Yale Univ., CT Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy
Status: Published in August 2007
Yale University has a long tradition of leadership in the consequential societal issues facing each generation. In keeping with this tradition, Yale University is committed to developing and implementing best practices for a sustainable campus. A primary component of Yale’s Sustainability Strategic Framework is a greenhouse gas reduction goal. This goal has guided the development of an aggressive and informed response to perhaps the most challenging issue facing our world today: global warming. The challenge facing Yale is the same as the challenge facing the industrialized world: to drastically reduce emissions while also planning for future growth and development. We hope that by openly sharing our continued efforts, including our goal, lessons learned, strategies and results, Yale’s actions will lead to similar commitments to greenhouse gas reductions by other institutions of higher learning nationally and globally.
Yale University is committed to the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by the year 2020 – a 43% reduction from 2005 levels. At the same time Yale has plans to expand from the current 13.5M gross square foot campus by nearly 15% by 2020 while bringing old buildings up to modern standards. Yale’s greenhouse gas emissions reflect two on-campus power plants and purchased electricity. Our emission standards currently do not reflect transportation or travel though this is under analysis for 2008.
Yale’s priority is to achieve greenhouse gas reductions via implementing initiatives on its campus and owned land, with the balance of planned reductions being achieved via partnering with outside entities. Our strategy is organized by energy conservation, renewable and clean energy technology and investments in carbon offsets. Currently it appears that as much as half of all reductions will be achieved on Yale’s campus and land. As new, cleaner technologies emerge in this expanding industry, we hope to increase this percentage significantly.
Energy conservation and alternative energy projects requiring significant capital investment by the University are evaluated on the basis of “resulting carbon reduction per operating dollar incurred.” Projects yielding the largest return are undertaken first so that emission reductions can be achieved as quickly as possible.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy is ambitious and it impacts all parts of the Yale campus. Meeting our goal will require the active participation of all of Yale’s community, faculty, students, and staff. Current information regarding Yale’s progress can be found at www.yale.edu/sustainability.