Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: Green Evolving Budget
Year Submitted 2011
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name Title
Robert Inglis
Rob MacCormack
Chris Milner
Michelle Strain
Perry Eldridge
Name of Institution Mount Allison University
Office Address 155 Main Street
Sackville, New Brunswick E4L 1B5
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Telephone: (506) 364-2448
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Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) David Stewart
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Vice President (Administration)
Office Address 65 York Street
Sackville, New Brunswick
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Telephone: (506) 364-2630
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Abstract

Mount Allison University has a strong tradition of innovation and leadership on environmental issues. On April 28, 2009, the University adopted a policy dealing with emission reductions (See http://www.mta.ca/administration/vp/policies/2101.htm).  An element of the policy was the creation of a financial mechanism enabling energy retrofit work to take place in an on-going fashion.  This mechanism is an evolving green budget to be used to pay for energy efficiency projects.  Simply put, the budget is created using the savings generated from such projects.  This requires us to evaluate the energy performance impacts for our projects throughout their implementation so that these impacts can be reported on project completion.  That way we can transfer the savings realized in our electricity, bunker or gas budgets to the Green Evolving Budget where they can be used to fund additional projects.  Projects implemented in fiscal year 2010 resulted in a $350,000 budget for additional projects in fiscal year 2011 which we expect to will permit a significant increase in the budget for fiscal year 2012.  This is a large amount for an institution with a total annual operating budget of only about $50 million.  This funding approach will facilitate ongoing efforts for continuous energy performance improvement permitting the University to demonstrate leadership by example and facilitating the University’s goal of reducing its emissions.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability

Due to the simplicity of the concept, a Green Evolving Budget could be introduced into the annual budget process of any institution. It would be important that the budget be supported by a policy similar to Mount Allison's Emission Reduction Policy. Such a policy provides continuity even when there is staff turnover and also imposes discipline so that the savings realized from emission reduction projects are spent on projects that will result in additional reductions in carbon emissions.

Quality Impact

The Green Evolving budget is allowing the University to move forward with both large and small projects that not only reduce our carbon footprint but allow our faculty and staff to be more productive. Within one year, projects in the heating plant significantly reduced our carbon footprint and reduced the amount of time our Facilities Management staff need to spend on annual boiler maintenance and refurbishment. This allows those staff to deal with other outstanding projects. A project to replace laboratory fridges and freezers in our science departments provided upgraded equipment at no cost to the researchers, improved cold temperature storage for those faculty and reduced overall University operating costs. Another benefit of this program is the increased awareness of staff, students, and faculty of energy related projects and the development of an atmosphere that promotes us working together to lower energy consumption.

Productivity Impact

Projects funded out of the Green Evolving Budget during fiscal years 2010 and 2011 are estimated to have saved more than 1% of our total operating fund budget, and to this point the actual savings have been greater than the estimated savings. In addition, the projects to date have increased significantly the productivity of our heating plant, and have improved the equipment used by our researchers without any cost to them.

Innovation

While universities have used cost savings to pay for specific energy retrofit projects, Mount Allison's approach mandates the creation of a dedicated, continuous budget that is available annually to complete additional projects. This budget is supported by a policy that also deals with performance indicators, accountability and targets. These facts demonstrate Mount Allison's long term continuous commitment to deal with environmental issues in a practical and sustainable fashion. While we will initially look for low hanging fruit to save energy in traditional ways, we anticipate also using the budget for green energy generation projects. In this way, the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral can become a reality.