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Publication Date


Document Type


Study Type

Environmental Science and Policy


Environmental Science and Policy


Alex Barron


This capstone project for Environmental Science & Policy focused on switching the Smith College campus vehicle fleet to electricity power, with a case study on carts. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, phone interviews, the Facilities of fleet log from 2016, fleet fuel usage log for 2017, and fleet mileage log for 2017, and a proxy carbon life cycle analysis calculator. Our main findings were 1) that the cart fleet is slowly switching over to electric options, but that there is missing data regarding the number of carts on campus and therefore their fuel types, 2) that electric carts would save the college about $30,000, and 3) that battery maintenance was perceived to be a large issue, which was probably because lead-acetate batteries are being used, instead of their more efficient counterparts, lithium ion batteries. Our recommendations to the college are 1) to create a vehicle purchase policy to encourage sustainable/renewable purchases and 2) to have that form reviewed by the Office of Sustainability as part of their departmental sustainability challenge.


©2018 Marina Howarth


This project report summarizes the semester-long efforts of group members to identify a problem in sustainability; gather background information; collect data through surveys, interviews, or experiments; analyze results, and report findings to the public in an oral presentation. Each member of the group was required to submit a separate written report. This student’s report was selected by the course’s professor to represent the project.

Project group member:

Marina Howarth

Kadie Moontiz