Working Together for a Sustainable Future
Our Upper School Sustainability Club, along with club advisors Seth O’Bryan, Lisa Barker, and Peter Hentschke collaborated with students from the University of Rochester’s “Global Sustainable Development: Policy and Practice” class to learn more about our school’s greenhouse gas footprint. These students, led by their instructor, Milena Novy-Marx P ’21, ’22, ’26, executive vice president of the Board of Trustees at Harley, worked to calculate our emissions, benchmark us against other similar schools, and provide recommendations for their class project.
By Karen Saludo
October 7, 2021
October 7, 2021
By Karen Saludo

They dove deeply into our data, including emissions from purchased gas and electricity, staff/student commuting, and other travel such as class trips, alumni visits, conferences and the like. Our students worked with them to gather data on student transportation between home and school; calculations that were an important component of the overall greenhouse gas emissions estimation.

Some of their recommendations included: joining the Green Schools Alliance, developing a sustainability plan with annual targets, adding an EV charging station, and purchasing carbon offsets from sources such as the RENEW Energy Fund in Rochester, which supports low-income communities by increasing their energy efficiency.

Sample Data from our Commons Builing
Total solar energy production in the Commons building by day, March 1-7.

What can 52.38 kWh be used for? Running 32 desktop computers for eight hours.

Solar production for 2020 Harley saved about $910 annually and reduced our carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 7,585.4 pounds.
Net Energy Use Example: On a typical summer day at Harley in The Commons (June 11, 2020). Between each hour of time in this range (11am–4pm), The Commons produced more energy than it used.

The line above each bar is the net energy used during the same time one year prior. Note the times in the middle of the day, during shoulder seasons and the summer, when we produce more energy than we use.