Since setting its 2020 carbon neutrality target in 2007, Antioch New England has reduced campus electricity use by 19 percent. How did AUNE do this – by applying simple conservation measures and efficiency improvements. Abigail Abrash Walton, AUNE’s assistant to the president for sustainability and social justice, said, “I am thrilled that we have achieved a 19 percent reduction in electricity use on campus using only low cost and low tech measures. The pay-off for such measures is great.”
The cumulative three-year savings (from 2007 to 2009) was 152,400 kilowatt hours and 188.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2 emissions).
Some of the low-cost, low-tech measures include the Please Flip Me Off sign campaign, which urges AUNE building users to turn off the lights when leaving a room; energy-saving e-alerts to all campus community members; and the Carbon Counts: You Can Too lunch-time speaker series. The speaker series features faculty, staff, student, and alumni expertise and provides both tips and encouragement for those interested in working towards carbon neutrality.
Other energy-efficiency measures implemented in the past two years include installing restroom light occupancy sensors and removing unnecessary, high-energy consumption machinery from the campus. In addition, AUNE purchased energy-efficient computers and established the Green Guru Office Energy-Efficiency Audit program.
AUNE’s latest Green Guru, Rachel Thompson, is a work-study student home-based with AUNE’s Sustainability and Social Justice Committee. Rachel helps ANE employees reduce emissions through computer-setting adjustments, installation and use of power strips, and other low-tech solutions. To date, 60 percent of AUNE employees have participated in the energy-use audit. The committee expects 100 percent participation by May 2010.