Franklin College Sustainability Efforts

A primary focus of Franklin College has always been the size of our carbon footprint and the effect our college has on the community around us. Franklin College is constantly working to become more energy efficient through research and updating our facilities. Our efforts include:

Improvements are made by educating students on opportunities to reduce emissions and provide prospects through leadership to create solutions and be an example to the rest of the community. Projects that have resulted in lowering our campus greenhouse gas emissions include lighting updates, mechanical updates (efficient chillers, efficient motors, and variable frequency drives), student synthesis of biodiesel fuel, and trayless dining in our campus cafeteria.

Ball Venture Grant

In 2012 Franklin College was awarded the Ball Venture Grant. This opportunity gave the college $25,000 which it used to hire student teams to conduct energy audits and purchase equipment to assess the college’s facilities. The students created reports on 4 of our campus facilities as well as assessing the outdoor lighting on campus. The information collected was used to create a priority list of which buildings and fixtures should be replaced based on the return on investment. The information and equipment received from this grant will continue to be useful to the campus for years to come.


Urban Forest – Through a grant received by Biology Professor, Alice Heikens, Franklin College was able to create an Urban Forest. The forest reduces the amount of mowing required for that area, makes an area that is more environmentally friendly, creates learning experiences for students, and improves the aesthetics of the area. Franklin College was awarded the honors of Tree Campus USA and the Gold Leaf Award based in large part because of the efforts of our Urban Forest.

Grizzly Park – Grizzly Park is a 78 acre outdoor athletics facility that includes two areas that total over 5 acres of Native Wetland Restoration areas. When creating these spaces Franklin College Franklin College partnered with JFNew ecology consulting to select seed mixes that were native to the area. The seeds selected encouraged native plantings and wildlife to come to the area. In turn, the area reduces the amount of mowing, fertilizing and watering required. The Biology field classes help in both maintaining and use the area as an outdoor learning lab.

Hougham Woods – is a 32-acre woodland that was donated to the college by Mr. Mac McNaught of Franklin Tech Park. This area is two miles east of campus and provides various opportunities for Biology field studies.

Trash Management

Trash from Franklin College is taken to Covanta Resource Recovery Facility where solid waste is turned into steam energy that is sold to the City of Indianapolis. Because the waste from Franklin College is turned into energy this creates a zero effect on our carbon footprint.

Yard waste is composted on campus to be reused in campus plantings, landscape beds, or the urban forest.

Student Involvement

Earth Club, Ball Venture Grant, Recycling efforts, Biofuel program

Sustainable Dining

Trayless – In 2012 Franklin College decided to go trayless in the cafeteria. As a result of not using trays we save one million gallons of water a year and create less wasted food.

Tableware – All the tableware used in our cafeteria is not disposable, creating less waste.

Vegetarian/Vegan Options – Everyday the cafeteria offers a vegan and/or vegetarian option. Because there is no meat in these meals they require less energy to produce.

Plug-in Stations/Bicycling

Plug-in stations – Franklin College currently offers two plug in stations for electric cars.

Bike Stations – Franklin College provides covered bike racks to make bicycling a practical option to get around campus