Read the College's
Climate Action Plan (PDF)
SMCM Sustainability in The News
Climate and Energy
RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS
At the new River Center, a geothermal heating system allows the facility to run 40% more efficiently than a conventional building, saving the College money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 270 tons a year! This heating system was made possible by the student body, which in 2007 provided $65,000 (1/2 of the needed revenue) for the project.
In addition, we have a 3kW solar photovoltaic array on the roof of the College's library. The Sustainability Committee is currently looking into creative ways to finance a much larger solar system on campus, which would assist in our emissions reductions targets under the Climate Action Plan.
RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS (RECs)
In the spring of 2007, St. Mary's students overwhelmingly voted to increase their annual student fees by $25 in order for the College to purchase renewable energy credits to offset 100% of the campus's electrical consumption. In addition, the vote also called for a one-time contribution of $45,000 from the SGA to SMCM to cover the first-year expenses of this program. Since then, the College has been able to increase the purchase of RECs without use of additional funds. Currently the College purchases 22,000 MWh per year of green energy, offsetting 115% of our electricity usage. The RECs offset roughly 12,000 metric tons of CO2, making St. Mary's College one of the largest purchasers of green power in the region. This has enabled the College to be the leader in the EPA's Green Power Partnership, Capital Athletic Conference Championship for the past four years.