Center for Sustainable Development
Ferrum College’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability is seen in the creation of the Center for Sustainable Development, the first of three such centers in the Institute for Integrative Learning. Student “learning by doing” is a primary goal of the Institute, which strives to integrate all disciplines and areas of the campus.
Much like what the Environmental Sciences program has been providing for its students for many years, this center provides the opportunity for students to work on problems and solutions in the areas of food, water and energy. The Center also seeks to broaden student understanding of and research into global initiatives with expanded travel, exchanges and international community events. Chief among the Center’s focus areas are recycling, food, water and energy. The Farm-to-Cafe program, composting of waste foods and researching new crops to increase farm income compose the primary work of the food area. Continuation of lake water quality management, water quality protection, rainwater harvesting and use, storm water management and source water protection are the chief fields of concentration in the water focus area. The energy focus area will examine and enhance renewable fuel options such as biomass, wind and biodiesel.
Additionally, continuing energy audits and weatherization in low-income communities, sub-metering campus buildings to examine energy conservation and cost reduction, and completion of an accounting of energy savings are key parts of the energy area. “We are seeing good progress in each of these areas and we have made this progress with the support of the administration. He notes that operations and academics working side by side is the catalyst that will provide experiences and problem solving for and by Ferrum students.