Sustainability at EA

Through a wide range of programmatic innovations and facilities improvements, The Episcopal Academy has made tremendous progress in becoming a more sustainable school. As a community, Episcopal embraces environmental sustainability as a natural extension of its motto, Esse Quam Videri: to be rather than to seem to be.

Episcopal has a varied approach to sustainability, including many sustainability-focused accomplishments and activities. The school is proud of its efforts to date and always strives to become an even better steward of the environment through new projects, courses, and campaigns.

Academics

Sustainability is fully integrated into the core curriculum across the Lower, Middle, and Upper School:

  • Mr. Bayer, superintendent of grounds and certified arborist and horticulturalist, regularly joins Lower School classes to teach students about our sustainable landscape, introduce them to the community garden, and plant trees on campus.
  • Seventh graders taking environmental science learn about carbon footprints and analyze their own environmental impact.
  • The Upper School offers an AP Environmental Science, and several courses in EA's groundbreaking interdisciplinary program, JTerm, address sustainability issues in a hands-on way.
  • Community service projects and visiting conservation experts expose students to a host of both regional and national environmental, social, and economic needs.

Facilities

We continually improve our infrastructure to make facilities more efficient, comfortable, and safe.

  • Green Roofs: We currently have six separate green roofs the Academic Building.These roofs have been incorporated into multidisciplinary use for science, art, and English. As the roofs become more established, we intend to utilize clippings from existing roofs to create new ones on campus.These projects were the result of a student initiative.
  • New Construction: All new construction meets LEED standards. The Lowry House and the house adjacent both were built to LEED standards. The buildings' many green features include, but are not limited to: geo-thermal heating, solar thermal heating, FSC certified lumber, locally sourced drywall, insulated concrete form foundation walls low/no VOC finishes. We have also retrofitted many lights from fluorescent to LED.
  • Lower School: The Lower School roof is home to 24 photovoltaic panels, which help offset electricity consumption.Their energy reduction can be monitored on a display in the School.
  • Waste and Recycling: EA participates in single stream recycling: paper, plastic containers, and metal can be co-mingled in all recycling bins.
  • Water Conservation: EA faucets, shower heads, toilets, and urinals are all low-flow. The school is transitioning to "touchless" faucets. Irrigation for the grounds is supplied mainly with storm and well water.

Energy

Recent projects have achieved major reductions in energy use:

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory: A greenhouse gas inventory conducted in 2011 provided a baseline for monitoring all carbon emissions that are generated by EA in any capacity. The study looked at utility consumption, vehicular usage, commuting patterns, and even off-campus travel. EA baselined our carbon output and used this to benchmark ourselves against similar institutions. Going forward, EA's students will join the process, update the data annually, and perform analytics.
  • Intelligent Controls and Automation: Our campus is outfitted with a fully integrated building automation system - temperature set points are programmed for virtually every space. Protocols exist for overnight and weekend set backs, as well as holiday curtailment. Motion sensors have been installed where appropriate.

Food Services

At EA, students and faculty value eating local and wasting little:
  • Local Sourcing of Food: Much of the food sold and produced in our Dining Hall has been sourced locally. EA produce is purchased from Common Market Philadelphia, which aggregates 75 local sources of produce and delivers to local schools.
  • Composting: A composter was installed on campus in fall 2012. All prepared food waste that is compostable is combined with grass clippings and, through a 100% organic process, produces mulch that is utilized around campus. This project was the direct result of a student initiated process.
  • Elimination of To Go containers: EA has recently eliminated all to-go containers in the Dining Hall. In prior years, as many as 25,000 containers were used annually. By eliminating these containers, we significantly reduce EA's landfill waste.

Technology

Strategies to improve efficiency and reduce waste extend to campus technology. Episcopal's tech department manages good practices for reusing and recycling electronic waste on campus.

Land

In spring 2013, The Episcopal Academy hired a leading expert to perform a full sustainability assessment. Out of the report that was issued, we have begun to develop a sustainability master plan. This plan will provide the roadmap for future growth in all areas that impact EA's sustainable future.

Through a wide range of programmatic innovations and facilities improvements, The Episcopal Academy has made tremendous progress in becoming a more sustainable school. As a community, Episcopal embraces environmental sustainability as a natural extension of its motto, Esse Quam Videri: to be rather than to seem to be.

Episcopal has a varied approach to sustainability, including many sustainability-focused accomplishments and activities. The school is proud of its efforts to date and always strives to become an even better steward of the environment through new projects, courses, and campaigns.

Please contact Director of Operations Mark Notaro with any questions or ideas: .

Episcopal's scenic, 123-acre campus provides the perfect backdrop to explore sustainability:
  • Doolittle Greenhouse: The Doolittle Greenhouse is attached to the rear of the Hill Science Center. The greenhouse allows faculty and students to propogate and grow plants which are studied and ultimately distributed to faculty and staff at the end of each school year.
  • Natural Lands Trust Study: In 2010, we commissioned the Natural Lands Trust to evaluate our meadows and natural landscaping. Upon their recommendation, we have begun a natural land management program that involves removing invasive species and replacing them with native plantings. This study also provided us with a plan for the areas on the adjacent property that we currently maintain as the cross country course.
  • The Sid Buck Community Garden: As we moved to our campus in 2008, we dedicated a small parcel of land adjacent to the Lower School parking to as a community garden. This space has grown from a few planter boxes to a thriving operation that produces an abundance of produce that is used on campus and donated to local food pantries. The garden is a regular part of the early childhood curriculum with regular visits from Pre-K through second grade.
  • Sustainable Landscape: Campus Horticulturalist Joe Bayer has been carefully repairing damage done by landscapers hired for the campus build in 2008. He is introducing native species, working to remove invasive species, cultivating native meadows, and using organic fertilizers where possible.

In spring 2013, The Episcopal Academy hired a leading expert to perform a full sustainability assessment. Out of the report that was issued, we have begun to develop a sustainability master plan. This plan will provide the roadmap for future growth in all areas that impact EA's sustainable future.

Through a wide range of programmatic innovations and facilities improvements, The Episcopal Academy has made tremendous progress in becoming a more sustainable school. As a community, Episcopal embraces environmental sustainability as a natural extension of its motto, Esse Quam Videri: to be rather than to seem to be.

Episcopal has a varied approach to sustainability, including many sustainability-focused accomplishments and activities. The school is proud of its efforts to date and always strives to become an even better steward of the environment through new projects, courses, and campaigns.

Please contact Director of Operations Mark Notaro with any questions or ideas: .

Learn More

Learn more about EA's commitment to sustainability by contacting Director of Operations Mark Notaro:

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