Conservation Council

Creation of the St. Lawrence University Climate Action Plan

» read moreClimate CommitmentTO: The St. Lawrence Community

FROM: Jeff Chiarenzelli, Associate Professor of Geology; Tom Coakley, Vice President for Administrative Operations; Co-Chairs of Conservation Council Working Group for Planning for Carbon Neutrality in Response to the Presidents Climate Commitment

RE: Creation of the St. Lawrence University Climate Action Plan

We write to announce the formation of the Working Group for Planning for Carbon Neutrality under the auspices of the University’s Conservation Council and at the direction of Faculty Council.  As a signatory to the Presidents Climate Commitment, the University has agreed to put forth a plan for achieving eventual carbon neutrality, that plan to be submitted by September 15, 2009.

Biomass and Alternative Fuels Panel Discussion

Come join us for a panel discussion of the benefits and cautions associated with biomass and alternative fuels as potential heating sources for St. Lawrence University.

Monitoring: First Phase of Printing Reduction Plan

In accordance with the University's environmental commitments we have taken the first steps to reduce the impact printing has at St. Lawrence. Starting February 15, 2009 students will receive monthly e-mail updates detailing the number of pages they've printed. Data collected in the spring semester will assist the committees addressing this issue determine the current average number of pages printed per student as well as the number of free pages each student should receive in the future. If you would like to provide input on this process please contact

We anticipate having printing quotas in place by Fall 2009.  Have questions? Check out 'Pay for Print FAQs'

St. Lawrence Running on 15% Renewable Electricity

In March of 2007, President Daniel F. Sullivan signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. In becoming a signatory President Sullivan committed St. Lawrence to climate neutrality, zero-net greenhouse gas emissions.

The path to climate neutrality will not be an easy one; however we have made a significant step that I want to share with you today.

St. Lawrence is now running on 15% renewable electricity. This is equivalent to half of the electricity used by the Student Center and half of the electricity used by the Johnson Hall of Science. We have purchased RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) generated by wind turbines as our source of green electricity. The carbon emissions from electricity are about 36% of the University's total carbon footprint, thus we are proud to have taken this step to make our electricity use more sustainable and simultaneously show the nation that we support alternative energy.

Reuse Initiative Gets a New (Used) Home

Due to the popularity of the Reuse Initiative, we have decided to make a permanent location for the storage and sale of gently used goods each fall. True to its mission, the Reuse Initiative has moved into a room that was once used for storage purposes, repainted with leftover paint and had shelves made from old doors.

Now located in the basement of Reiff, the ‘Reuse Basement' aims to keep commonly desired dorm and class items out of the landfill. Remember to come by and pick up some great things for your dorm for a VERY low price. And don't forget each Spring we rely on your donations to keep the initiative going.

St. Lawrence Launches Campus-Wide Energy Conservation Campaign

On December 3, 2008, President Sullivan announced to the campus community the start of our Energy Conservation Campaign, a very important component in changing our energy consumption behavior.

Good news!  We have retained the services of Les Power, Consultant, PhD, to help us in this endeavor.  Meet Les and find out what we can do as a campus community to achieve a reduction in energy consumption.


Hello St. Lawrence!

Les Power here, your campus energy consultant, working to help us all save energy!

Please ask me energy savings questions or pass on your suggestions for campus energy savings by e-mailing There may be gifts and trinkets for especially good ideas. From time to time, I will pass on ideas of my own. I will also let you know how we are doing with our energy savings with a monthly report.

Changing our energy behavior is the first step in a long path to campus climate neutrality. Every step helps!

Remember-Les is best!

I want to update you on our progress as we continue our Energy Conservation Campaign.

This first chart shows how we consumed energy, heat, and electric in 2007-2008 (green) all the way to 243,000 MMBTUs* for the year. Note the steep increases through our cold winter months. The purple(ish) line represents our consumption in this fiscal year to date. It looks about the same here, but when we zero in on the chart below, we see that we have consumed fewer MMBTUs this year when compared to this time last year.

Your efforts are working! While we started this Campaign using more energy than last year we've managed to get our consumption down by 3%. Don't laugh at 3%, that's a big difference in carbon. 217 metric tons saved simply by turning off some lights and reporting overheating, that's impressive! Keep up the good work and don't forget to share your suggestions with me as to how we can get that number lower

*Oh--What's an MMBTU, you ask? Think of it this way--it's a unit of energy equal to the calories from 560 chicken parmesan patties or approximately 75% of the chicken parmesan consumed at Dana each Thursday evening.

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