Lafayette College has been recognized for outstanding achievements and progress toward sustainability by the Association of the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The Campus Sustainability Achievement Award honors Lafayette’s partnership with Lehigh University, Muhlenberg College, and Dickinson College to purchase renewable energy as a collective. In February, the schools announced that they signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement to buy renewable energy generated by a newly constructed 200-plus-acre solar farm in Texas. 

Delicia Nahman holds Campus Sustainability Award

Delicia Nahman, the College’s director of sustainability, holds the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award.

This year, AASHE received 450 entries that resulted in 11 winners announced across four categories. The Campus Sustainability Achievement Award is given to institutions and individuals that are leading higher education to a sustainable future. By raising the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research, the awards program shares innovations and inspires continued progress toward a sustainable future.

“This commitment to purchasing renewable energy is another example of Lafayette College demonstrating that a low carbon future is both financially viable and environmentally responsible,” says Delicia Nahman, the College’s director of sustainability. “The vision and leadership from our president and Board of Trustees cannot be underestimated: They know Lafayette must be a leader amongst higher education institutions in the transition to a low carbon future while continuing to prepare our students to solve 21st century challenges.”

Fewer than 50 of the nation’s approximately 4,200 higher education institutions have initiated new large-scale renewable energy projects. The new solar farm will be the 12th largest higher education renewable energy project in terms of megawatts, and because it will be built as a result of this purchase, it will add renewable energy to the country’s grid.

Collectively, the group’s 45.9 megawatt share of the project is anticipated to help prevent more than 70,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to removing more than 15,000 cars from the road or the amount of carbon sequestered by nearly 85,000 acres of forest. The partnership, combined with other energy and efficiency efforts at each campus, will enable each institution to meet its individual 100% renewable energy goals.

As part of education and research opportunities, the project developer will conduct rotating guest lectures at each of the four institutions. In addition, two students from participating schools will be selected each summer over eight years for internships at the renewable energy site. The schools also will have access to real-time production data from the solar asset for research purposes at each institution. 

About AASHE

AASHE empowers higher education administrators, faculty, staff and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. We work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges. For more information, visit www.aashe.org.

Greening Lafayette

Sustainability is a Core Value

Lafayette College is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035, integrating sustainability into the curriculum, and cultivating creative solutions to ensure a more just future.

Categorized in: Featured News, News and Features, Sustainability

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