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Eric Weld   Date: 11/18/08

Upcoming Presentations on Smith Sustainability

Exactly how much pollution is Smith College contributing to the earth’s atmosphere and what are some options to curtail that amount?

This pie chart illustrates Smith's greenhouse gas inventory.

Those are questions that presenters will answer during two upcoming sessions.

In comparison with other colleges and its peer institutions, Smith is well-situated in its emission of greenhouse gases, said Dano Weisbord, environmental sustainability director, emitting about the same level of gases as in 1990, a benchmark year for measurement. Even while it has grown in terms of physical operations since that year, Smith has retained its level of emissions due to offsetting sustainability efforts, unlike most other institutions, whose levels have typically increased.

Weisbord expects Smith’s greenhouse gas emissions to decrease further with the activation this fall of the college’s co-generational power plant, he said.

To hear more on Smith’s sustainability profile, attend these events:

Wednesday, Nov. 19
"My, What Big Feet We Have." Weisbord and Elisabeth Wolfe ’10 will give a lunchtime presentation outlining the college’s “carbon footprint,” a measure of how much greenhouse gases are emitted by the college.

The presentation, which will take place from noon to 1 p.m. in the Campus Center Carroll Room, is the culmination of research conducted last year by five students as part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The pact is a nationwide collaborative effort among American schools to address global warming by neutralizing greenhouse gas emissions. President Carol Christ signed the commitment in fall 2007.

Monday, Nov. 24
"Dude, Where's My Windmill?" Five experts on environmental sustainability will participate in a panel discussion that will outline possibilities for using renewable energy. The panel will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Campus Center 103-104.

Panelists are:

  • Byron Woodman, of Community Energy, a renewable energy company;
  • Christian Lagier, associate director of the Clark Science Center and board member, Coop Power;
  • Todd Holland, energy manager for Five Colleges, Inc.;
  • Rachel Sasseville ’09, president of Morrow House, which has begun its own Green Team;
  • Dano Weisbord, environmental sustainability director.

The two presentations are complementary, said Weisbord. “It’s important to know what our carbon footprint is because it provides a baseline of where we need to reduce from. We need to understand where we are in order to plot future reductions.”

Weisbord and others will give a similar presentation of Smith’s carbon footprint profile in January as part of the Climate Commitment.

The events are sponsored by the Green Team and the Office of Environmental Sustainability.


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