Overview

In our 2016 Climate Action Plan, Brandeis University committed to frequent, clear, and transparent communication about our carbon footprint goals, progress, and the steps taken -- and needed -- to achieve them.

Here, you can view the most up-to-date data on our sustainability performance in the following categories:

Carbon footprint

Waste diversion rates

Solar

Brandeis has two rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, and one solar thermal installation. The solar PV installations are located on the Goldfarb Library and the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center. Follow the links below to view real-time data on their electricity production.

Gosman solar energy generation

Goldfarb solar energy generation

Charles River Grad Housing is the home of our campus solar hot water system. Watch a video about the system here.

Our Accomplishments

Since fiscal year (FY) 2015, the baseline for our Climate Action Plan, we have seen a significant decrease in our energy usage in both natural gas and electricity. In fiscal year 2016, the university used 10% less energy on campus and reduced its carbon footprint by approximately 8% over FY 2015. While the 2015-2016 relatively warm winter accounted for some of this reduction, data indicates that for the first time we used energy more efficiently during the summer, despite warmer temperatures (measured in electricity usage per cooling degree day).

FY 2017, Waltham experienced both a colder winter and a hotter summer than the previous year, and yet we still managed to use 2% less electricity. We used slightly more gas (2.5%) due the colder winter. However, we still used nearly 9% less gas in FY 2017 than in the most recent year with a comparable number of heating degree days (FY 2013). These are also indicators that we are using energy more efficiently. 

Since February of 2016, Brandeis has seen a dramatic increase in composting in our two dining halls, as well as a substantial increase in recycling rate, due to the efforts of Sustainable Brandeis, Sodexo, and our Facilities Services Team. Our short-term goal is to increase our recycling rate to at least 40% of our waste stream (U.S. college & university average), expand composting, and reduce waste overall.