The University of Chicago is targeting deeper cuts in its greenhouse gas emissions, setting a goal of a 50% reduction across University operations by 2030. To meet the new greenhouse gas emissions goal, the University will focus on the procurement of electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar, continued implementation of energy conservation projects, improvement in the University’s landfill diversion rate, and reductions in fleet vehicles gasoline use.
Detailed plans to achieve the 50% reduction goal by 2030 are in development, and they will be posted on this page as they become available. Energy efficiency in buildings is the top priority since natural gas and electricity usage in campus buildings contributes to approximately 70 percent of the University’s greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts are part of a more comprehensive Sustainability Plan that includes a detailed greenhouse gas emissions inventory and reductions plan.
Climate Change and Energy Initiatives
Greenhouse gas emissions are tied to all major campus operations, including buildings, transportation, waste, food, landscape, and procurement. Emissions reduction is the key sustainability goal as the University seeks to understand and minimize its contribution to climate change.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan
The new 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target is a continuation of the University’s efforts in the area, which traces back to 2009 when Facilities Services first established a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. The University of Chicago Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan (FY2018–FY2025) outlined the University’s previous goal to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon intensity by 2025 through a series of retro-commissioning and energy projects implemented from 2018 to 2025. The plan consisted of strategic initiatives that resulted in sustainable energy savings without compromise to comfort within campus facilities. The University of Chicago recently established a more aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal to achieve a 50% reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. A plan is currently under development that focuses on the procurement of electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar, continued implementation of energy conservation projects, increasing the University’s landfill diversion rate, and reducing fleet vehicles’ gasoline use to achieve the aggressive new goals.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Overview 2012-2018
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory includes a brief background on environmental sustainability at the University of Chicago, an overview of the methodology employed to calculate the University’s greenhouse gas emissions, and a summary of the current greenhouse gas emissions. This inventory includes the University of Chicago Hyde Park campus, excluding the medical campus.