Energy consumption is a major source of carbon emissions on campus, so reducing energy consumption is one of the most important things W&M can do to shrink its carbon footprint. The topics of energy consumption, water usage and greenhouse gases provide many areas for student driven research. Physics students have installed solar panels , students have studied green roof technology for reducing runoff during rainstorms, and students have helped compile greenhouse gas emissions reports for the College.
The Office of Facilities Management has worked to upgrade HVAC systems, change outdoor lighting to more efficient LED lights and monitor energy usage closely, among other initiatives. Many of these projects have been made possible through Green Fees grants from the Committee on Sustainability. Check out the YouTube video below to follow Dan Patterson, the College's Energy Manager, around campus as he describes several energy projects made possible by the Student Green Fee. The video was made by our Environmental Filmmaker-in-Residence Jes Therkelsen and his students.
Read the 2012 Greenhouse Gas Emissions report, compiled by students on the COS Science and Technical Advisory Subcommittee, here (pdf).