The 2013 Campus Master Plan Update provides the College with the opportunity to further develop its green initiatives and support sustainable energy efforts. Implicit in the plan is the goal of promoting environmental stewardship and reducing the College’s carbon footprint. The Campus Master Plan will bring the College innovative and sustainable buildings and landscapes designed to serve today’s generation while respecting the needs of future generations.
From recycling to alternative energy, the Camden County College community is increasingly aware of the need to consider its impact on the environment and to educate and mentor students to become future environmental leaders. This heightened awareness led to the development and adoption of the Camden County College Green Initiative in 2010. The Green Initiative was designed to formalize College practices for improving energy efficiency, conserving resources and enhancing environmental quality by educating for sustainability and creating healthy living and learning environments. An outgrowth of the Initiative was the formation of the Green Initiative Committee which continues to meet regularly under the leadership of the College’s Director of Facilities.
Green Initiative accomplishments include: campus-wide recycling program, switch to green certified cleaning products, availability of reduced fare passes for public transportation, construction of a campus greenhouse, increased campus tree planting and landscaping, Earth Day celebration and activities, use of document imaging to reduce reliance on paper files and the review of all construction projects to encourage discussion of alternate materials/methods with the focus of reducing the carbon footprint of the College.
Camden County College has been a member of NJHEPS since 2001. NJHEPS (New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability) is a group of 36 Garden State Campuses supported by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Education Foundation of America, AT&T and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Their mission is to be an agent for transformation so that New Jersey campuses might become models and messengers of sustainability in society and the world. The sustainable campus initiatives utilize six interrelated strategies:
- education for sustainability
- energy-efficiency and conservation measures
- high performance green designs
- sustainable materials use
- student activism
- media outreach
The college has been aware of USGBC’s Center for Green Schools since the inception of NJHEPS. In 2009 at the very beginning of the conceptual plan for the proposed Science and Classroom Building design, it was decided that building would incorporate numerous USGBC design standards. It was determined that goal for the building would be to obtain a minimum of a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Since 2001 the college has strived to participate in sustainability programs. With the New Science and Classroom Building, this was a key opportunity to design a green building from inception. The college continues to implement energy conservation measures and green design applications in all renovations, retrofits and reconstruction projects where possible.
The transformation projects since 2004 have brought many energy savings and environmentally friendly changes to all campuses of Camden County College. These projects upgraded older buildings, roads, grounds, infrastructure, mechanical systems and added new square footage to the campuses both inside and out. These projects have all had a focus on sustainability, for instance:
- All of exterior parking lot and roadway lighting has been replaced with high efficiency LED lighting, with a projected energy savings of 70%.
- Materials from asphalt and concrete paving to metal scrap are all recycled reducing solid waste disposal significantly.
- The College has replaced an aging, energy wasting electrical infrastructure with a modern energy efficient electrical system.
- Inviting outdoor leisure areas are designed to provide recreation space while raising appreciation of our natural environments.
The exterior plantings around campus are drought resistant and low maintenance native species.
- An additional transportation hub was created to promote convenient use public transportation.
- All building retrofits, updates and reconstructions include energy management systems such as automatic heat setbacks and motion detection light switches.
- These energy management initiatives reduce lighting and HVAC energy consumption.
- The College is committed to the purchase of renewable, reusable, recycled material.
- The College will continue to take sustainable steps to manage its open spaces.
- All future construction projects will be integrated into green building designs.
Camden County College remains at the forefront of education and is committed to lead the way to educate, demonstrate and promote sustainability.