Syracuse University Climate Action Plan
The earth’s ecosystems are becoming unbalanced. Increasing fossil fuel consumption and dwindling natural resources are creating challenges that affect everyone. As a result, colleges and universities are seeking solutions and taking action.
BAU: Business as Usual
In 2007 Syracuse University signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), thereby committing to eliminate net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2). SU’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), released in 2009, is the University’s roadmap to becoming “carbon neutral” by 2040. The University will enhance and expand the CAP every five years, to reflect advances in technology and scientific understanding.
Whittling down SU’s carbon footprint is going to take a total community effort. Everyone connected to SU will be affected. Students, faculty and staff all have a stake and role in implementing SU’s Climate Action Plan which will transform the University’s use of energy and other natural resources. With that in mind, the following are the Climate Action Plan’s highlights.
o Decrease GHG emissions to become climate neutral (zero net GHG emissions) by 2040.
o Implement a fiscally responsible funding plan that utilizes the conservation and efficiencies savings to create a self funding model.
o Integrate sustainability into SU’s curriculum and departments.
o Campus Culture
§ Engage students, faculty and staff to foster input, participation, collaboration and creative problem solving.
§ Enhance effectiveness of existing sustainability programs, e.g., recycling, purchasing, conservation.
§ Educate building occupants on sustainability enhancements, efficiencies and options.
§ Actively promote climate leadership through educational/research opportunities.
§ Utilize high-profile flagship projects, e.g., Green Data Center, to generate exposure and/or research opportunities.
§ Expand awareness campaigns, to increase the University community’s commitment, by showcasing sustainability efforts and successes.
o Conservation Measures
§ Improve buildings through existing and future technologies to decrease energy consumption.
§ Develop a Climate Operations Center that will monitor, track and report on energy consumption and conservation, GHG emission levels and CAP performance.
§ Create on campus renewable energy sources, such as, solar and wind.
§ Use offsets (carbon reduction credits) for remaining GHG emissions only as needed.
o Establishes a funding stream with increasing levels of annual funding and uses the savings generated by CAP projects to offset annual program costs.
o Pursue projects with reasonable payback periods leading to positive cash flow.
To view or download SU’s full Climate Action Plan (PDF file), click here. For additional information about the Climate Action Plan, including how you can become involved in this monumental effort, contact SU’s Sustainability Division at email@example.com or 315-443-9820.