Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Yale has reduced net emissions by 28% since 2015, despite a 10% increase in campus size. 

In 2020, Yale achieved its original greenhouse gas emissions goal of a 43% reduction below 2005 levels. This goal was set in alignment with the Kyoto Protocol, which prescribed a reduction of 10% below 1990 levels by 2020.

Yale is now committed to achieving zero actual carbon emissions by 2050 with an interim goal to reach net zero emissions by 2035. Our current goal boundary includes all scope 1 and 2 emissions, aligns with Climate Registry reporting, and uses a 2015 baseline. Reporting to The Climate Registry ensures comprehensive, transparent, and rigorous accounting, and requires verification by a third party.

 

A Global Imperative

Greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change, which affects human health and ecosystems, weather patterns, and sea level rise. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we can help limit the increase in global temperature, and help protect people from potentially catastrophic impacts. 
 
Yale’s efforts help bolster the Paris Agreement, a pact by 196 nations to reduce global emissions. 
Baseline emissions in 2015 were over 300,000 MTCO2e. Yale's 28% net reduction includes 41,000 MTCO2e of verified carbon offsets
 

 

How was this 28% reduction achieved?

Since 2015, Yale has built and renovated millions of square feet of high-performance space in support of the university’s academic mission and aligned with the university’s sustainability goals.

There are $400 million worth of building projects at Yale each year, all of which take into account energy considerations, such as energy conservation projects and operational modifications implemented specifically to reduce energy use, energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. 
 
Our reductions were supplemented by the purchase and retirement of carbon offsets. Learn more about carbon offsets and Yale’s approach to them.  

How can you help?

Stay informed about the impacts of climate change by following the work of programs like the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the Environmental Performance Index
 
  • Do your part. Turn off electronics when you’re not using them, follow temperature setpoints, and report any issues you observe.

 

Read about our emissions reduction progress over the years

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2006

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2007

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2008

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2009

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2010

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2011

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2012

Greenhouse gas reduction strategy — 2013

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2014

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2015

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2016

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2017

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2018

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2019

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction progress — 2020