• Sustainability Scholars

    Sustainability Scholars address critical sustainability issues through real-world, immersive summer projects. Working anywhere from skyscrapers in Charlotte to community gardens in food deserts, students integrate problem-solving skills through a wide range of community-based projects. Students also live cooperatively in the Eco-House, attend weekly reflection meetings, and participate in enrichment workshops lead by sustainability practitioners.

    Emma Parks '14
  • Harnessing the Sun

    Two arrays of solar panels—one featuring 64 solar thermal collector panels, and another featuring 378 photovoltaic (PV) panels—are installed on the roof of Baker Sports Complex. The thermal panels provide energy to heat the showers and Cannon Pool, and the PV panels supply electricity for the building.

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  • Kudzu vs. Goats

    The cure for kudzu? It may be the common goat. Thirty of the persistent ruminants have spent time on campus, the latest weapon in Davidson's efforts to curtail a 3.5-acre stand of kudzu on the cross-country trails. The initiative—completely sustainable!—was the brainchild of Rebecca McKee '14, who suggested the college adopt "goatscaping" after seeing it work at her high school.

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  • Campus Laundry Goes Green

    The campus laundry has eliminated phosphate products, uses eco-friendly detergents and has replaced chlorine bleach with active oxygen bleach. The laundry stopped returning clothes in paper; instead, each student now receives a reusable canvas bag.

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Commitment to Sustainability

Following our values of leadership and service, Davidson College commits to making every effort to operate sustainably and to educate students, faculty, and staff on the importance of sustainability. The Davidson Sustainability Office works to develop and implement policies and programs that support the triple bottom line interpretation of sustainability: ecological integrity, economic prosperity, and social equity.

The triple bottom line approach is used to assist college offices, departments, and groups across campus in achieving their goals. The Sustainability Office strategically works to bridge efforts by students, faculty, staff, and the greater community, supporting collaborative and innovative approaches for exploring sustainability issues in course work, student-faculty research, campus life, community service, and internships.

Commitments

  • Being a signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, by which we pledge to reduce the college's carbon footprint in specific, measurable ways set forth in a Climate Action Plan
  • Installing 378 solar photovoltaic panels and 64 solar thermal panels on the Baker Sports Complex
  • Offering a summer Sustainability Scholars program that places students with community partners in the private, non-profit, and government sectors
  • Building a sustainable food system through Dining Services, the Davidson Farm, and Physical Plant's on-campus composting services
  • Working to understand and positively impact social justice issues through food-access and environmental justice internships
  • Supporting the work of individual students and student groups such as the Environmental Action Coalition, FreeWord, Food Club, Patterson Court Sustainability Council, and more
  • Connecting with and supporting Davidson College alumni with an interest in sustainability

Academics

The Environmental Studies program offers both a major and an interdisciplinary minor. The major provides overview courses, breadth and depth components, and a capstone project in the senior year. The interdisciplinary minor provides a broad exposure to a range of environmental issues. Students can apply for an alumni-funded green grant, participate in the Sustainability Scholars program, design a study abroad research topic centered on sustainable issues, and collaborate with faculty on sustainable research projects.

Student Involvement

Student involvement inspires and informs sustainability initiatives, programs, and policies on campus. Student engagement is the strongest asset in positive change efforts at the college. Student organizations not only encourage collaboration on broad environmental and social justice issues, but they also host events and workshops, and foster sustainability on campus and in the greater community. Established student organizations focused on sustainability include the Environmental Action Coalition, Food Club, EcoTeam, and the Responsible Consumption Working Group.

Internships & Work Study

Two interns each semester focus on environmental justice in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. These interns collaborate with the sustainability fellow to establish a semester project that bridges the gap between social justice and sustainability. Any students who qualify for federal work-study can ask to be placed with the Sustainability Office. These students manage social media and communications, analyze energy and water data, create educational materials, and manage their own creative projects.