Working through next year’s budget proposal for the sustainability office, I was struck by just how much external money has been brought in specifically for sustainability initiatives on campus. Our operational budget for the office and related programs isn’t much (admittedly, so many other budgets are supporting the sustainability work happening at the college), but Unity College is attracting funding for innovative sustainability projects with a real impact on operations.
Just in the two years I’ve been here, our Office of Institutional Advancement has helped bring in more than half a million dollars for sustainability initiatives. And that’s not even counting the many thousands of dollars in research and energy funding that our Center for Sustainability and Global Change faculty have helped secure (see Energizing a Community and some Unity wind research work). Not too shabby for a school with a modest annual operating budget of about $12 million. Some of the numbers.
- $42,000 — RMI’s Accelerating Campus Climate Initiatives Program funded the appointment of our Campus Sustainability Fellow to do a comprehensive assessment of energy use in campus buildings, pilot a few projects, and engage students in the classroom and as interns.
- $389,000 — Student Passive House support to build a first-of-its-kind residence and involve students in unique educational opportunities surrounding the design and construction of the cottage this year.
- $68,000 — Demonstration Grant and private funding to replace the library’s fuel oil boiler with a wood pellet system.
- $75,000 — to Grow a Community Food Network that expands our capacity to meet campus and community food production goals.
Of course, other fundraising efforts support our institutional emphasis on sustainability in important, less direct ways. Kudos to VP for Institutional Advancement Rob Constantine and his whole crew for showing us the money.