Environmental Initiatives

Sewickley Academy is committed to being a steward for the environment and engages in sustainable practices when it comes to maintenance, janitorial work, new construction, and renovations. For the Academy community, “going green” accomplishes the following:
  • Reduces energy costs
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Cuts our operating costs
  • Creates a healthier environment
  • Observes environmental government regulations
  • Sets an example of environmental stewardship for our students and community

Current "Green" Initiatives

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  • Secret Garden

    As an outdoor classroom and experiential learning center, the Secret Garden will provide students with opportunities to work collaboratively with peers and faculty in other divisions and disciplines to cultivate their understanding of the interconnections within the environment and gain an appreciation of the importance of sustainability. Students will participate in all phases of soil preparation, sowing, cultivating, harvesting, consuming, and composting, which will demonstrate the cyclical nature of organic processes and enrich their appreciation of how gardens can inspire and reward whole communities.

    Sewickley Academy is also able to harvest and use vegetables from the garden in the SA cafeteria.
  • Paper Recycling

    SA's school-wide paper recycling program includes all paper and magazines products. The Academy owns two eight-yard dumpsters devoted to recycling.
  • Bottle/Plastic Recycling

    The Academy places eight 30-gallon recycling cans on campus, one in each of the two cafeterias and six others placed in strategic areas, and two off campus at Nichols Field. Maintenance empties the cans once a day into one of the two recycling dumpsters.
  • Cardboard Recycling

    The Academy owns an eight-yard dumpster designated for cardboard only. All cardboard boxes are broken down and placed in this dumpster.
  • Light Bulb Recycling

    All replaced light bulbs are stored in the basement of the Middle School until our supplier, Scott Electric, comes to collect them. Collection takes place on a quarterly basis.
  • Cooking Oil Recycling

    Metz, Sewickley Academy's long-time food service vendor, reclaims all used cooking oil and stores it in large containers. On a monthly basis, it is taken back to the Metz headquarters and combined with used cooking oils from other schools. It is then recycled.
  • Oil Recycling

    All motor oil used in busses, maintenance vehicles, and other equipment is stored in a retention container. We take the stored oil to the BP Station twice a year for recycling.
  • HVAC Control Systems

    All of SA's mechanical systems (rooftop units, chillers, boilers, water heaters, and exhaust fans) are controlled by a computer program. The Andover System allows us to control temperature settings, hours of operation, dampers, fan speeds, water temperatures, and water flow. Installation of this system has reduced our use of fuels by 30 to 35 percent.
  • CPU/Monitor Recycling/Donations & Sleep Mode

    All Central Processing Units (CPUs) and monitors are either donated or recycled. Twice a year, the Academy reaches out to charities for a possible donation. If a charity is not in need of a donation, we contact a computer company that disassembles the units and sells the parts.

    All computer monitors are equipped with sleep mode. The standard setting as established by SA's Information Technology department is 10 minutes.
  • High Efficiency Units

    When the school's water heaters, boilers, and rooftop units are replaced, they are always replaced with high efficiency units. We have very few units on campus that are not considered high efficiency. Those that are not considered high efficiency are rarely used, like the heating units in the Lower School kitchen. When and if this unit needs to be replaced, it will be with a high efficiency unit.
  • Auto Flush/Low Volume Toilets & Low Flow Shower Heads

    All toilets that can accommodate an auto flush valve have been equipped with one, and all toilets have been upgraded to low flow in accordance with current building codes. The boys' and girls' locker room showers have been recently renovated with low flow shower heads.
  • Motion Detector Lighting/Photo Cells/Time Clocks

    The Academy has a series of detectors on campus to control lighting and cut down on energy use. All outdoor lights are on a sensor program. Some indoor lighting has been placed on a motion sensor, and we continue to add motion sensors where practical.

    Statement about turning lights on and off: With the majority of our light fixtures, we save money when we turn lights off if a room is expected to be vacant for more than 15 minutes. If less than 15 minutes, the lights should be left on. An email to faculty and staff is sent at the beginning of every year with this statement.
  • Auto Faucets

    We have started to change our faucets to auto on/off. This prevents faucets from being left on and wasting water in addition to reducing the spread of germs. We target the high-use faucets as the first ones to be swapped out. The majority of faucets that have not been replaced are push buttons, which restrict flow. All faucets will be replaced with auto faucets over the next three years.
  • Light Bulb Purchase

    As the school's incandescent light bulbs burn out, we replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs. We have converted all of our T12 (40 watts) fluorescent bulbs to T8 (32 watts) bulbs. The T8 bulbs are more energy efficient.
  • Fertilizing Athletic Fields & Grounds

    The Academy's standard practice is to treat or fertilize its fields and grounds with organic materials and not chemicals.
  • Construction/Renovation Practices

    In all of our construction and renovation projects, we strive to use LEED guidelines. Many of the building materials we use are partially recycled, and many of the products we use are manufactured near or within Pittsburgh. All of the labor has been local.
  • Rain Garden

    During recent construction, we installed a rain garden in the Lower School Courtyard. The intent of a rain garden is for rain water to naturally absorb into special soils and plants and to reduce runoff.
  • Local Produce/Meat & Free Range Meat

    Metz contracts with local companies to supply the Academy with produce and meat, thus reducing and eliminating at times the freight costs and waste generated from shipping from out of the area.

    Metz also uses a local company to get “free range” meat. This meat is healthier for our community, and using this type of meat helps decrease the amount of grain production to feed livestock.
  • Environmentally Friendly Cleaner

    The Academy uses a special detergent that reduces the chemical waste that goes down the drain during the wash cycles in dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Plates & Plastic Water Bottles

    Metz has replaced the Styrofoam plates with hard plastic plates to reduce the amount of trash and help eliminate non-biodegradable trash.

    Metz has contracted with Pepsi to supply bottled water in bottles that use recycled plastic and contain 50% less plastic.

Contact Us

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Main Campus

Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Avenue
Sewickley, PA 15143
Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized Pittsburgh private school enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.