Blue plus gold equals green — a great tagline and, more importantly, the goal of the Green Committee and St. Paul’s. Believing our goal of supporting greater sustainability could only be achieved by developing plans and programs that are themselves sustainable, the Committee has moved thoughtfully and strategically to change how we live and how we impact our environment.
In the first two years of the committee’s existence, members began interviewing environmental experts, visiting other schools, and conducting research on a wide range of possible initiatives.
Key achievements included establishing a school-wide program of paper, plastics, and aluminum recycling, along with recycling of laser and inkjet cartridges from printers and copiers, cell phones, scrap metal, and fluorescent light bulbs. Lower School students planted a rain garden on the campus, Middle School students visited the Baltimore County Resource Recovery Facility in Cockeysville and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Upper School Environmental Awareness Club was active in collecting recyclable materials from the Lower School and cleaning up the Deep Run between Falls Road and the Jones Falls.
St. Paul’s joined the Green Schools Alliance in June 2009, at the Climate Steward Level of commitment. To date, the School has taken the following additional steps to fulfill this commitment:
Energy Usage Reduction: Beginning in fall 2008 the School undertook an energy audit to benchmark its use of electricity, heating oil, and natural gas and began a focused effort to reduce consumption.
Waste Reduction and Recycling: The School has implemented, in coordination with St. Paul’s School for Girls, a campus-wide recycling and waste reduction effort.
Green Architecture: In fall 2010, Fisher Hall, the School’s first “green” building, came online. The Building, which combines a library, student commons, classrooms, and faculty offices for the Upper School, was awarded LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2011. The U.S. Green Building Council Maryland presented Fisher Hall with its award for Innovation in Greening Schools at its annual WinterGreen Awards program in 2012.
Environmental Leadership Recognition: In 2010, a group of current and former Trustees, led by two former Board Presidents, pledged $300,000 to create a the St. Paul’s Environmental Stewardship Endowment to provide annual awards to faculty, students, and administrators who provide exceptional leadership on environmental issues.
In recognition of his tireless efforts to promote environmental sustainability, Middle School Science teacher Howdy Knipp was named the inaugural recipient of the Catherine L. McAuliffe Environmental Leadership Award on Earth Day 2011. Upper School Science teacher Edward Brady and Middle School Woodworking teacher Doug Finkel were presented the award in subsequent years.
Curriculum and Student Activities: At the classroom level, the list of courses, projects, and activities focusing on the environment is truly too long to list in full. From the start, the School has embraced the idea that the greatest long-term impact it can have on the environment is through the attitudes and behaviors of the roughly 750 students educated on our campus each year.
I hope you will support the Committee’s efforts through your actions and by sharing your ideas and suggestions. We all need to do our part for our efforts to be successful.
Thomas J. Reid