Sustainability

Congratulations to the winners of the 7th Annual Sustainability Project Competition!

1st Year:

Starting Sustainability Early:  Teaching Elementary Students the Importance and Practice of Water Sustainability; Lenna Quackenbush, Evelyn Grainger, Sienna Mayer

Advisors:  Elisabeth Stoddard, Darren Rosbach, Rodney Rookey

Undergraduate:

Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Sustainable and Secure Drinking Water in Rural Guatemala; Nikos Kalaitzidis, Amanda Gatz, Tom Moutinho, Karen Orton, Pabitra Saikee

Advisors:  Pat Austin, Laureen Elgert, Creighton Peet

Graduate:

Corrosion Mitigation of Reinforcing Steel in Concrete via Lightweight Aggregate and a Bioactive Agent; Hajar Jafferji

Advisor:  Aaron Sakulich

The Sustainability Project Competition, held yearly as part of WPI’s EarthFest activities, assembles students who have researched sustainability-themed topics to compete in three categories:  1st Year, Undergraduate, and Graduate projects.  This competition is sponsored by the WPI Task Force on Sustainability and the Environmental  & Sustainability Studies Program.

7th Annual Sustainability Poster Competition Photos

  • 1st Year: Starting Sustainability Early: Teaching Elementary Students the Importance and Practice of Water Sustainability

  • Undergraduate: Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Sustainable and Secure Drinking Water in Rural Guatemala

  • Graduate: Corrosion Mitigation of Reinforcing Steel in Concrete via Lightweight Aggregate and a Bioactive Agent

Congratulations to SynergE Worcester's Showcase Award Winners!

At National Grid's Sustainability Hub on April 28th, SynergE Worcester held an event to showcase the energy and sustainability committments, projects and community engagement of this partnership between WPI, Clark University, and the College of the Holy Cross. Awards were presented to a staff member and a student or student group from each of the three colleges.  Congratulations to WPI's Student Green Team for winning the student recognition and to Rob Krueger, Director of the Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program, for winning the staff award! 

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is an integrated, three-part approach for achieving the goals of environmental preservation, social justice, and economic prosperity for all members of society. WPI is proudly engaged in each of these areas through our learning, research, service, and administrative operations. WPI seeks to foster a community that produces innovative ideas and practical solutions to the complex problems associated with each component of sustainability.

WPI's Sustainability Planning Process

The WPI Task Force on Sustainability was created to provide leadership and coordination for WPI's campus-wide efforts directed toward enhancing the long-term sustainability of WPI's activities and in supporting WPI's educational mission with regard to sustainability.

Beginning in Spring of 2012, the WPI Task Force on Sustainability launched a new initiative for a Campus Sustainability Plan. This plan has a broad scope and deep implications for the WPI community. It is not so narrow as a Climate Action Plan addressing carbon emissions, or a committment to social justice, or an energy efficiency charge to renovate the campus, but a document enveloping all these aspects. A planning process this wide-reaching has not been done in many other institutions, and will most certainly prove a model for others in the years to come. The effects of this planning process will dictate the development of the physical campus, the academic and research implications of its population, and the interaction with the surrounding community for years to come.

Statement of Principles

Climate Protection

Global climate change can be attributed directly to greenhouse gas emissions, which result from the burning of fossil fuels. WPI is committed to better understanding the significant social and environmental impacts of its energy consumption. To become more sustainable, the University seeks to reduce its dependence upon non-renewable energy sources and move towards utilization of renewable sources, in addition to reducing energy demand. Members of the WPI community are responsible for fully participating in efforts to minimize the campus-wide consumption of energy, as well as motivating the institution's choices about climate change action. 

Equality and Justice

WPI students and faculty seek to promote social, economic and environmental justice.  On campus, seminars, teach-ins, and lectures provide engaging settings for our community to learn and appreciate the diversity of our campus community and beyond.  WPI is committed to making our campus a community that celebrates humanity without regard to race, class, gender, religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

Through our campus activities, learning, and project center experiences we seek to ensure that all people are afforded justice and have the opportunity to achieve economic, environmental, and social well-being. Teams of faculty and students have sought, obtained and conducted funded research that supports everyone's right to enjoy the benefits of clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment at home, at work, and at play. For example, some global project center teams have developed knowledge and information streams so that Namibians living in informal settlements could develop businesses fueled by renewable energy, while others worked with Thai hilltop neighborhoods to promote the preservation of clean drinking water and other public health issues. At home in Worcester, WPI project center teams have provided knowledge and skills to immigrant communities to promote small business ventures.

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