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ReThink: New Bolton Center's Sustainability Practices

November 8, 2016

Penn Vet's New Bolton Center, located on 700 acres in Kennett Square, provides an internationally renowned standard of Large Animal Care.   New Bolton comprises the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals, featuring one of the world’s largest equine surgical facilities, the James D. Moran Jr. Critical Care Center, the Marshak Dairy, and one of Pennsylvania’s three Animal Diagnostic Laboratories.  New Bolton is also world-renowned for its groundbreaking research centers and laboratories, investigating topics ranging from food production in dairy cattle and swine, reference andrology, equine pharmacology, reproduction, behavior, and comparative orthopedics.    

The New Bolton Center participates in battery recycling, writing instrument upcycling, printer cartridge recycling, and separating their single stream recycling from their trash – in the same practices that Penn’s main campus does.  They also have their own very effective version of Bens’ Attic via an NBC listserv used to promote recycling/reuse of furniture, office and lab supplies, and other equipment. 

In efforts to reduce electricity usage, all external lighting has been replaced with LEDs,and as indoor lighting is upgraded, this too is replaced with LEDs. Many of the buildings across the campus are sub-metered for electricity; metered space represents about 400,000 square feet.  The Swine Teaching and Research Center at Penn’s New Bolton has the capacity to meet 10-12% of the buildings energy needs using solar power.  As the New Bolton Center completes the documentation of its carbon footprint they will be looking for additional strategies to reduce energy use throughout the campus. 

Across the 700 acres of campus there are natural areas which are maintained as rain gardens to reduce storm water runoff. These areas have been successful and native plantings have been increased around buildings with the hope that these can be expanded into meadows. There is also a community garden on site, with seasonal plots maintained by individual employees. 

The process of documenting the carbon footprint and creating a baseline will allow for sustainable practices to be ramped up in order to meet sustainability goals, while maintaining the New Bolton Center’s status as one of the lead Veterinary Research Facilities in the country.

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