SynergE Worcester was founded on the principle that the greatest sustainability advancements can be achieved through collaboration. The initiative’s three colleges and two strategic partners aim to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions among the colleges through energy efficiency installations, metering, building operator training, and behavior change. The initiative also supports the advancement of sustainability education through provision of learning opportunities for students, faculty, administration, and other stakeholders. The unique synergies created between the colleges and their strategic partners will serve to enhance, complement, and spotlight existing sustainability programming on each campus.
At its foundation, the initiative is built on a commissioning process designed to optimize its value to the partner colleges. In the first years, the process focuses on buildings most likely to yield significant savings; addressing these early opportunities will enable development and analysis of energy efficiency projects requiring larger capital investment that will provide more significant reductions in the longer term. Through the support of the measurement and verification pillar, future development will be informed by in-depth data garnered from submetering infrastructure, protocols, and baselines.
Triple Bottom Line Evaluation
In the near term, the largest buildings, accounting for at least half of campus energy use, will be fitted with energy metering infrastructure. Through the financial and experiential support of National Grid and GreenerU, the SynergE initiative will develop measurement and verification protocols and baselines that benefit from the collaborative nature of the project. Open resource development and sharing is enabled and driven by the Tri-Campus Sustainability Council.
The initiative leverages the combined resources of the partner institutions to offer cooperative trainings, programs, expertise, and more. The tri-campus engagement and behavior efforts are guided by the Tri-Campus Sustainability Leadership Council, which convenes experts and diverse campus stakeholders to share best practices, develop joint tools, and implement multi-campus projects.
Education, Engagement, and Behavior Change
Campus engagement is a centerpiece of the SynergE Worcester initiative. By increasing the campus’s community awareness of each institution’s sustainability initiatives and implementing new and easy ways for community members to integrate sustainability practices in their daily lives on campus, we can achieve greater savings in energy, water, and other resources. Joint engagement projects and campus-specific initiatives are designed to reflect the values and opportunities unique to each campus as well as complement infrastructure projects to achieve deeper emissions reductions and financial benefits.