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Climate Action Plan

Download the 2016 Brandeis University Climate Action Plan

Since its founding in 1948, Brandeis has been committed to social justice. Climate change presents a serious threat to all human life and especially to vulnerable communities. It is imperative that we act to reduce our carbon footprint not only in support of the 2015 Paris Agreement, but because of our commitment to ensuring that students remain deeply concerned about the welfare of others and appreciate the power and responsibilities that come with knowledge.

Our 2016 Climate Action Plan outlines several efforts we will undertake to reduce our carbon footprint. Our short-term goals were to reduce our emissions by 10% by fiscal year (FY) 2018, which we achieved, and to reduce it 15% by FY 2020, over the fiscal year 2015 baseline. 

In FY 2018, we surpassed our goal and reduced emissions by 12.6%. 

How we did it.  We implemented measures to increase building energy efficiency, such as HVAC and building envelope improvements. We created and enforced an Energy Policy that limits over-cooling in summer and over-heating in winter. And we took measures to reduce natural gas usage at our central heating plant, including lowering steam line pressure during cooling season, and piloting biofuel in winter 2017-2018.

Our commitments.
  In 2007, Brandeis signed the Carbon Commitment. In 2015, we re-wrote our Climate Action Plan, and in 2016 we announced our first carbon footprint reduction, ever. Then, shortly after the White House announced its plans to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, Brandeis' President Ron Liebowitz was one of the first to sign We Are Still In, declaring that we will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

Why it matters.  
According to the most recent IPCC report, the next few years are probably the most important in our history in terms of carbon reduction. Living up to our carbon reduction commitments has never been more important. The worst impacts of climate change are not inevitable, but the time for action is now

What's next. We will continue to pursue our next goal, a 15% reduction over 2015 by fiscal year 2020. In the pipeline are multi-building LED lighting upgrades (see SCC info, below), an energy-efficient heating pilot in Charles River Apartments, and building assessments to identify additional efficiency opportunities. Before 2020, we will set new reduction goals.

Click here to view the university's 2008 Climate Action Plan.