Sustainability at FCS

Sustainability Statement

We, the Friends’ Central School community, affirm our commitment to environmental sustainability through our teaching, institutional practices, and behaviors. Guided by the principles of the Religious Society of Friends, we commit to leading towards an environmentally literate and responsible community that reflects the FCS Mission, and models our Vision: to awaken courage and intellect - and peacefully transform the world.

To achieve such a community, we strive to create and sustain a robust environmental curriculum in all grade levels, and to ensure environmentally mindful decision-making across School operations, including our management of the natural environment, the built environment and resource consumption.

Approved by Friends’ Central School Board of Trustees 3/19/18


Friends Central Sustainability Club: Making a Difference One Project at a Time

Upper School students revived Friends’ Central’s Sustainability Club in 2014 with two goals. First, to educate other students about the environment and second, to persuade the School to implement more sustainable policies. Two Upper School teachers––Joel Dankoff and Anna Schall––empowered students to lead our community and reduce the School’s environmental footprint. Here’s a snapshot of students accomplishments.

Got Water?

In 2015, the Sustainability Club celebrated its first victory when it successfully persuaded Friends’ Central to purchase and install eight water filling stations on both campuses. The School purchased and distributed refillable water bottles to replace plastic water bottles. At the same time, Friends’ Central made a commitment to no longer sell plastic water bottles in the cafeteria. These initiatives keep about 3,000 single use plastic water bottles from the landfill each year.

Refillable Markers Reduce Waste

In 2016, the Sustainability Club persuaded Friends’ Central to switch from disposable whiteboard markers to refillable Pilot Begreen VBoard Master markers. This initiative keeps 1600 single-use whiteboard markers each year out of landfills.

New Recycle Bins

That year, the Sustainability Club inventoried the recycling bins on the City Avenue campus and persuaded the School to purchase 134 new recycle bins of various sizes for classrooms, offices, and shared spaces. The Club made several presentations in upper and middle school assemblies about what to recycle and what to put in the trash.

Switch to LED Lights

The Sustainability Club proposed that the School replace the fluorescent light bulbs in part of the Middle School building with low-energy LED bulbs. After a complete energy audit, Friends’ Central moved to replace every light bulb on campus with LED bulbs.

Paper Towels Come From Trees

In 2017, the Sustainability Club designed and printed “paper towels come from trees” stickers for the paper towel dispensers on campus. This initiative is predicted to reduce paper towel use by about 20%.

 

Student Leadership Makes a Difference

The students have been thrilled with the Administration’s responsiveness and dedication to the environment. This is especially important to the students because the federal government has moved to increase the use of fossil fuels and is ending many environmental regulations and policies. This year, the Club hopes to shape policies beyond our campus by working with Lower Merion Township to pass a law to eliminate single-use plastic bags at grocery stores, pharmacies, and other retailers. The club also would like to help the athletic department transition to reusable water bottles instead of using hundreds of disposable cups each day. They also look forward to helping the newly renovated cafeteria get certified by the Green Restaurant Association. The Sustainability Club’s actions demonstrate a commitment to influencing school policies and demonstrate that students can make a difference.


Friends' Central Launches School-Wide Energy Saving Initiatives

Friends' Central is excited to announce the launch of an energy-saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, expected to dramatically reduce the School's carbon footprint. Projected to save 38% of energy used annually equal to 9,100 million BTUs, 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.

Friends' Central School is excited to announce the launch of an energy-saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, expected to dramatically reduce the School's carbon footprint. Projected to save 38% of energy used annually equal to 9,100 million BTUs, 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.

Friends' Central partnered with the energy conservation and services company, Ecosave, to conduct an energy assessment in the spring of 2017; the assessment identified four major areas in which substantial savings could be quickly achieved: lighting, building automation systems, replacement of HVAC equipment in Friends' Central's Shimada Athletic Center, and other initiatives that include the installation of photovoltaic solar panels for on-site energy generation.

Almost half of the savings will come from the replacement of old, inefficient forms of lighting, such as fluorescent, incandescent and HID with 10,000 LED bulbs and/or lighting fixtures throughout the 300,000 square feet of built space. With significant advancements in LED lighting technology, this update will result in a 60-80% decrease in the energy needed for campus lighting, and the lights themselves will improve light quality and last up to 20 times longer than its previous lighting.

Another quarter of the energy savings will come through the use of sophisticated wireless building automation systems, which continuously monitor conditions in all locations throughout both campuses and adjust heating and cooling for the actual outside conditions and use of the space. Data from all building energy use will be available on screens in Friends' Central's new Shallcross Student Center, which opens on the School's City Avenue campus this spring.

Fifteen percent of the overall energy savings will derive from the replacement of the HVAC system serving Shimada Athletic Center. These savings are so substantial that even with the addition of air conditioning, which will dramatically improve the functionality of the space, energy use will still be significantly reduced. The final 10% of savings will come from other initiatives, including the addition of 38 photovoltaic panels to the roof of Friends' Central's Middle & Upper School Language Building.

"This project is an excellent example of a 'Triple Bottom Line' business model: Planet, People, Profits. The financial payback is six and a half years, making this project a slam-dunk decision for the Friends' Central Finance Committee, while at the same time holding up  Friends' Testimony of Stewardship," says Miriam Fisher Schaefer, Director for Finance and Operations at Friends' Central.

The project is expected to be completed in April 2018.

Upper School Students Announce Water Bottle Sustainability Initiative - Spring 2015

Shallcross Dining Hall has been named a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant®

Friends' Central on LMTV

In his Spring Environmental Update on Lower Merion Township Television (LMTV), host and Environmental Advisory Council Chair Brian Hoppy interviewed Lower School science teacher Tiffany Borsch about the great sustainability work happening at Friends' Central.

Watch the interview

News

Friends' Central Receives 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification
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Friends' Central's Dining Hall of Shallcross Hall, located on the School's City Ave. campus, has been awarded a 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification by the Green Restaurant Association, a national non-profit dedicated to making restaurants and other dining facilities more sustainable. Recognized for its sustainability efforts in food offerings, energy and water efficiency, reduced waste efforts, and chemical and pollution reduction, FCS is one of only three schools that have been similarly certified in the State of Pennsylvania.

Read more about Friends' Central Receives 3 Star Green Restaurant Certification
New Exciting, Delicious, and Sustainable Highlights to Middle & Upper School Dining!
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Our newly opened City Avenue Dining Hall has been up and running for over a month now, and students and faculty have been enjoying some fantastic, fresh offerings! This stunning, newly renovated dining space is highlighted by attractive, flexible seating arrangement options, five distinctive food stations, a fully functional teaching kitchen, and the after-school Phoenix Café, with sustainability efforts permeating the entire space.

Read more about New Exciting, Delicious, and Sustainable Highlights to Middle & Upper School Dining!
Friends' Central Launches School-Wide Energy Saving Initiatives
ldorazio

Friends' Central is excited to announce the launch of an energy-saving project on both of its Wynnewood campuses, expected to dramatically reduce the School's carbon footprint. Projected to save 38% of energy used annually equal to 9,100 million BTUs, 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.

Read more about Friends' Central Launches School-Wide Energy Saving Initiatives