Campus Sustainability Plan

Project Overview

Our campus sustainability plan project provides staff support to the VLS Campus Sustainability Committee. On November 26th, 2012 Vermont Law School President and Dean, Marc Mihaly signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. As a signatory of this commitment, Vermont Law School is now taking necessary steps to implement a comprehensive plan towards climate neutrality. To develop this plan, Dean Mihaly has established a Campus Sustainability Committee and retained the Institute for Energy and the Environment to assist the committee in developing the Law School’s first Campus Sustainability Plan. In addition to providing support to the committee an IEE faculty member and a student research associate are members of the committee, along with representatives from Buildings and Grounds, the Campus Greening Committee, and the Office for Institutional Advancement. The committee has developed procedures for the VLS Green Revolving Loan Fund and approved building efficiency, solar energy, and electric vehicle charging projects which are all at various stages of implementation.

Campus Sustainability Plan Progress

The Campus Sustainability Plan will include several components:

  1. A greenhouse gas emissions inventory from the past two years, setting a baseline for future improvements.
  2. Short term and long term initiatives to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. A target date and anticipated milestones to become climate neutral.

As initial steps in developing the Campus Sustainability Plan, the Campus Sustainability Committee has:

  1. Developed a greenhouse gas inventory report;
  2. Assisted in the establishment of a Green Revolving Fund and adopted procedures to guide the fund;
  3. Created an initial project list and recommended projects for funding;
  4. Initiated the first project under the Green Revolving Loan Fund, including a 9.2 kW solar array and electric vehicle charging station.
  5. Held a campus sustainability forum to seek broad input from the student body and promote awareness of the ongoing processes.
  6. Developing a draft of our first campus sustainability plan.

Current generation from our campus solar projects:

  1. 500 kW Tunbridge Solar Array data available here.
  2. 9 KW Array at campus entrance (no data available).
  3. 23 KW Array on campus fitness center data available here.

VLS Green Revolving Loan Fund

The VLS Green Revolving Fund has been established with an anonymous donation of $200,000, as well as, a $50,000 contribution from the Vermont Law School Board of Trustees. This initial fund balance of $250,000 has significantly advanced campus sustainability planning efforts and facilitates implementation of numerous near term campus sustainability projects. A current accounting of project status and fund balance can be found here.

The VLS community can submit ideas for GRLF funding by downloading Project Proposal Form.

earth day April 22, 2016

As part of the Vermont Law School Earth Day celebration on Friday, April 22, 2016 Dean Mihaly, with about 50 members of the VLS community in attendance, cut the ribbon on the VLS 500 kW solar array which is just down the road from the VLS campus. Aaron Kelly of Tunbridge Solar (MERL '16) the developer of the array speaks about the benefits of going solar.

Tunbridge Solar 500 kW Solar Array in Royalton, Vermont providing over 50% of Vermont Law School's electricity needs from local solar energy.