Climate Action Group

Chair: Mike Burke (x5143)
Meeting time:  11 AM 3rd Monday   Zoom/Channel 972
Collington Staff

The Climate Action Group (formerly the Sustainability Group) is a subcommittee of the Buildings Committee.  For historical purposes, Sustainability Group information remains on this site (see bottom).

Mission Statement

With the climate emergency upon us, we must act now to avoid the worst effects of climate change for ourselves, our children, and future generations.  This means working to support the IPCC goals of reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The committee will develop a Collington carbon emissions budget by utilizing new tools to understand our carbon footprint.  The committee will prioritize those actions which promise the greatest reductions in our overall carbon emissions. Conservation is the first and best action; whether energy or trash or water, less is better. Consequently, many of our actions will be designed to reduce our current energy usage, reduce our waste stream, and conserve water.  To the maximum extent possible, we will calculate the carbon footprint savings of each action and report them to the entire Collington community.  It is through our collective actions that we will be part of the climate solution in the years ahead.  We will:

  • Encourage conservation attitudes by individual members of the Community.
  • Continue to pursue fossil energy substitutes, both on campus and through state and federal action.
  • Conserve water.
  • Reduce food waste by supporting the Lean Path initiative.
  • Support waste reduction through an integrated “reduce, reuse, recycle” system.
  • Support the Grounds Committee through intelligent landscaping, and also through carbon sequestration activities such as adding trees to our landscape.

Climate Action Workplan, 2021-2023:

Moving Us to a Cleaner, Cheaper Carbon Footprint

The Climate Committee, in conjunction with the Administration, will determine the current carbon footprint for our campus and set annual goals for reductions.  In process: Possible partnership with Bowie State University to help provide usage data.

  • Energy Conservation (Electricity)
    • All replacement and new appliances should be Energy Star© Rated.
    • Assure that all replacement and new windows and glass doors are energy efficient (R5, equivalent, or better).
    • During turn-over of cottages or villas
      • Add insulation to roofing and pipes to meet modern specs.
      • Determine if tankless (“demand”) hot water system is cost effective. (Tankless heaters are 8-34% more efficient than storage water heaters.)
      • Add electric car charging outlets in carports/garages.
      • Install real-time energy monitors in residential units.
      • Provide “green” specs to Marketing.
    • Study which buildings have appropriate exposure for solar capture, and as roofs are scheduled for replacement, install solar panels/shingles.
    • Install energy monitoring in Creighton Center (which uses about half of all electricity on campus). Follow up with energy conservation plan based on usage data from residential units (perhaps in partnership with Bowie State University).
    • Convert to a 100% clean energy power electricity source through a Power Purchase Agreement or other mechanism.
  • Energy Conservation (Natural Gas)
    • Review natural gas contract and usage in villas for potential savings.
    • Identify villas with especially high usage: review for heat leakage and potential remedies; work with Climate Action Committee to counsel residents on usage.
    • Replace diesel backup generator with a natural gas system.
  • Transportation
    • Replace Collington’s gasoline-powered vehicles with electric ones on a pre-determined schedule by 2030.
    • Reduce gasoline usage by Collington vehicles annually.
    • Issue new landscape-groundskeeping RFP at the end of current landscaping contract, with the condition that all equipment (mowers, edgers, leaf blowers, etc.) be electric. In process – Grounds Committee has the lead.
    • Add electric car charging stanchions in the Clocktower parking lot.
    • Add electrical outlets for every covered parking space to accommodate electric cars. Implement over 4-year period.
    • Add car-share (e.g., ZIPCar) option on campus; encourage residents to go carless.
  • Trees and Paper
    • Commit to No Net Loss of trees on campus.
    • Research adding Arboretum status to campus. In process.  Grounds Committee has the lead.
    • Reduce paper usage.
      • Continue to increase number of residents receiving electronic copies of Courier. In process. CAC has lead with Admin Exec Office.
      • Reduce average number of pages in Courier.
      • Make flyers regarding events available with electronic-only option. In process.  CAC has lead with Admin Exec Office and RA Activities Chairs.
      • Make monthly resident invoices available with electronic-only option.
  • Water
    • Review practicality and cost of tankless vs. hot water tanks in refurbished units.
    • Work with WSSC to develop a water conservation program for campus.
    • Educate residents and staff about water conservation.
  • Dining Room/Culinary
    • Work with Culinary on implementing Lean Path© food waste reduction program through resident education. Hospitality Services has lead. CAC, with Dining Committee, on hold until in-person dining resumes.
    • Work with Culinary on instituting composting kitchen waste and using natural products rather than chemical fertilizers on campus.
    • Work with Dining Committee to explore more climate- friendly menu options (e.g., “meatless Fridays,” more vegetarian options, less beef).
  • New Construction
    • Follow Enso Village standard of net zero carbon emissions by 2025. Assure that windows and glass doors are energy efficient (R5, equivalent, or better).
    • Design with landscape in mind: reduce hardscape; save trees; manage stormwater retention and runoff.
    • All-electric units (no natural gas).
    • Assure that new windows and glass doors are energy efficient (R5, equivalent, or better)”
    • Use “smart” major appliances for cooking, refrigeration, dishwashers, washer/driers, heating, and lighting.
    • Utilize heat pumps for every unit.
    • Install electric car recharging outlets in each unit.
    • Consider cost effectiveness of solar.

Archive:  Sustainability Group Documents

Collington Sustainability Group Mission Statement

Sustainability Group Marketing Flyer

Sustainability Goals 2017

2017 Report of Collington Sustainability Group

2016 Report of Collington Sustainability Group

Kendal Sustainability Goals and Collington Assessment

Kendal Affiliate Sustainability Initiatives (2021 update)

Everyone needs to recycle; here is a handy Brochure for recycling.