Georgia College Green Fee

FY10 Fee Request

 

 

The GCSU Green Initiative and GCSU Environmental Science Club is requesting a $5 per semester Green Fee for FY10.   

 

There is currently no Green Fee on campus, but dozens of universities around the country have implemented this funding mechanism to generate revenues that can be applied toward making the campus more sustainable.  The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education <http://www.aashe.org/resources/mandatory_energy_fees.php> reports renewable energy fees ranging from $1 to $20 per semester.  The funds are used primarily to purchase or generate alternative energy and energy efficiency devices, but could also be applied for recycling, conservation, and sustainability programming.

 

Georgia College needs a Green Fee to create opportunities to improve energy efficiency, institute campus recycling, promote water conservation, provide for alternative transportation, develop sustainable design, and encourage environmental education.  Specifically, the funds would be used to:

 

 

 

Estimate of Fee Generation and Allocation

The proposed fee would generate $5 per student per semester, for a total of $60,000 for FY10.  In future years, allocation of the funds will be recommended a working group of the GCSU Green Initiative which would have majority student membership.  The proposal would then be submitted to the Student Fee Committee for their approval.  The cost requests below have been separated into ‘recoverable’ expenses, which means that funds allocated in those areas will save in other areas such as energy and transportation use, and ‘ongoing’ fees, which will add annual benefits to campus sustainability.

 

Purchase power meters and monitor systems $20,000 Recoverable
Enhance and promote water conservation $15,000 Recoverable
Implement campus-wide recycling program $15,000 Recoverable
Campus and community sustainability research $5,000 Ongoing
Environmental education campaigns $5,000 Ongoing
Total $60,000  

                     

 

Purchase power meters and monitor systems:  

The Board of Regents has developed a Sustainable Energy Management Plan that needs to be implemented at each institution.  One of the key parts of the plan is the careful monitoring of energy use, in order to develop benchmarks for conservation goals.  Unfortunately, most of the 88 buildings on GCSU campus are not currently monitored for energy use, and we have limited ability to regulate and report on energy use.  While this allocation is a small amount of what is needed, it is important to take steps to secure more funding and purchase additional monitoring equipment to help the university’s campus energy manager fulfil his job of reducing future energy expenditures.

 

Enhance and promote water conservation:  

The Georgia drought prompted Governor Purdue to mandate water use restrictions on all state universities.  GCSU was able to fulfil our conservation goals, but in the process we learned more about how much water we regularly use and where it is going.  There is a substantial need to improve water use efficiency in our landscaping and in the residence halls.  This funding request would provide for modernization of outdated water use devices and a program to continue the voluntary reductions in campus living quarters.

 

Implement campus-wide recycling program:  

Students from the university have expressed great interest in campus recycling.  The primary obstacle to implementation is funding.  This fee would provide for storage bins for recyclable materials, transportation and collection of the materials, and help create an arrangement for delivery to a purchaser.  Storage would include developing small deposit locations around campus as well as a central collection facility.  The funding would pay for works to pick up the materials from around campus and move the to the central facility.  Finally the funding would allow for large storage bins that can be delivered to a contractor and sold; revenue from this program should be dedicated to continuing to grow and promote recycling.  In addition, current charges for waste disposal could be renegotiated and reduced.

 

Campus and community sustainability research:  

Funds allocated to sustainability research initiatives would provide for student and faculty research funding.  This would support our mission to provide a teaching/learning environment, both inside and outside the classroom, that sustains instructional excellence, serves a diverse student body, and promotes high levels of student achievement.  Applications for research grants would be decided by the Green Fee working group of the GCSU Green Initiative.

 

Environmental education campaigns:  

One of the overall goals of the campus sustainability initiative is to promote environmental education, both to save money on expenses and to promote a commitment to a robust teaching/learning environment, serving both our student body and the community as a whole.  Funds in this category would be allocated to producing printed materials, web resources, and promotional items to encourage sustainability.

 

 

Summary

The GCSU Green Initiative and GCSU Environmental Science Club request a new student fee of $5/student/semester to fund campus sustainability projects.  It is important to note that the Green Fee is enormously popular with students.  At many universities around the country, the student body voted in green fees with up to 90% approval.  A survey is currently being conducted at GCSU to measure student support.

 

Each of these requests may end up saving students money in the long run, since GCSU spends so much money on energy, water, and waste delivery.  Current estimates for annual energy use, including West Campus, are over $2 million/year.  Spending a small amount of money to reduce an enormous amount of use makes sense economically and also rewards today’s environmentally conscientious students.  Future Green Fee allocations will be considered by a working group of the GCSU Green Initiative with majority student membership.