Keeping the Sustainable Campus “Green”

College campuses and green tags are becoming a popular combination. Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) has purchased enough green tags from Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offset 100 percent of the annual electricity used at its administrative offices. This completes the institute’s commitment to renewable energy, and made them a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s program the Green Power Partnership.

Bainbridge Island, Washington – July 9, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Our purchase of Green Tags is a natural extension of our mission to teach sustainable business practices,” said Rick Bunch, executive director of BGI. “We want to set a standard not only for what we teach, but how we teach it, including a commitment to implementing sustainable business ‘best practices’ in our own operations. Buying renewable energy was our next logical step in reducing our overall environmental footprint.” Two of the institute’s classroom buildings were outfitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to help them meet their energy goals. Their retreat building on Cortes Island in British Columbia features solar heated showers, and is completely off the electric grid. The green tags purchase and the PV systems are also fitting since BGI offers a MBA in Sustainable Business. Administrators said the program preserves the rigor of a traditional MBA, while infusing corporate ethics, environmental sustainability and social responsibility throughout every course. Many BGI students are creating businesses related to alternative energy and green design and are learning about sustainable business practices from internationally known experts like Amory Lovins and John Ehrenfeld, as well as distinguished business school professors from across the country. “As an alternative energy consultancy my company inherently offers a ‘sustainable’ product. BGI’s MBA program is teaching me how to go beyond that to ensure that the business models and strategies I’m implementing in my company are also responsible and sustainable,” said Kevin Hagen, founder of Shuksan Energy Consulting, a renewable energy consulting firm that advised BGI on its renewable energy strategy and green power procurement.
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