A recent publication of The Record featured an opinion article, “CSB/SJU falls short of meeting sustainability standards”, calling for the CSB/SJU administrations to reaffirm their commitment to sustainability, as the writer believed that they have been falling short on following the Benedictine tradition of stewardship. Although I do agree with a number of his points, it is important to know that many sustainability related projects have and are taking place that a typical student or staff member may not know about.
At St. John’s, most of these projects have been conducted by the St. John’s Physical Plant and relate to reducing our energy use, thus saving money and reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with that energy
Some of these projects include a variety of LED light retrofits across campus, a switch from 23 individual hot water pumps to a single, more efficient pump, the campus water treatment plant switched to a new bag system which basically allows bio-solids to turn into nutrient rich compost and a high efficient heating and cooling system that was installed in Alcuin and the Learning Commons resulting in both buildings using the same amount of energy as Alcuin did prior to the renovation.
With the Learning Commons, a decision was made to construct the building to LEED environmental standards, yet save
money by not purchasing the official certification itself, and use regular urinals due to plumbing issues with high efficient models.
Of course, there is still more to be done and I encourage
everyone to be curious and ask
SJU Sustainability Fellow