Keene State College is pledging to run its heat plant completely off biofuels, rather than heating oil, in less than two years. In that same window, it will look to cut per capita electric, heat and water use by 20 percent.
Those are among a number of new sustainability goals the college is announcing this week.
By 2030, the school is also pledging to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by half over current levels, as well as divert upwards of 90 percent of its waste.
Interim President Melinda Treadwell said Keene State sees a niche for itself as a leader in sustainability, both in its own operations and infrastructure, and in its academic offerings. She’s hoping that identity will help attract students in years to come. “It’s a very purposeful effort,” she said. “It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also going to make a difference I think for our enrollment cycling.”
Keene State was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education last year for efforts to reduce its environmental impact.
Many of the goals being formally announced this week, including the fuel conversion of the school’s heat plant, have been in the works for years. "It wasn't easy,” Treadwell said, referring to the engineering challenges of making this shift. “The fact that Keene State is getting this aggressive makes me very proud."