SCU is a Charter Signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, now known as the Climate Leadership Commitment overseen by Second Nature. We first developed a Climate Neutrality Action Plan in 2010, updated the plan into two parts in 2015, and have the current goal to achieve carbon neutrality by the end of 2020 for scopes 1 and 2 (natural gas and electricity, respectively), and by 2029, scope 3 (indirect greenhouse gas emissions from University-funded travel and commutes).
We will be reaching our 2020 goal for scopes 1 and 2 once we receive information on our campus utility usage for the rest of the calendar year. We will be able to officially declare carbon neutrality in winter quarter 2021, so stay tuned!
Ways to Get to Zero Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Avoid new emissions
- Reduce existing emissions by increasing campus energy efficiency. Reduce natural gas use as much as possible. Reduce electricity use as much as possible.
- Replace sources of emissions by migrating to carbon-free energy sources. Generate on-site renewable energy. Procure renewable energy.
- Procure Renewable Energy Certificates and Offsets to achieve and maintain carbon neutrality for energy usage.
- Repeat the above annually, prioritizing items 1, 2, and 3 since they are the best way to permanently reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure long-term carbon neutrality.
SCU's climate commitment is integrated throughout campus life in academics, operations, and community engagement.
From faculty redesigning their curriculum to examine the economics of the green economy to student-led research on campus food purchases, climate education has been infused across the curriculum and academic research. Students, faculty, and staff use the campus, community, and world as their living laboratory to develop local and global solutions for sustainable development, including environmental and social justice.
Despite a growing physical footprint, SCU has managed to keep its energy use stable through its building standards, retrofits, and plans for onsite renewables. We invite the campus community to share more ideas with us through the Campus Sustainability Investment Fund (CSIF).
Carbon neutrality is a goal that requires all of us to act. Learn how our community is leaning into the climate crisis and activate new sustainable behaviors from SCU's Sustainability Strategic Plan's Playbooks. Educating and empowering others to join in is also crucial because it will take both individual and collective action to achieve a more sustainable world.
Read about carbon emission terms/ definitions as well as more information about SCU's climate commitments, including the campus' historic greenhouse gas emissions.
We have a climate neutrality fund where gifts directly expedite and build momentum for our efforts.
Track SCU's current progress on key performance indicators across Climate Action, Responsible Consumption, and Quality Education.