Information
  • Submitted by: Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI)
  • Topic: Education
  • Keywords: education
  • Location: Pittsburgh, United States (The)
  • Date of completion: 2015
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Deliverables & Resources
Action network
  • This voluntary initiative came from Higher Education Sustainability Initiative
Dean
Signatory/Dean
Esther Barazzone, President
Chatham University

Partner(s)

Chatham University

Description/achievement of initiative

Chatham University purchase RECS equivalent to 100% of our electricity consumption, but we continue our efforts to reduce our real consumption as far as possible. Our goal is to meet the challenge of producing more green energy than we can use, thus becoming a source of sustainable power even while we are a source for sustainable education.

Our GHG reduction goals for 2015 include a 10% reduction in total scopes 1,2,3 emissions, a 20% reduction in total scopes 1,2,3, and a 10% reduction in purchased electricity emissions, all relative to our 2007 emissions baseline.

Implementation methodologies

- A promise to take action now or in the future

Chatham University has a long history of integrating sustainability into the fabric of our university at all levels operations, curriculum, student life, research, interactions with and connections to community members, neighbors, peers and policy makers. This requires a coordinated effort that requires assessing all these aspects of our institution and its life. In addition, Chatham is the alma mater of Rachel Carson, one of the most important environmentalists of the 20th century and the author of Silent Spring.

We have demonstrated our commitment to sustainability action both now and in the future by creating a new School of Sustainability and the Environment at Eden Hall Campus. The new campus will feature innovative climate positive buildings and landscape design, eventually serving nearly 1,500 students in a climate and water resources neutral, zero net energy integrated facility. State of the art integrated energy and water technology, and restorative stormwater management all work together to create a unique learning environment linked closely to the land. Construction is scheduled to begin on this project during the summer of 2012.

The truly integrated design of the Eden Hall Campus exemplifies the School's systems-based approach to solving environmental concerns, and provides a unique learning opportunity. Eden Hall Campus will serve as living laboratory where each student's experience will be applied and immersive, with a solid foundation in the academic sustainability literature providing innovative, interdisciplinary education and research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and professional students to better prepare them to identify and solve challenges related to sustainability and the environment.

- A commitment to transparency through annual reporting on progress

Our climate action goals are set in accordance with our commitments to climate neutrality by 2025 through the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) with annual public reporting requirements.

Data is gathered from several sources, including the Chatham University Climate Action Plan, annual greenhouse gas emissions audits, planning documents, etc. Chatham is also in the process of conducting its first STARS assessment, due in October of 2012.

- A description of time-bound targets/goals that can be measured for success

Chatham University purchase RECS equivalent to 100% of our electricity consumption, but we continue our efforts to reduce our real consumption as far as possible. Our goal is to meet the challenge of producing more green energy than we can use, thus becoming a source of sustainable power even while we are a source for sustainable education.

Our GHG reduction goals for 2015 include a 10% reduction in total scopes 1,2,3 emissions, a 20% reduction in total scopes 1,2,3, and a 10% reduction in purchased electricity emissions, all relative to our 2007 emissions baseline.

- A general description of key resources and/or partners dedicated to achieve these targets

Sustainability is one of the three strategic mission initiatives at Chatham. A mission initiative is both broad and deep, creating an institutional identity and focus across a range of activities and timeframes, academic and otherwise. Sustainability is a priority of Chatham's Board of Trustees, and included as part of the university's planning and progress reporting to the Board. Responsibility for implementing the sustainability mission initiative rests with the President's Office and President's Council and their offices.

The Office of Sustainability at Chatham upholds Chatham's deep institutional commitment to sustainability as expressed in day-to-day operations and facilities management. Responsibility for managing targets and the overall goals of reduction lies with the Office of Sustainability, with additional project identification and management from Facilities.

Working closely together, the Office of Sustainability and Chatham's School of Sustainability and the Environment (SSE) strive to implement the University's mission of increasing student's environmental understanding. Launched in 2009, SSE provides innovative, interdisciplinary education and research opportunities for graduate and professional students to better prepare them to identify and solve challenges related to the environment and sustainability. The Eden Hall Campus, currently under development, will serve as an experiential laboratory for students to learn about sustainable energy systems, integrated design, sustainable landscape architecture, and farming techniques.

The Office of Sustainability works with the Chatham Climate Committee and the entire campus community to monitor the University's institutional carbon footprint, identify and develop projects to reduce or eliminate those emissions, and to encourage climate leadership and behavior change across campus. Funding is provided from a mixture of operations and special projects funds.

Deliverables
Deliverable Date
Chatham University Climate Action Plan 2015
School of Sustainability and the Environment at Eden Hall Campus 2015
Resources
Type Details
Staff / Technical expertise Expertise of students and staff concerning sustainable development
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