People, Planet, Profit: Friends’ Central School Swings for a Green Home Run

 An energy-saving project on both of Friends’ Central School’s Wynnewood campuses is expected to dramatically reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

An energy-saving project on both of Friends’ Central School’s Wynnewood campuses is expected to dramatically reduce the school’s carbon footprint.

Friends’ Central School recently launched an energy saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, projected to save 38% of energy used annually. Equal to 9,100 million BTU’s, these savings are the equivalent of eliminating the carbon emissions of 3,000,000 miles driven by passenger cars, or the carbon absorption of 30,000 trees for 10 years.

“The project is an excellent example of a ‘Triple Bottom Line’ business model -- People, Planet, Profits,” notes Miriam Fisher Schaefer, Director for Finance and Operations. “The financial payback is 6.5 years. This makes it a slam dunk decision for the Finance Committee, at the same time as we hold up Friends’ Testimony of Stewardship.”  

Almost half of the savings will come from the replacement of 10,000 bulbs and/or lighting fixtures with LED lighting. LED lighting technology has advanced significantly in the past 10 years with the result that energy needed for campus lighting will decrease by 63%, and the lights themselves will last 3 times as long.

Friends’ Central partnered with the energy conservation company, EcoSave, to conduct an energy assessment in the spring of 2017.  The School targetted 4 energy saving areas to be addressed by April 2018:

●    Lighting
●    Building automation systems
●    Replacement of HVAC equipment for the Athletics complex, and
●    Installation of photovoltaic solar panels for on-site energy generation.
 
The energy project is just one part of a larger initiative to address environmental sustainability throughout the campus. According to Head of School, Craig Sellers, “This initiative is right down the middle of our mission:  it cultivates the promise of our students by providing for a healthier planet, and it supports our vision to peacefully transform the world by making our community more sustainable.  I could not be more pleased with our leadership in this essential area of Quaker education.”


 Article originally appeared in the Main Line Times, November 28, 2017