In 2009, Bates signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) pledging to work toward becoming a climate neutral campus.
As a first step we updated our greenhouse gas emissions inventory to reveal the major sources of our emissions. We found that over eighty percent of our emissions come from energy used in buildings – for electricity, heat and hot water.
We therefore worked to develop a Climate Action Plan (CAP) in tandem with our 2010 Campus Facilities Master Plan Update. In it, we named our goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2020. This date is driven by our principal strategy of transitioning the campus to renewable energy by converting our main steam plant to a biomass cogeneration system, once Phase II new campus buildings are completed and require the plant to have additional capacity.
Between now and then, we are working to realize our 2020 goal in three ways:
First, by reducing energy consumption per square foot, per year in existing buildings through efficiency and conservation projects.
Second, by asking people to be energy conscious.
And third, by incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy into our master plan.