The Climate Change & Energy category focuses on specific commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as emissions reductions that schools have already achieved. Initiatives to improve energy efficiency and conservation, as well as efforts to obtain energy from renewable resources are examined.
This category recognizes the implementation of conservation campaigns that offer incentives to monitor and reduce one’s energy consumption; retrofitting appliances or power plants to make use of energy-efficient technology; conducting a carbon emissions inventory and using that information to formulate an emissions reduction plan; and making use of renewable energy through on-site installation of clean energy resources. Points are also given to colleges that have made renewable energy investments with the potential to benefit the community beyond campus, such as public/private partnerships for off-campus development of renewable energy projects.
Over half of the schools have made a carbon reduction commitment. Increased attention to climate change is reflected at an impressive 58 percent of the schools through a commitment to carbon reduction. Fifty-two percent of the schools have signed the Presidents' Climate Commitment, while 23 percent made carbon reduction commitments in addition to, or instead of, the Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Nearly half of the schools produce renewable energy on campus. Facilities for producing solar, wind, bio, or geothermal energy are in operation at 45 percent of the schools.
Leading by Example
Over half of the schools have made a carbon reduction commitment.