Our Campus Efforts
“Going Green” is at the forefront of the minds of many campus departments and organizations. Many student groups have organized to engage the campus in the environmental movement, including clubs like the Green Ambassadors and BMC Community Garden Club. Key administrative departments are also leading the way to make Bryn Mawr a more sustainable campus, including Facilities Services, Dining Services, and Recycling. Below is a spring 2023 update on the College's sustainability efforts across campus:
Conversion of the College’s Vehicle Fleet to Electric
- Facilities Services purchased two fully electric cargo vans in spring 2023, which are assigned to the lock shop and HVAC teams.
- The first electric Blue Bus that shuttles between Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, and Swarthmore College, will arrive on campus in summer 2023.
- The biology department recently replaced one of its vehicles with a hybrid model, and the College currently has a compressed natural gas bus and three buses that use clean fuel technology including seasonal biodiesel.
- Working with our grounds contractor, the College is converting leaf blowers and trimmers to electric from gas where feasible.
- A solar-powered EV charging station will also be piloted on campus in the coming months.
- On Earth Day 2021, the College announced the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2035.
- The College’s electricity purchasing agreement includes renewable energy certificates that certify that 100% of the College’s electricity consumption is offset with wind resources entering the grid. The College has also contracted directly with a wind generator for the campus’s power supply.
- During Earth Week 2021, the community helped plant 100 trees on campus of four different species. Students measured their growth and calculate carbon sequestration as part of their course work.
- The College has partnered with the Pennsylvania Environmental Commission to plant up to 400,000 trees on legacy mine lands during the next five years and more than 98,000 trees have been planted as of April 2023. Students and faculty visited a site in Altoona in 2022 to plant trees and set up methodology for monitoring carbon.
- The new Student Life and Wellness Building has several sustainability features, including a rain garden, high-efficiency HVAC systems, a well-insulated building envelope, and efficient plumbing and electrical fixtures (including LED lighting).
- The College continues to replace HVAC equipment with more efficient models. A new chiller in the Chemistry wing, for example, will improve the efficiency over the existing boiler by approximately 20 percent by using magnets to reduce friction.
- As part of an ongoing LED lighting conversion, large areas of Park Science and Dolwen recently received upgraded lighting.
- The Dining Hall has launched reusable takeout containers.
- Continuing building envelope improvements include replacement windows in the biology wing.
- Bottle filling stations installed across campus facilitate use of reusable water bottles.
- The College plans to transform more of the campus into no-mow, low-mow areas, such as several wildflower areas.
Storm Water Management
- A raingarden and underground stormwater infiltration basins have been installed at the new Student Life and Wellness Building.
- The College’s storm water management infrastructure includes a pervious plaza at Park Science, an underground infiltration bed under Applebee field, and a stormwater retention pond (Vickers Lake).
Campus organizations are generally open for suggestions. If you have an idea for how to make campus more environmentally friendly, have questions, or don’t know where to start? Contact the Chair of the Sustainability Leadership Group, Nina Bisbee at firstname.lastname@example.org.