Yale Reduced Emissions 7% While Growing by 5.5% Since 2005

They've done more than just change out a few lightbulbs to meet this goal, and in fact this is only the beginning. Their ultimate goal is to reduce Yale University's greenhouse gas emissions to 43% below 2005 levels by the year 2020. Sure, you say, but I'm sure they have a huge endowment and near-endless means to pay for such drastic reductions. Nope, in contrast, they plan to meet their goal by spending less than 1% of their annual operating budget on upgrades and retrofits.

So if in the last 4 years the University has been able to reduce it's greenhouse gas emissions by 7%, and they have an additional 36 percentage points to go in the next 11 years, they have their work cut out for them. These numbers currently take into account two power plants, 3 campuses (central, medical and the West Campus) as well as emissions for fuel purchased for buildings not connected to these power plants. Energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits are at the center of emissions reductions, but the University has several other strategies in play. Sustainability standards have been established for all new building construction, increases in efficiency of energy produced on campus are planned, as well as, the procurement and installation of renewable energy projects (like installing solar panels, for example). We recently featured Yale University among our top green campuses, and if you've ever been to their sustainability program page you'll understand why. The campus has really worked hard to get the student body involved, to add leaders in the climate field to faculty and staff, as well as try out some creative environmental projects around campus.

Currently emissions from fleet vehicles, employee commuting, employee air travel, or for "embodied energy in purchased products and services" are not included in this target goal. Though in 2009, each of these items will be under review for possible inclusion in the overall 2020 goal. 7% emission reduction with a 5.5% growth, that doesn't just make good sense for a college campus, but that makes good business sense, particularly if it comes at a price of less than 1% of the annual operating budget. :Yale Greenhouse Gas Commitment
More on College Greenhouse Gas Emission Strategies
Cornell U Creates Climate Action Plan
New York University Buys 118,000,000, kWh of Wind Power!
India's Barefoot College Revolution: Hands-On, Bottom Up & Community Driven
Ben & Jerry's Climate College Challenge

Tags: Alternative Energy | Carbon Emissions | Connecticut | Education | Energy Efficiency

Best of TreeHugger 2014

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK