The momentum of the push to finalize the strategic plan was slowed due to COVID-19, but the Zilkha Center has been working with the Provost and colleagues across campus to continue to advance innovative sustainability solutions. We are beginning to lay the groundwork for more specific and detailed plans addressing the different sections of the sustainability working group draft that will set specific targets and propose strategies for hitting those targets.
While the 2020 emissions reduction plan outlined some strategies to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, the proposed plan goes even deeper and broader. It calls for deep energy retrofits for existing buildings, an approach to decarbonizing heating and cooling across the entire campus, and reducing the college’s greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. This year, we will work on creating a climate action plan with more detailed goals, strategies, and interim goals that will help the college make significant emissions reductions. Following up on last spring’s comprehensive campus waste assessment, the Zilkha Center and campus partners will work this fall to create a strategic waste plan that will address not only waste reduction and diversion but aversion, materials management, and procurement. Similarly Zilkha and Dining Services have been discussing various frameworks that will help increase sustainable food purchases, and for the first time, account for and reduce greenhouse gas emissions of the college’s food purchases.