Renowned Energy Expert Amory Lovins Honored at PSU’s Fall Convocation

September 2nd, 2009 by Adam
PSU Fall Convocation 2009
PSU Fall Convocation 2009
PSU Fall Convocation 2009
PSU Fall Convocation 2009

PLYMOUTH, N.H.- Prominent energy efficiency expert Amory B. Lovins was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree Tuesday, Sept. 1 by Plymouth State University at its Fall Convocation welcoming the Class of 2013. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen told the incoming class they have joined an active learning community.

“PSU is a place that believes in people and their potential, and in ideas and engagement,” Steen said. “That is part of what it means to be a learner, to engage with others in talking about ideas, honoring past ideas and developing new ideas that may transform the world.”

Time magazine named Lovins, chairman and chief scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, one of 2009’s 100 most influential people in the world. And Newsweek magazine called him “one of the Western world’s most influential energy thinkers

Lovins told the first-year students that they can help make the world a better place, but they must have hope and motivation to make new ideas work.

“Applied hope is a deliberate choice,” said Lovins. “Imagine a world where we just don’t know more – we also know better; where overspecialization and reductionism have gone from vitally fashionable to unaffordably foolish; where vision across boundaries triumphs, simply because it works better and costs less. And now imagine the power of all of us, together, to make it so.”

USNH Board of Trustees Chairman Edward C. Dupont said Lovins’s expertise and foresight in energy efficiency are an inspiration.

“We recognize your creativity and ingenuity, your love of science, your scholarship, your commitment to making the world a better place to live and your service to humanity,” DuPont said.

Lovins is also a MacArthur Fellowship recipient (1993), and author and co-author of dozens of books on energy efficiency, renewable energy, resources, climate, security, business, and other topics.

Lovins has an unparalleled record of planning for the efficient use of diverse and renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, biofuels, and geothermal. He has led the redesign of over $30 billion worth of facilities in 29 sectors for energy and resource efficiency. He has briefed 20 heads of state, advised the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, and consulted for scores of industries and governments worldwide.

According to, Lovins’ organization, the Rocky Mountain Institute, is a world-renowned organization whose mission is to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. RMI’s style is nonadversarial and transideological, emphasizing integrative design, advanced technologies, and mindful markets.

Plymouth State University Environmental Initiatives </p?

Plymouth State University’s efforts on sustainability are anchored in a commitment to educate students about a sustainable lifestyle, to study and care for the environment, and to promote sustainability to the campus community and the world beyond. Environmental initiatives include:

  • The Office of Environmental Sustainability, established in 2008, oversees the development and implementation of plans for carbon neutrality and other initiatives, working in partnership with the PSU President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability and the University Environment Committee.
  • President Sara Jayne Steen was a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, making a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Common Ground, a student club exclusively focused on sustainability, is a growing and vibrant organization with approximately 75 active members. The group plans the university’s annual Earth Day celebration.
  • The University Environmental Committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students, raises awareness on campus for environmental issues.
  • PSU’s commitment to “green building” was realized with the 2006 opening of the Langdon Woods Residential Complex, the first building in New Hampshire—and one of the first and largest university residence halls (347 beds) in the country—to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Langdon Woods has received multiple national recognitions for its learning environment in sustainability and efficiency. Among the significant features of this facility is a water jacket designed by local engineers that captures waste heat from PSU’s co-generation plant and delivers it to heat the Langdon Woods facility. In the first year of operation, the captured heat provided enough to heat the residence hall on all but four days of the heating season.
  • Plymouth State University’s newest building, an ice arena currently under construction, is being built to meet LEED Silver standards by installing sophisticated geothermal heating/cooling design to maximize energy conservation opportunities. The combination of geothermal and the capture of waste heat generated by ice making equipment will provide the heat for the facility, thereby removing reliance on traditional fuel-based heating system.
  • Degree programs have been established in Environmental Science and Policy (BS and MS), Environmental Biology, and Environmental Planning.
  • PSU works on environmental issues with external partners such as the Northern Forest Center, the Nature Conservancy, and Squam Lakes Association. PSU is also a member of the Hubbard Brook Consortium, working to attract new generations of students to ecosystem science. The Center for the Environment (CFE), established in 2004, is building educational and research capacity on campus and providing the region with cutting-edge knowledge. CFE established the Environmental Research Laboratory with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to develop environmental research and outreach projects and to work together on the analysis and interpretation of applied environmental problems. The Center for Rural Partnerships, founded in 2005, is also engaged with research and partnerships to preserve New Hampshire’s rural quality of life.
  • In fall 2008, the University established an EcoHouse program with a course in “sustainability in residences.” Future plans are to make this program a residential living, learning and education facility for the campus and community. Students will take an older home and use sustainable design ideas to make the home more efficient, and then provide education to local community members.
  • Our dining facility gained national attention with its “trayless” cafeteria. A study done after the first year showed that PSU had saved approximately $160,000 and 35 tons of food. Sodexo, our dining provider, is highly committed to sustainability, and purchases as much locally grown food as possible and provides vegetarian options at every meal.
  • Residential Life’s new “Environmental Fellow” program places a student in every resident hall with responsibility for educational programming and monitoring, including an energy competition and RecycleMania programs.
  • The PSU Information Technology department has introduced new programs to reduce our environmental impact:

