella, Kerry Burke and Samantha Boyle (all '15) collaborated with graduate student Ya'ara Persing (IDCE CDP '12), the Clark Sustainability Collaborative, Clark Grounds Department and the Blackstone River Coalition to design, fund and install the rain garden in front of Admissions where it will capture and biofilter stormwater runoff from the roof. Native species in the garden will attract wildlife. A primary goal of the project is to provide an educational demonstration to encourage homeowners to help reduce pollution in local waterways.
Clark Dining Services Brings Home the Gold
A collaborative effort by students Sharon Bort ('14) and Anthony Oduro (GSOM '12) netted Clark Dining Services the Department of Environmental Protection MassRecycle's first place 'Green Binnie' award for food establishments across the entire state. Over 54 applicants vied for the annual prize, awarded to the most sustainable food business. Clark's composting effort (over 205 tons in 2011), as well as recycling, from-scratch food prep, tray less dining and a host of other green features put Clark at the top!
Water Efficiency Upgrades
Water efficient showerheads and toilets were installed across campus in 2011. The upgrades will help Clark reduce water consumption by an estimated 4 million gallons a year—that's equal to a line of tanker trucks over 2 miles long! Dual flush, low tank volume and other appropriate toilet technology is in use; check the handle or the button on the toilet and make the wise flush to save water. The new showerheads provide the same shower experience while reducing flow from 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.75 GPM.
The Local Root Provides Clark Community Real Food
Worcester boasts several farmer's markets, but they can be hard to get to on an academic schedule. A student run venture, The Local Root, solves that problem for students, faculty and staff who want access to fresh and local foods. The Local Root re-sells locally and sustainably grown produce as well as healthy grains via farmer's market-style tables on the Green and via a subscription and on-campus delivery service. For more information, email The Local Root.
ECO Award Goes to Clark for 2012
Clark is proud to be a 'Leader' in the Department of Transportation's Excellence in Commuter Options (ECO) state-wide ranking. The award was presented in March 2013, due to our many sustainable transportation options for students and employees: shuttles, bike share, car share, vanpool, rideshare, carpool parking, bus and train access. Take advantage of going a greener way!
Clark's Electric Vehicle Charging Stations First in Central Massachusetts
Two plug-in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations were installed in Dec. 2011 at Lasry BioScience and the Woodland St. parking lot. The EV charging stations were the first in Worcester and among the first west of Boston. Clark-based Institute for Energy and Sustainability helped get the ARRA award for the 'Chargepoint America' networked stations. Bring on the plug in electric cars!
Clark Joins NuRide, You Get Rewards for Greener Trips
MassDOT sponsors NuRide, and Clark University is now a member—so everyone with a Clark email is a member, too. NuRide provides a self-reporting online tool for every greener trip. If you carpool, walk, bike, use public transit to school, work, shopping, entertainment or even work from home you get points. Points add up and can be redeemed for goods and services. Help Clark achieve its Climate Action Plan goals by taking greener trips with NuRide or other sustainable transportation choices.
Cycles of Change Offers Bike Repair Services, Clinic
Clark's student-run bike share program, Cycles of Change, has expanded and remodeled their workshop and will be offering free bike repair clinics so you can learn how to fix your bike—or they can fix it for you. Over 10 share bikes are available to members.