Sustainable Campuses

College campus
Clean Air-Cool Planet has been a recognized leader in college and university sustainability for over a decade.  Through our work with these institutions—and particularly through our Campus Carbon Calculator™, the backbone of the campus sustainability movement—we’ve helped to drive some exciting progress.

Within the past several years, hundreds of universities have hired full-time directors of sustainability, the academic teaching of sustainability disciplines has blossomed, and more students than ever before have begun to research environmental and sustainability action of institutions in their college selection process. In 2011 alone, more than 6,000 students gained practical sustainability experience using our Calculator, a number we expect to more than double within two years. Schools are proud of what they have accomplished –among colleges that have signed on to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, almost three quarters have posted a publicly available Climate Action Plan that outlines their goals to reach climate-neutrality.

What’s new on Campuses

Update: New Web-based Campus Carbon Calculator™

Clean Air-Cool Planet, with partner Sightlines LLC, is excited about the launch of the beta version of the new web-based Campus Carbon Calculator, unveiled at the annual AASHE sustainability conference in LA on October 17.  We will be beta-testing from October 22 through the end of December and we anticipate the official launch of the Inventory module 1.0 in January.  Current users or those using the Projections and Solutions modules may continue to use the Excel version, which will be supported for the time being.  Please check back or visit our Campus Carbon Calculator blog for updates and greenhouse gas accounting resources.

Greening the Bottom Line 2012

Greening the Bottom Line 2012 reports on the growing field of green revolving funds (GRFs) and their environmental and financial impact on the college and university campuses that operate them. Though many of these GRFs are young- there have been 36 new funds created since 2010- their portfolios have already begun to post impressive returns, with a median reported return on investment of 28 percent. As of September 2012, there are 79 active GRFs across 76 campuses. Collectively, these funds have committed over $111 million to energy and resource-use reduction projects. Greening the Bottom Line was published in collaboration with 14 partner organizations including Clean Air-Cool Planet. Read the full report here

Campuses lead on climate preparedness

The growing impacts of climate change are all around us—and savvy leaders are recognizing the need to plan for a new, less predictable, “normal.”  Two recent examples:

  • report issued by the ACUPCC (and co-authored by CA-CP) illuminates the challenges and opportunities for higher education when it comes to climate preparedness.
  • In fall 2011, dozens of college and university presidents from leading institutions across the country signed on to letters sent to the elected officials in their regions about the importance of federal support for climate preparedness research and planning resources.
Reducing carbon pollution, increasing financial returns

At a time when good investments can be tough to come by, an innovative new program is helping colleges see returns on their endowment and other dollars by investing—in themselves.  The Billion Dollar Green Challenge supports schools in setting up and effectively managing green revolving loan funds to finance smart energy projects. Learn more.