Zero Waste and Climate Action Plan Updates

Zero Waste Action Plan Update

The Zero Waste Action Planning Group, which is led by the Zilkha Center and includes both stakeholders from across campus who engage with waste, surplus, and procurement and student representatives, continues to refine the action steps necessary to meet the waste-related goals set forth in the college’s strategic plan. 

In December, the ZWAPG shifted its meetings to breakout sessions focused on particular issue areas starting with one dedicated to discussing the possibility of a surplus storage facility and asset management platform for surplus items.  Earlier in January, the group met to discuss strategies to improve and expand reusable dishware and to-go containers.  In the coming months, the group will discuss hard-to-recycle materials, sustainable events, and eliminating non-essential plastic from campus.  The group plans to send the ZWAP to senior leadership by the end of the spring semester and, once approved, it will be published. 


Climate Action Plan Update

The College continues its work on developing and implementing the necessary steps to achieve the climate goals enshrined in the 2021 Strategic Plan, including an ambitious target to reduce emissions from campus fossil fuel combustion by at least 80 percent by 2035 (we already eliminated emissions from our electricity purchases). With the selection of full-service engineering firm RMF last November we are now deep in the early stages of developing an Energy and Carbon Master Plan (ECMP), led by Jason Moran from PD&C, which will serve as the roadmap for decarbonizing the campus and is expected to be finalized in the fall of 2022.

Spurred by the work on the ECMP, it was decided to create a new Energy Committee involving staff in PD&C working on energy and sustainability, the project team at RMF, the Zilkha Center and chair of the Campus Environmental Advisory Committee as well as representatives from our energy supply management consultant Competitive Energy Services. The new committee provides the necessary, ongoing advisory, decision, and planning support to RMF and the ECMP process, while the broader Climate Action Planning Group (CAPG) serves as the general forum and clearinghouse for climate change actions on campus. The living Climate Action Plan (CAP) will reflect the work done by the Energy Committee and CAPG and thus track our progress towards the Strategic Plan climate goals.