The Sustainable Initiatives Fund provides capital for special projects conducted by the Physical Plant that reduce the college’s environmental impact. The fund also supports approved community-led sustainability projects, which may lack monetary savings but are in clear alignment with Champlain College’s sustainability objectives.

The mission of the Champlain College Sustainable Initiatives Fund (SIF) is to encourage environmentally sound technologies and practices on Champlain’s campus. The SIF will finance innovative projects that reduce the College’s environmental impact; improve the educational environment; and engage students, staff, faculty, and administrators in the decision-making and implementation process. The fund will further the broader academic mission of the College while helping it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and embody the college’s 2030 Strategic Plan.

The fund functions as an independent fiscal entity managed by a committee of Champlain community members. This structure will provide substantial cost-savings over time, while offering opportunities for engagement and hands-on learning for the entire Champlain community.

    • Foster environmentally sound technologies and practices on Champlain’s campus.
    • Empower students, staff, faculty and administrators with opportunities to move the College toward sustainability and carbon neutrality.
    • Ensure that beneficial and profitable green projects do not go unfunded due to capital constraints.
    • Buffer Champlain’s budget against rising energy prices.
    • Transform Champlain into a national leader in sustainable practices and demonstrate that sustainability can be financially viable.
  • The fund will be managed by a the SIF committee including:

    • Director of Operations
    • Sustainability Coordinator
    • Budget Director, or representative of Finance Office
    • Representative of Advancement Office
    • At least two (2) faculty and/or staff members
    • At least two (2) students
  • Project Criteria

    The Sustainable Initiatives Fund Committee will evaluate proposed community projects on the following criteria:

    • Promotes awareness and understanding of sustainability in education, campus culture, and behavior
    • Reduces Champlain’s environmental impact, directly or indirectly
    • Encourages student participation, learning, and leadership
    • Engages members of the Champlain community
    • Uses funding cost-effectively

    Have an idea for a project? Email us the idea and we’ll give you feedback on how best to proceed.

    Proposal Form: Student/Campus Community Member
    Proposals for projects are due November 1 and March 1.

    Physical Plant energy efficiency projects should meet the following criteria:

    • Produces financial savings that will pay for the initial cost of the project within five to ten years; shorter payback periods are preferred
    • Quantifiably improves the environmental sustainability of Champlain College (e.g. improved energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and waste reduction)
    • Uses loan funding cost-effectively as measured by the environmental impact reduction per dollar

Funded Projects

Project Leader Description
Biophilia in the Classroom: Mobile Plant Wall Julia Burrell, ’23 For Julia’s capstone project, she researched the benefits of having living plants in the learning environment. This mobile wall will move between classrooms and bring greenery to many spaces on campus. – Spring 2023
Dublin Polytunnel Greenhouse Stephen Robinson Purchased a polytunnel greenhouse that was installed in the Fall of 2022 in the backyard of the Academic Centre. This will be used to grow produce for student consumption and be a great educational piece of campus. In the Spring of 2023, additional funding was given to purchase tools, soil, plants, etc. – 2022-2023
Indoor Air Quality Analytics Kylie King, SSB Purchased several monitors to conduct indoor air quality measurements with Business Analytics course. Students designed experiment and evaluated over the semester. – Spring 2022
Hydro-Pi-Nics Sam Johnson ’22 & Connor Merchant ’22 Supplies to set up a small hydroponic vegetable growing system controlled and monitored by Internet of Things (IoT) systems as part of their ITS Capstone project. – Spring 2022
Aquaponics: Ecological Elucidation Kyle Harrison ’22 ENP Supplies to set up a Aquaponics system as part of his ENP Capstone Project. – Spring 2022
Submeter for President’s House Facilities A pilot to submeter electricity at the President’s house, which is currently tied to an account with several buildings. – Spring 2021
Compost Design Challenge Prize Robin Collins/Cecilia Pohlar Prize for design challenge related to upcoming compost changes. – Spring 2021
Electric Leaf Blower cost sharing Lisa Martinez / Physical Plant Covered 50% of two electric leaf blowers (responding to new City of Burlington ordinance banning gas powered leaf blowers). – Spring 2021
Summit Hall, 396 Main Street, Rowell Hall Lighting upgrades Tim Van Woert A one-for-one lighting retrofit, installing LED bulbs in three residence halls. – Spring 2021
Pollinator Garden and Apiary directional signage Champlain Apiary & Campus Planning In effort to draw more awareness to the pollinator gardens and apiary behind Perry Hall, directional signage will be added to the way finding signage in front of Perry Hall. – Summer 2021
Laundry Drying Racks for Res Halls Physical Plant / Sustain Champlain In collaboration with Burlington Electric Department, this is a pilot project to see if we can inspire behavioral change in how students dry their clothes. We will be analyzing usage data pre- and post-rack installment to see if there has been a shift.  Racks were put in ten res halls. – August 2020
Supported travel to promote and attend Project Green Challenge Finals Hansel Carter IV ’20 Hansel was invited to attend the Project Green Challenge finals as a return guest to create a reflective film about the event. – November 2019
Community Garden Fence Community Garden Members Installed a permanent fence around the garden, to help keep critters out. – May 2017
Paper Towel Composting Decals at Lakeside Lakeside Staff members Paid for design and creation of decals for waste bins in Lakeside bathrooms (x6); worked with custodial team to have paper towels composted. – March 2017
Lyman Hall Lighting Retrofit Physical Plants Staff Upgraded all lighting to LED bulbs & fixtures. – Summer 2017
Pollinator Garden near College Apiary Corinne Novetti’s Environmental Science Class Planted flower bulbs and other pollinator-friendly plants along the walkway near the College Apiary, next to Perry Barn. – Fall 2017
Computer Lab Energy Monitoring Project Physical Plant / Burlington Electric Department To test energy monitoring equipment (SRLink) in a Champlain College computer lab to: a) Understand the full extent of the power needs of varying types of computer labs – when in use and when idle; b) Seek energy saving solutions that may be programmatic in nature. – Summer 2016-2017
MIC Ground Floor Lighting Retrofit Physical Plant Upgraded all lighting to LED bulbs & fixtures – Summer 2016
Bee-Aware Campaign Champlain College Publishing Initiative Funding for posters, brochures, film night – 2015-2016
ChampShop Transportation Office Funding for tools and basic bike mechanic room set up – Fall 2015
Apiary Viewing Window & Interpretive Sign Kristin Wolf/Apiary team Funding for new window and interpretive sign design and printing – Summer 2015
Jensen Hall Lighting Retrofit Physical Plant Upgraded all lighting to LED bulbs & fixtures – Summer 2015
Anti Idling Campaign Robin Collins’ Environmental Science class Funding for awareness campaign, including keychains and signs. Read more about this project here.  – 2014-2015