Humans will always have an impact on the earth, and our goal should be to responsibly discern our fair share of the natural resources we use to live. Concretely, we do this through deliberate energy use and supply. This can come in the form of changing collective and individual behaviors by installing less energy consuming technologies, by relying on natural sources of energy to meet our needs and by designing our built environments to more closely imitate how the natural world functions.
- Dining Services receives 95% of its products from vendors located within 200 miles of Messiah's Campus.
- By installing more energy-efficient lighting in Brubaker Auditorium, Hitchcock Arena and Lottie Nelson Dining Hall, Messiah College expects a significant cost savings and extended lamp lifetime.
- Five acres of sunflowers beautified the field adjacent to Orchard Hill for the summer months of 2011. The sunflowers, part of a pilot project called SunFLOWER POWER, are being harvested for their seeds, which will be pressed into high-quality cooking oil. The oil will be used in the College's dining operations, and then collected and converted into biodiesel to fuel campus utility vehicles.
- In 2011 Messiah College installed 112 solar thermal panels on the roofs of the three student residence halls that comprise North Complex. All the domestic hot water needs of these residences--totaling 113,000 square feet and nearly 500 students--will be met by this extensive, energy efficient solar collection system. This solar thermal system offsets greenhouse gases equivalent to planting 3,600 trees a year.
- In 2008, Messiah College received a $495,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant to develop biodiesel technology for small-scale production in central Pennsylvania. The College plans to equip a lab for research and testing the biodiesel production processes, processors, feedstocks and other ingredients. Through this research, the project hopes to increase local production of biodiesel, lower production costs, and improve fuel quality and reliability.
- With funding from the Sustainable Energy Fund of Southcentral Pennsylvania, a solar electric training facility was built on the southeast corner of Frey Academic Building in spring 2008. The structure serves as an educational lab for Messiah College students, as well as more than 7,500 elementary school children who visit the on-campus Oakes Museum of natural history each year. In addition to serving as an educational center, the solar structure’s four photovoltaic arrays generate three kilowatts of power, enough to offset the utility usage of a campus computer lab.
- Members of the department of campus safety bike patrol have logged more than 15,000 miles on their bike the past two years. That equates to more than 2,000 hours spend pedaling the hills of Messiah's Grantham campus.
- The Energy Group of the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research has a long history of promoting and using renewable and sustainable energy sources in various projects. The group has installed multiple solar-based electrical systems abroad, mostly for educational and medical institutions in rural Africa which would otherwise rely on costly diesel generators for electricity.
- In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint in 2009, Messiah added two hybrid vehicles to its fleet, one for the safety department and one for the president.
- Messiah’s engineering students have successfully developed and constructed solar-powered vehicles. In 1995, Messiah competed for the first-time with its solar car, Genesis, in Sunrayce, a national competition of solar-powered vehicles. For several years, Messiah made quite a showing at the Sunrayce and American Solar Challenge competitions, including a top-ten finish in 1999. In 2004 and 2005, Messiah’s engineering students built a solar-powered boat. A twin-hull catamaran style craft with a custom-built tracking solar array earned two top ten finishes in the Solar Splash competition in 2004 and 2005.
- The Messiah community was challenged to “Turn It Off” as part of a campaign to reduce energy usage on campus and lower electric bills in early 2010. The campaign encouraged turning out lights, taking shorter showers, and shutting down unused computers. The campuswide efforts resulted in a 1,194,217 KWH reduction in electricity usage from January to March 2010 compared to the same span of time in 2009.