Muhlenberg College is a private liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded in 1848, it has a rich history of providing high-quality education to students from diverse backgrounds. The college is known for its commitment to academic excellence, student-centered learning, and community engagement. It offers undergraduate programs in over 40 majors and minors, as well as graduate programs in education and public health.
In recent years, Muhlenberg College has made significant strides in its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainability. The college has embraced the concept of decarbonisation, which involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to renewable energy sources. This is in line with the college's mission to promote social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
One of the ways in which Muhlenberg College is achieving decarbonisation is through its corporate energy strategy. The college has implemented a comprehensive energy management program that includes energy efficiency measures, renewable energy projects, and the use of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs). The goal of this strategy is to reduce the college's reliance on fossil fuels and transition to cleaner energy sources.
Corporate PPAs are an innovative financing mechanism that allows organizations to purchase renewable energy directly from a developer. Muhlenberg College has entered into several corporate PPAs with local renewable energy developers, including a 20-year agreement with a solar energy company. Under this agreement, the college will purchase 100% of the energy generated by a 1.2 MW solar array, which will provide approximately 30% of the college's annual electricity needs. This project is expected to reduce the college's greenhouse gas emissions by over 1,000 metric tons per year.
In addition to corporate PPAs, Muhlenberg College has implemented several energy efficiency measures to reduce its energy consumption. The college has upgraded its lighting systems, installed energy-efficient HVAC systems, and implemented a building automation system to optimize energy use. These measures have resulted in significant energy savings and reduced the college's carbon footprint.
Muhlenberg College has also invested in renewable energy projects on its campus. The college has installed a 50 kW solar array on the roof of its science building, which provides approximately 10% of the building's electricity needs. The college has also installed a geothermal heating and cooling system in its new residence hall, which is expected to reduce energy consumption by over 50% compared to traditional heating and cooling systems.
In addition to its energy management program, Muhlenberg College has implemented several sustainability initiatives to promote environmental stewardship. The college has a comprehensive recycling program, a community garden, and a bike share program to encourage sustainable transportation. The college also hosts an annual sustainability summit, which brings together students, faculty, and community members to discuss sustainability issues and promote environmental awareness.
Overall, Muhlenberg College is a leader in the higher education sector when it comes to promoting sustainability and decarbonisation. The college's comprehensive energy management program, corporate PPAs, and renewable energy projects have resulted in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. The college's commitment to sustainability is not only good for the environment but also aligns with its mission to promote social responsibility and community engagement.