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Current Initiatives

Construction/Buildings

  • Holy Cross has adopted a green building policy, with the intent of meeting LEED silver certification standards with all new major construction and renovations.
  • The Integrated Science Complex (consisting of the new Smith Labs and the complete renovation of Haberlin Hall) incorporated high energy efficiency standards in all phases of design of construction, and received LEED Gold certification.
  • Figge Hall, a 156-bed townhouse-style residence hall, opened in the fall of 2011. Sustainability was a top objective in design and construction of the building, and the College received LEED Gold Certification.  
  • An infrared camera, which measures surface temperatures, is helping Facilities workers identify heat loss in buildings.
  • Campus interior and exterior light fixtures are gradually being replaced with energy efficient lighting and sensors.
  • Boiler controls in the central heating plant have been upgraded to reduce emissions and burn more efficiently.
  • Building Services uses only eco-friendly cleaning products. Supplies are ordered in bulk.
  • All residence halls now have washing machines that are CEE Tier III and Energy Star qualified. 
  • The College employs lighting motion sensors on campus.
  • The College has installed LED lighting fixtures in the campus parking garage. These are superior fixtures with the highest efficiency specifications.
  • The College has been replacing underground steam piping throughout campus with highly insulated piping and eliminating many existing leaks.

Transportation

  • Two Zipcars (including a hybrid vehicle) were introduced on campus in September 2007; they are available for student and community use.
  • Weather permitting, public safety officers operate battery powered cars and bicycles. The athletics department also has three battery powered carts.
  • Bicycle racks have been installed around campus to encourage student use of bikes.
  • A transportation committee convened by the President’s Office has studied the use of College-owned vehicles and all off-campus transportation needs (for internships, Community-Based Learning courses, academic research, and service programs). As a result, the College now has a transportation coordinator to develop efficient and effective methods for transporting students to the various programs.

Recycling & Waste

  • An effective waste diversion program has been in place for 15 years; more than 100 tons of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans are typically recycled each year.
  • The College manages an active composting program (using leaves, hedge clippings, etc.) that generates approximately 700 yards of compost for use in the College’s flower/plant beds. Additionally, the College has purchased and employees mulching mowers for the 100+ acres of lawns. 
  • An open source print management system, PaperCut, was implemented across campus in the spring 2010 semester. Printing is still free for all Holy Cross students, staff and faculty but patrons must submit their print jobs then go to a printing release station to retrieve the job. Since implementation of the system, Dinand Library has seen a significant decrease in print jobs. If the trend continues through the spring 2011 semester, the library will realize a savings of about one million pages.

Food Service

  • Kimball Main Dining Hall went “trayless” in March 2009. Approximately 25 to 50 percent less food is wasted, and up to a half gallon of water is saved per tray not washed, saving 900 gallons of water a day.
  • “Slow food” dinners, featuring locally grown and purchased food, are offered throughout the academic year.
  • Kimball Dining Hall has eliminated all use of Styrofoam.
  • Dining makes filtered water and tap water available as alternatives to bottled water.
  • Dining sells reuseable beverage containers, and refills are offered at a discount.
  • Dining Services sponsors a weekly farmer’s market with locally grown produce (in season).
  • All coffee served on campus is either locally roasted, fair trade or shade grown organic.
  • Only hormone/antibiotic-free locally produced milk products are used.
  • Opportunities to purchase locally produced food are actively pursued.
  • Reusable dishware is used. Students are encouraged to use reusable bags to carry food out of the dining hall.
  • Dining Services has contracted with a company that guarantees to use it in biodiesel.

Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency

  • Holy Cross’ Energy Conservation Policy, revised in early 2009, is designed to improve operating efficiency and reduce the cost of energy consumption.
  • The College purchased a long term contract for electrical power from TransCanada, an energy supplier with a substantial amount of power from renewable energy sources.
  • The College has established a program that requires Energy Star appliances only be purchased for campus use.

Student Involvement

  • Students participate in internships and projects in environmental organizations and not-for-profit groups throughout the Worcester area through the Environmental Studies program.
  • Eco-Action is Holy Cross' student environmental group. The group focuses on issues from national global warming campaigns, to local land preservation, to more sustainable dining solutions of campus, and any other environmentally-related projects that students wish to pursue. See Eco-Action's current projects on the group's website.
  • The Student Government Association has established an environmental liaison in every residence hall.