Goucher's Commitment to Sustainability
Goucher College became a signatory of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment in 2007, and has since embarked on a far-reaching campaign to promote environmental sustainability through both its co-curricular activities and its academic programs.
The college has completed multiple greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) inventories from 2009 to 2015. In May 2011 Goucher completed its first Climate Action Plan (CAP), which set a goal to reduce the college's greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020. The GHG inventories, climate action plan, and progress reports are available here.
To help lower the impact transportation has on the community's carbon footprint, Goucher has partnered with Zipcar, a cost-efficient, environmentally friendly car-sharing program.
Goucher students have developed programs to enhance the college's recycling program; raise awareness of carbon-neutrality policies; and begin a composting program, organic garden, and greenhouse production. Students spearhead the college's participation in Recyclemania, a 10-week competition that inspires college and universities to reduce waste and recycle more.
Our energy conservation projects are consistently being reviewed and supplemented—we use only green cleaning products and we changed our interior and exterior lighting on campus to LEDs. We began composting all the food waste in our dining halls, which complements our existing comprehensive campus-wide recycling program. Utility submetering for each building on campus is now being implemented, which will enable us to effectively lower energy costs in each building and to raise awareness of the amount of energy being consumed.
In 2009, Goucher adopted a policy to ensure all new buildings or major renovations to existing buildings are planned with the goal of achieving at least a LEED-certified Silver certification. The college's Athenaeum became Goucher's first LEED-certified Gold building, and the newest residence hall has been constructed to LEED silver specifications.
Our food service provider, Bon Appétit, is committed to supporting local farmers and food producers who provide organic fruits and vegetables, hormone-free dairy products, and free-range meats to Goucher's dining facilities. The company also has initiated the use of eco-friendly food containers on campus, which are used at catered events. Bon Appétit sponsors "low-carbon diet days" and "eat local days" each semester.