Climate Neutral by 2020
Working to Reduce Our Emissions
Dickinson is working to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), with an ambitious target of driving down our net emissions to zero by the year 2020. There are two parts to our commitment. First, we will reduce by 25% from our 2008 level the GHG emissions that result from heating and cooling our buildings, purchasing electricity, commuting and other activities. Second, we will take actions that help others to reduce their emissions by an amount that is equal to 75% of our 2008 emissions. Actions of this latter type are called offsets. Through the combined effects of reductions in our GHG emissions and offsets, Dickinson aims to be a climate neutral college by 2020.
These efforts are part of our responsibilities as a Charter Signatory and member of the Leadership Circle of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). As a signatory, we are committed to measuring and reporting our GHG emissions, creating and implementing a Climate Action Plan, reducing and offsetting GHG emissions to become climate neutral, and educating our students and community about climate change and sustainability. Our work in these areas earned Dickinson a national Climate Leadership Award from Second Nature.
We plan to reach our 25% emission reduction goal for 2020 by conserving energy through the use of more efficient technologies, building retrofits, and behavioral changes, and by displacing carbon intensive electricity purchases with electricity generated on campus with solar photovoltaic and renewable-based combined heat and power plants. Identified actions would collectively reduce our annual emissions by approximately 4500 metric tons of carbon dioxide (MT CO2e), or 25% of our total GHG emissions. The balance of our emissions will be offset through Renewable Energy Certificates, carbon credits, and projects with partners to reduce emissions of other entities.
Implementation of Dickinson’s Climate Action Plan is overseen by the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability. You can download our CAP here.
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