More than 130 students, staff, faculty and administrators from colleges and universities throughout Connecticut shared best practices on how to make Connecticut campuses more sustainable at a statewide campus sustainability conference held at Middlesex Community College on April 25.
The conference was organized by Eastern's Institute for Sustainable Energy and featured more than 20 presentations from campus representatives sharing the details of their sustainability initiatives, successes and challenges. Presenters and participants came from a broad range of public and private universities, colleges and community colleges. The conference and many of the energy initiatives on Connecticut's campuses are supported by EnergizeCT and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund.
"The idea for this conference arose from the desire to hold an event where students, faculty, staff and administrators from public and private colleges and universities across the state could come together to discuss campus sustainability from a variety of different perspectives," said Laura Worthington, conference organizer and energy technical specialist for the Institute for Sustainable Energy. "This type of collaboration is vital to the sharing of best practices and trading of ideas that will continue to move us forward and keep Connecticut on the map as one of the greenest states in the nation."
Eastern and Yale University announced that they will co-chair a new "Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability" that will serve as an ongoing statewide network to facilitate greater coordination and cooperation on sustainability among public and private institutions of higher education. The primary purpose of this collaboration is to share information as peers, foster partnerships and develop system-wide strategies to address climate change and adaptation, local and regional resiliency, stormwater and water management, land use and other sustainability-related issues.
Eastern President Elsa Núñez said, "We are thrilled to partner with Yale University in leading the Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability. Together we look forward to engaging our public and private peer institutions to model environmental stewardship in our buildings, classrooms and communities."
The new alliance will tap into the many resources available to help campuses engage in actions that will reduce their environmental footprint, increase resiliency and save costs. These include EnergizeCT programs administered by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating; programs of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection; and national programs such as the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment and the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.