Bard College


Challenge Commitment
1.2Million Square Feet
Goals Progress
20%Reduction in Energy Intensity

Building on a 150-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College's mission has expanded across the country, around the world, and to meet broader student needs. Now, approximately 2,000 undergraduates study in Annandale and more than 200 graduate students study in Bard programs, plus nearly 1,000 students in their early colleges. Total enrollment for Bard College and its global affiliates is approximately 5,000 students. The undergraduate program at the main campus in the Hudson River Valley of upstate New York retains a reputation for scholarly excellence and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow's thought leaders.

To increase energy efficiency campus-wide, Bard has upgraded interior and exterior lighting to LED and high-efficiency fluorescent technology, insulated and airsealed building envelopes, added HVAC controls and automation, and replaced large equipment with more efficient models. The College has led the region by adopting geothermal heat-exchange technology in building construction practices, with all new construction since the mid-1990s incorporating the technology. Roughly 40% of the total building square footage on the Bard Campus utilizes geo-X for space heating and cooling. All new construction projects undergo technical review for energy efficiency via NYS Energy Research & Development Authority programs, with future goals of achieving a net-zero-energy status for all new buildings. Finally, Bard has completed several renewable energy projects totalling nearly 300 kWh in photovoltaics,plus a solar thermal hot water systems.  Projects for large-scale solar remote-net-metering and small-scale on-site hydro are also in planning.

President Botstein has committed the College to achieve campus-wide carbon-neutrality by 2035 through the Climate Commitment.  The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) has spurred the College to create a roadmap of measurable milestones to achieve its goals. Bard's 2016 Climate Action Plan outlines over a dozen strategies for reducing carbon emissions.