1,779,667 ft2

Square footage

$206,450

Total investment

$418,305

Total savings

1–10%

Waste reduction in all residence halls

Opportunity

Kent State University was looking to reduce their operating costs—and their carbon footprint. As such a large institution with several satellite campuses, it was natural to talk to the people who could make the biggest difference: the students.

Solution

We implemented the Green Apple Project (GAP), which affords an amazing opportunity to reduce energy waste across every campus, all without installing any new equipment. We engaged students with active learning, including a campus-wide energy conservation competition.

Energy usage is displayed on an Energy Dashboard that is integrated into the University’s website, so students can view the utility costs and the impact on the environment of each dormitory’s energy consumption. Each fall semester, Residence Services hosts the annual “Do it in the Dark” energy reduction competition, in which residence halls compete to reduce electricity over a two-week period.

Results

By grounding the idea of waste in terms that are easy to understand, the program has an immediate impact—but the effects of a culture change will be long-lasting. Our program at Kent State has delivered 1-10% waste reduction in all residence halls, alongside a total energy savings of over $400,000.