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Sustainability at Moravian Academy

The Moravian Academy All School Sustainability Committee is dedicated to implementing green initiatives from conservation, recycling, and composting, to powering our Merle-Smith Campus with green, renewable solar energy. As an Academy, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and developing our students into stewards of Earth's precious natural resources.

Green Team and Jr. Green Team

The Moravian Academy Green Team is a group of dedicated Upper School students who meet weekly to learn about and discuss topics related to sustainability. Student leaders choose topics ranging from domestic environmental policy to international technology trends to help their peers better understand the complex and pressing landscape of climate change. This group also hosts the Student Symposium on Sustainability. The Jr. Green Team, comprised of energized younger students who want to make their world a cleaner place, helps their peers learn more about sustainable choices and daily actions that will help improve their campus and local environment. Its mission is to educate students of all ages about specific campus goals and equip them with attainable ways they can help. 

Student Symposium on Sustainability

Upper School students on the Green Team share their research on current sustainability topics with students across all three campuses in forums that are rich in discussions related to the environment. These 4 to 5 topics, chosen by the Moravian Academy Green Team, range from Climate Action to understanding the environmental impacts of fast fashion. The goals for this student-led symposium are to inspire conversations and raise awareness in the Moravian community.

A Sweet Look Inside the Merle-Smith Apiary

Merle-Smith Campus is home to four colonies of honeybees. Faculty members and experienced beekeepers guides this initiative and help students learn about bees. Child and adult sized bee-suits enable students of all ages to get an intimate look at the thousands of honey bees. Honey is harvested twice a year. To date, over 750 pounds of honey has been harvested! To learn more about our 9th grade excursion to the apiary, click here.

Solar Array

On our Merle-Smith campus, 4,532 solar panels sit on nearly seven acres. The 1.29 megawatt photovoltaic solar panels, installed in 2012, produce an average of 1.6 million kilowatt hours of energy per year. Although Moravian Academy currently does not own the solar array, and therefore cannot claim the emissions offset created by the SRECs, (solar renewable energy credits), the school is proud to be a partner in bringing clean, renewable energy to the grid.  

The Athletic and Wellness Center

Our 40,000-square-foot facility, the largest building at our school, holds a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification. For new construction and major renovations, the LEED program has five main categories in which points toward certification can be earned. 
  1. Limit pollution and soil erosion that often results from construction.
  2. The building should use 20 percent less water than other similar-sized buildings
  3. Energy efficient HVAC and Lighting systems.
  4. Buildings designed to minimize material use or which use biodegradable or locally harvested renewable resources in their construction process 
  5. Ventilation, off-gassing of materials, and thermal comfort 

United Nations Climate Summit Simulation

All 9th-grade students participate in a Climate Summit Simulation activity as part of their History Unit on Sustainability. Students are assigned countries to represent in three rounds of climate mitigation negotiations, the consequences of which are viewed in real-time thanks to the technology provided by NGO Climate Interactive. Students can see how their negotiated pledges of CO2 and deforestation reduction rates impact global temperatures and sea levels. The immediate goal of the activity is to maintain a global temperature increase under 2 degrees C. Here is a video of students participating in 2021. 


At the Upper School, food waste that is collected by both Dining Services staff and students is sent to the Northampton County Community College farm, where it is turned into compost, thereby reducing the overall weight of trash that is sent to the landfill.

Community Garden

A community garden was built on the Merle-Smith Campus in 2014 through the leadership and initiative of the faculty-led Sustainability Committee. The garden was created as a place where students could experience growing and enjoying vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Students from the Downtown campus visit to learn about foods related to their humanities and science curriculum and 9th graders visit the garden during their Agriculture Unit in 9th-grade History. The community garden has also been used by the Summerbridge program.
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