    1. Is moving to “server virtualization.” This reduces the number of servers and will significantly reduce the amount of electricity used.
    2. Has centralized control of all computers in public labs and classrooms to manage when computers are on and active.
    3. A print quota system in fall, 2009 will limit the use of paper and print toner on campus.

  • A bicycle rental program was instituted in fall, 2008.
  • PSU’s Facilities team has been working on conservation programs and projects for over 8 years that have reduced our overall heating demand by 20% and maintained our low level of electrical consumption despite an increase of 15% with the addition of new facilities. This was accomplished by making major investments in infrastructure, replacing old roofs and window systems, replacing and reducing light fixtures on campus with new low energy units. In addition:

    1. Developing programs to improve recycling and reduce solid waste
    2. Upgrading and expanding the use of our energy management system
    3. Replacing institutional vehicles with hybrids
    4. Encouraging water conservation by installing waterless urinal and low flow toilets. Recent residence hall showerhead replacement has also reduced water usage for residence halls by 28%.

  • Other facilities and grounds initiatives

    1. 80 percent of the cleaning products are Green and used campus wide.
    2. Organic fertilizers are used on all landscaping including athletic fields.
    3. Snow and ice removal use of Ice Ban Product reduces amount of sand/salt.
    4. An anti-idling initiative was launched on campus in fall, 2007. Signs provided by the NH Department of Environmental Services have been posted in all areas that receive truck traffic for deliveries. Physical Plant has also instructed its staff to turn off their vehicles while working around campus rather than allowing them to idle as they have in the past.
    5. High efficiency LED exit lights in all campus buildings.
    6. A member of ISO New England – Price Response Program.
    7. Begin steam metering in FY 10 for all major buildings.
    8. Reduced our municipal waste and increased our recycling (now measure cardboard collected in tons). Issued personal mixed paper containers to office personnel. Created both Faculty & Staff and Student guide to recycling brochure. Created materials and signage for consistent look for the program. Here are some figures: bailed cardboard generated; 48 tons at $21.50 per gross ton = $1032.00 and bailed mixed paper generated; 54 tons at $64.12 per gross ton = $3462.48.
    9. Retrofitted all exterior lighting to reduce light pollution.
    10. Installed individual metering in order to be able to better measure electrical consumption in all buildings.
    11. Upgraded track lighting in paint studio and art gallery to energy efficient in Draper and Maynard.
    12. The new shredding service we use sends the shredded material out to be made into shop paper towels. In only 1 ½ months we have saved (according to the vendor) 35 trees by recycling 2,940 pounds of paper.
    13. Performed an Energy Audit on Prospect Hall and HUB Snack Bar. Installed a number of energy saving devices in dining services.
    14. Installing motion sensors in main dining area in Prospect Hall.

  • Upcoming issues for the University over the next few years:

    1. The PSU Student Government is considering a new “green fee”. This new fee if approved will be used for student and demonstration projects that promote sustainability.
    2. PSU is conducting a feasibility study to convert our heating plant to Biomass.
    3. We are investigating the feasibility of a large scale composting operation in order to eliminate a significant portion of our waste stream.
    4. Facilities initiatives for FY10 include further light reduction efforts.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or