Policy: Policy 7-7-2: Institutional Sustainability Policy Date Adopted:  
Department: Finance & Administration Contact: Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services
Statement: Consistent with the Nevada System of Higher Education's policy, Western Nevada College's students, faculty and staff are committed to the development and continuation of a healthy and safe living/learning environment; one in which the college strives to maximize strategies that protect the Sierra Nevada region, and to foster sustainability in its decisions and operations. Achievement of this commitment will enable us to meet the needs of the present without limiting the capabilities of future members of the greater WNC community to meet their own needs.

Table of Contents:

  1. Policy Goals
  2. Institutional Procedures and Guidelines
  3. Summary

Section 1: Policy Goals

  1. WNC bases the attainment of this goal on proactive and rational decisions and programming in any or all of the following areas:
    1. Planning, construction, renovation, maintenance and operation of all campus facilities, including the application of the LEED certification system to any future construction
    2. Development of policies and programs that promote the preservation of natural habitat that serves as the locations for all college service centers
    3. Promotion of the effective and efficient use of energy and water resources
    4. Promotion and enhancement of current and new college recycling initiatives
    5. Support the development and use of alternative transportation systems in the greater Carson City region
  2. This stance is based on the following NSHE Board of Regents Energy and Sustainability Policy (Board of Regents Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 10, Section 26, adopted in August 2006):
    1. The Board of Regents is committed to protecting the environment, reducing the Systems dependence on non-renewable energy sources, and promoting the construction, maintenance, and renovation of builds that are environmentally responsible, economically feasible and healthy spaces to work and live. Therefore, the Chancellor shall develop procedures and guidelines applicable to NSHE institutions that will address matters including, but not limited to:
      1. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green building rating system or an equivalent standard adopted by the director of the Office of Energy;
      2. Energy and water conservation including the minimized use of nonrenewable energy sources and the use of local renewable energy sources; and
      3. Alternative methods of transportation.

Section 2: Institutional Procedures and Guidelines

WNCs commitment to sustainability focuses on the following areas:

  1. Construction of New and Renovation of Existing Facilities
    1. New Construction Using the nationally recognized U.S. Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards, WNC commits that any new campus construction plans will include requirements that designers and contractors acquire points for adherence to renewable energy installations, use of recycled and/or local construction materials, and energy conservation designs. To ensure that the lifetime cost of new facilities is cost effective, construction of all new facilities at WNC shall be at least LEED Certified; the goal is to obtain LEED Silver or Gold certification when funding permits.
    2. Major (greater than 20,000 sq. ft.) Reconstruction and Renovation WNC commits to the application of LEED certification principles in all existing structure renovations and seeks to attain LEED-EB certification for construction when funding permits.
    3. In either of these areas, specific measures and strategies must be described in the projects programming phase. If it is determined that the project cannot meet the requirements of the policy, the reasons must be documented in the project program and presented to the college for review and concurrence prior to the schematic design phase.
  2. Energy Efficiencies WNC conducts an ongoing assessment of all energy use. As a result, the following activities and programs are in place:
    1. Gas and Electricity Currently involved in an energy retrofit project related to boilers/chillers in the Bristlecone building. This initiative will reduce electric/gas consumption to heat and cool the facility. This project also includes the replacement of antiquated equipment to further increase energy conservation. Completion is targeted by early 2009.
    2. Adherence to State Administrative Manual 1028.0 requirements and temperature settings for energy efficient state buildings
    3. HVAC DDC management for HVAC systems on all campuses; controls temperatures for all facilities based on time of day and occupancy
    4. Lighting replacement of all HID lighting in technology (automotive, welding, machine tool, construction, etc.) labs with T5HO florescent lighting; generates a 50% reduction in energy use over the HIDs; changed the ballasts in all fluorescent lights to electronic ballasts at all campus locations; these initiatives will continue as appropriate, and funding is available
    5. Water low flush urinals and toilets installed in all campus facilities; irrigation satellite controls installed to monitor the need for watering; related efforts will continue to reduce use of water
    6. Equipment and Appliance Replacement As equipment and appliances are replaced (either by purchase or donation), UL approved and EnergyStar rated replacements are required.
    7. HECC-SHECC (FY08) funding committed to roof preventative maintenance and weatherization including the installation of additional insulation.
  3. Purchasing of Goods and Services
    1. Textbooks (used) Working with the Follett Higher Education Group, WNC contracted campus store vendor, the college is committed to the buy-back and resale of used textbooks. We continue to work on increasing the sale of used textbooks (current percentage is 37% in comparison to the national rate of 32%) for the Follett Corporation.
    2. Other goods and services In cases where environmentally friendly products and services are available at or near cost-competitive rates, college purchasers will opt for the environmentally friendly product or service. The college also pursues involvement with organizations and corporations that actively support and apply sustainability principles to their daily operations (i.e., Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, Follett Higher Education Group, etc.).
  4. Transportation
    1. Jump Around Carson (JAC) Bus Service WNC works closely with the Carson City Transportation Services to promote and increase the accessibility to this relatively new service. This initiative includes the development and distribution of advertising materials, notices, and posters promoting use of the service, the development of a discounted pass program for students, as well as the sale of these passes on campus (i.e., in the WNC Bookstore). This service provides coverage to all of Carson City.
    2. Ride Sharing Car-pooling is promoted through individual class and curriculum groups.
    3. Bicycle racks Working with Muscle Power, a local not-for-profit health and wellness organization, the college promotes the installation of bicycle racks for use by all members of the community.
    4. Alternative Vehicles Facilities use of golf carts on both the Carson and Fallon campuses; motor pool has replaced old model motor vehicles with E85 vehicles; and as additional funds become available, hybrid vehicles will be purchased.
  5. Recycling
    1. WNCs recycling program focuses on regulated waste streams and is augmented by a contract with OARC, a not-for-profit group that provides skill development opportunities to individuals with disabilities. The colleges faculty and staff strongly support these initiatives.
    2. For example, the institution currently contracts with Waste Management, Inc. (Carson City) for the recycling of cardboard and printer paper. This effort also includes materials from the college bookstore and cafe.
    3. In addition, e-wastes (computers, monitors, printers, and other electronic equipment) are transported to Business Center North for disposal by University of Nevada Reno through their recycling program.
    4. Batteries are recycled through various local vendors based on type
    5. Environmental Health and Safety Services contracts with a vendor to recycle all toner and ink cartridges for reuse
    6. Industrial products, such as oils, solvents, antifreeze, and metals, are recycled through various local vendors
    7. Food products and wastes (cooking oil, glass, plastics, etc.) generated by the colleges dining operation (Sedway Cafe) are recycled through local vendors (Bently Biodiesel) or by the contracted vendor, and utilized for compost. Biodegradable food and beverage containers are also used in this operation.

Section 3: Summary

  1. There is consensus on campus that these efforts are not sufficient, and the college president charged the Academic and Administrative senates with responsibility for creation of a task force to enhance the colleges efforts. This group is developing a plan to expand the WNC recycling program to include newsprint, aluminum, plastic and other materials that are not currently recycled.

Date(s) Revised October 6, 2009; September 2, 2008; Date(s) Reviewed