Bradley’s founder, Lydia Moss-Bradley, wanted the University to be an institution that would teach … “its students the means of living an independent, industrious and useful life by the aid of a practical knowledge of the useful arts and sciences.” Further, Bradley’s mission statement states, in part…. “Bradley University is committed to nurturing the multifaceted development of students to enable them to become leaders, innovators, and productive members of society.” Bradley believes that one of the most pressing issues facing students today is global environmental change. To be true to our mission, it is imperative that we teach our students about environmental change, human interactions with the earth, and how to be good stewards of this earth by leading useful, productive lives.
This belief, coupled with student enthusiasm and the support of President Glasser, is what led to the creation of Bradley’s Sustainability Committee in 2009. The group was charged with researching environmental sustainability, assessing Bradley’s current practices, and identifying additional opportunities to expand the University’s sustainability efforts. Several existing campus initiatives were already in place such as limited recycling, significant energy reduction, and purchasing Energy Star appliances and products.
In 2010, these efforts expanded and this policy is further evidence of a growing commitment that will become pervasive. This policy formalizes and strengthens Bradley’s commitment to sustainability. It identifies focus areas and goals to further minimize Bradley’s impact on the environment and create a more sustainable campus.
Bradley University is committed to sustainability and to serving as a positive example through sustainable operations and education. The University will pursue its mission to become more sustainable by focusing on three areas: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Conserving Resources, and Educating our Community. Bradley University has tentatively identified goals in each of these areas to achieve tangible results that will reduce its impact on the environment.
Focus Areas and Goals
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse gases are the gases in the atmosphere that reduce heat loss and are essential to maintaining the earth’s temperature. An increase in greenhouse gases (i.e. carbon dioxide), creates an imbalance which can, among other impacts, increase the temperature of the earth. The scientific community agrees that increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are causing unprecedented changes to our environment. Many of these changes are harming the environment and its inhabitants.
Since human activity is a major source of this carbon imbalance, it is up to humans to be good stewards of the environment and to find ways to minimize carbon emissions. Bradley University is committed to doing its part to reduce carbon emissions toward the ultimate goal of approaching carbon neutrality. An initial greenhouse gas inventory will be conducted to determine the current emissions of the University. The information gathered in the initial inventory will be used to set reduction targets for future years, and a follow-up inventory will be done at regular intervals to track progress. The majority of Bradley’s carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions are generated from energy use and transportation, as well as being significantly influenced by buildings.
Bradley purchases all of its electricity. There is no on-campus generation. Natural gas is also purchased. Given this, the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use is to use less energy per square foot. To accomplish this, Bradley is addressing the efficiency of new construction and renovations as well as the efficiency of existing buildings and equipment, and will consider the introduction of renewable sources when efficient and effective.
Goal: Reduce the purchased energy consumption by at least 2% each fiscal year measured as Btu per square foot per degree day to achieve a 20% reduction by 2018 using 2008 as the base year.
Bradley’s transportation emissions are categorized as either direct or indirect. Direct emissions are the result of University fleet transportation. Indirect emissions result from students, faculty and staff commuting and program transportation. Program transportation includes curricular and co-curricular programs such as study abroad, athletics, speech team, etc. The University fleet currently includes approximately 70 vehicles.
Reduce emissions generated from the University fleet through use of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles and efficient use.
Expand opportunities for safe and accessible pedestrian and bicycle transportation on and around campus.
Develop opportunities to reduce and/or offset emissions from program transportation and study selected opportunities to reduce campus use of vehicles.
Since 2008 the University has committed to consider LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) design in all major campus projects. The two most recent projects are scheduled to be completed with LEED silver and gold descriptions for the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center and Westlake Hall respectively. Henceforth, projects will be designed to consider at least an LEED silver equivalency.
Conserving resources through decreased use and more efficient use is a key component of reducing Bradley’s impact on the environment and becoming a sustainable campus.
Bradley’s purchasing choices reflect its commitment to sustainability and impact the broader economy. Bradley already purchases some products that are more environmentally friendly and plans to expand its programs.
Include environmental responsibility as a consideration when purchasing goods and services.
Increase purchase of products containing recycled content.
Expand purchase of local and organic food products.
Continue to purchase Energy Star appliances and products when such a rating exists.
Bradley’s recycling program began in the 1990’s as a student initiative, but has dramatically increased recently during the last year. The focus now is to continue the growth, increase student participation, and branch into other areas to reduce the amount of solid waste generated on campus.
Continue to expand the recycling program and increase the percent recycled (out of total solid waste) each year.
Stormwater Management and Water Use
To design campus improvements to better utilize storm water runoff and to provide greater efficiencies in water utilization.
Educating the Community
Operating in a sustainable manner is essential to reducing Bradley’s impact on the environment and provides a powerful example to the community. However, to truly affect global environmental change Bradley must impart a sense of responsibility to the community (students, faculty, staff and surrounding community) to live in a more sustainable manner.
Students, Faculty and Staff
Students, faculty and staff should make sustainability a part of their daily lives whether on or off campus. The University can facilitate this transition by making information on sustainability available in a variety of forms both in and out of the classroom.
Expose all Bradley University students, faculty and staff to the principles of sustainability through special programs, speakers, events and enhancement to the campus sustainability “B-Green” website.
This policy will be implemented through the Sustainability Committee reporting to the Vice President for Business Affairs. Each year appropriate university personnel and students will identify specific strategies or sub-goals to achieve the goals outlined in this policy. The success and progress of the strategies or sub-goals will be noted on the University’s “B-Green” site and accounted for at the end of each fiscal year. This accountability information will also be compiled into a report and made available on the campus sustainability website.
As tentatively approved by the University’s Cabinet 2/11 subject to ongoing review.