Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Solar - May 2, 2018
Harvard achieves 30% GHG emissions reduction
Among the milestones reported in the 2017 Harvard Sustainability Report was a 30% reduction in net GHG emissions from 2006 to 2017. With 96% of their emissions from building electricity use, heating, and cooling, and 4% from vehicle fleet and refrigerant losses, the University said it achieved expansive on-campus emissions reductions, supplemented with a limited amount of off-site emissions reduction projects.
In a statement in the Harvard Gazette, Heather Henriksen, director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability said,, "Ten years ago, when our initial climate goal was set and the Office for Sustainability was created by President [Drew] Faust, we didn’t know how we’d meet the 30 percent reduction in net emissions by 2016, but we worked together, and we met our goal.” She continued, "Now, we will use our lessons learned to inform how we achieve our ambitious new fossil fuel-free goal. And we will also continue our commitment to accomplishing the goals, standards, and commitments embedded in our Sustainability Plan by 2020.”
Other achievements cited in the report included the premiere of a new rooftop 1.5 MW solar installation—the second-largest solar system at the University; 129 LEED-certified green building projects across campus, including the first and second LEED v4 commercial interiors projects in Massachusetts, and a decline in net energy use of 4% from a 2006 baseline. Excluding growth, energy use dropped 18%. The report noted that reductions in building energy use from energy efficiency measures offset the impact of growth in square footage.
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