Climate Action

Taking Action in a Changing Climate

In 2005 Yale committed to a greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 43% below 2005 levels by 2020.  To achieve this goal, and become carbon neutral by 2050, we are reducing energy use in buildings through conservation and efficiency, adhering to sustainable construction and renovation standards for buildings, increasing efficiency in Yale’s on-campus power plants, and promoting behavioral shifts by campus users.


Yale’s Efforts

  • We strive for responsible energy use through conservation, efficiency upgrades, and creative approaches to campus use.
  • We ensure energy generated in Yale’s Power Plants and through renewable sources is as efficient as possible.
  • The Carbon Offsets Task Force, a group of students, faculty, and staff, is working to develop recommendations for University leadership. They are creating criteria for meaningful offsets and an operational structure to support a carbon offsets program at Yale. 

What You Can Do

Our Objectives and Goals

Achieve carbon neutrality for Yale University by or before 2050

Nearly five years after a major renovation, Yale University Art Gallery collaborated with Facilities Energy Management to re-evaluate space conditions and mechanical systems serving the museum.  Expansion of temperature set points in alignment with new gallery standards, enhancements to the building automation system and logic, and light mechanical modifications resulted in a 35% reduction in total energy use annually.

This Objective is supported by the following goal(s): 
Goal: 

GHG Emissions Reduction Commitment

ON TRACK

By 2020, meet or exceed the 2005 commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43% below 2005 levels. 

Progress: 

Facilities continues to pursue energy savings through capital projects and operational improvements. Energy Management formulated and implemented more than 30 individual energy conservation measures across multiple campus buildings. These projects will reduce approximately 2,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. Since 2005, Yale has decreased its GHG emissions by 24%. Student research projects explored energy systems and energy conservation strategies across campus.

Goal: 

Carbon Neutrality Strategy

ON TRACK

By 2019, develop a strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by or before 2050.

Progress: 

Yale Facilities convened a committee to set five-year targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions based on a variety of feasible approaches to campus demand management and infrastructure development. Further research, scenario planning, and a master planning exercise will provide a framework for future iterations. 

Goal: 

Scope 3 Emissions Reduction Program

ON TRACK

By 2020, develop a program and related technology to account for, reduce, and offset emissions from University events and travel to position Yale to set a Scope 3 emissions reduction commitment.
 
Progress: 

Yale Sustainability has identified a methodology for a comprehensive accounting of Scope 3 emissions. The Human Resources & Administration Sustainability Action Plan will support guidelines for sustainable travel, which will be developed and promoted by Yale Travel Management.

Mitigation and Adaptation

Develop, test, and share climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in support of overall regional resilience.

This Objective is supported by the following goal(s): 
Goal: 

Campus Resilience Plan

WE COULD DO BETTER

By 2019, create a campus resilience plan that aligns with local and regional adaptation approaches for resiliency. 

Progress: 

The Global Network of Advanced Management is holding a course this fall that will lay the groundwork for the development of a Working Group and Plan. The city of New Haven is partnering in this initiative. 

Investment Opportunities

Incorporate the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and possible governmental responses to climate change in the evaluation of investment opportunities.

This Objective is supported by the following goal(s): 
Goal: 

Yale Investments and Climate Change

ON TRACK

Encourage Yale’s external investment managers to consider the risks and opportunities associated with climate change in their investment processes with respect to Yale’s portfolio.

Progress: 

Yale continues to work with endowment investment managers to consider the economic impact and risks of climate change on investments. This influences managers’ investment decisions and discussions with portfolio company executives. Yale is exploring non-endowment investment options related to carbon reduction.