Frequently Asked Questions
What is Denison doing to address CO2 emissions and global climate change?
Denison signed the Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2010 and in 2012, the college adopted its first ever Sustainability & Climate Action Plan which charts a course for Denison to be carbon neutral by 2030. In addition, Denison was one of the first colleges to participate in the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge. As part of this challenge, the college created a revolving green fund for energy conservation projects. To date, the college has invested $2 million on more than 60 projects around campus. Collectively, these projects save over $400,000 a year in utility costs and have resulted in thousands of pounds of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Does Denison serve organic, local, and fair trade foods?
Yes. In 2013 Denison contracted with Bon Appetit to provide dining services on campus. Bon Appetit is an industry leader when it comes to sustainability and their food sourcing philosophy meshes well with Denison’s sustainability efforts. About 25% of food served on campus is sourced locally. There are vegan and vegetarian options at every meal and, main courses often will center around a healthy and delicious vegetarian option.
Does Denison have a Sustainability major?
– Not at this time. While some institutions jumped to create majors specific to Sustainability, Denison believes that its unique interdisciplinary approach in the Environmental Studies Program is well suited to address the complex issues that encompass global sustainability.
What is the Homestead?
Located one mile from campus, the Homestead is an intentional, alternative living community where sustainability is a central tenant of the residential education experience. Housing a maximum of twelve students, residents eat communally (vegetarian and vegan meals) and share responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the gardens, flock of chickens, and cabins. In 2013, the students built a new cabin that is carbon negative, meaning it produces more energy than it uses. The cabin features a number of green features technologies, including 26 solar panels, a wood-fired radiant floor heating system, composting toilets and a beautiful passive solar design.
What is Denison’s position on divestment from fossil fuels?
Divestment from fossil fuel companies is a complex issue that impacts not only Denison’s bottom line, but also our moral and ethical obligations to address climate change and social responsibility. Denison has not yet taken a formal stance for or against divestment however, there are a number of students concerned about the issue who are actively engaged in discussions with President Weinberg and the Denison Board of Trustees who have been receptive to examining the issue more closely.
Does Denison have a Car Share program?
Yes. Enterprise Rent-A-Car has two vehicles on campus that are available to anyone (students, faculty, staff, or guests of the college) that have a valid Enterprise Car Share membership. For program details: http://www.enterprisecarshare.com/car-sharing/program/denison
How many LEED buildings does Denison have?
Four. The Bryant Arts Center, Ebaugh Laboratories, Chamberlin Lodge, and the Natatorium are all LEED Gold certified buildings. In 2008 the Denison Board of Trustees created a policy that all new buildings and major renovations on campus meet at least LEED Silver standards.
What do Sustainability Fellows do?
The Denison Sustainability Fellows are a group of 15 students who raise awareness about ecological issues and encourage environmentally and socially responsible behavior of campus residents. Sustainability Fellows develop programming and educate their peers in the residence halls about environmental and social justice issues that benefit the campus and global community. . The Fellows program at Denison represents a unique collaboration between the Office of Residential Education and the Office of Sustainability (this needs to link to the new “Office of Sustainability” page as referenced previously).
I’m interested in Sustainability, but how do I get involved?
Getting involved in one of the many co-curricular and extracurricular activities is one of the hallmarks of the Denison experience. With respect to Sustainability, nearly all of the progress we’ve made on campus has its roots in student activism and engagement. Quite frankly, when students speak, the college listens. There are many ways to get involved with student groups such as Green Team and Denison PEAS that work on sustainability efforts both on campus and in the local community. In addition, the Office of Sustainability typically hires 2-3 student interns each year.