Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables - November 16, 2021
Kenyon College Adds Sustainability into Strategic Plan
Kenyon College recently added sustainability into its strategic plan amid calls from within the school to prioritize sustainability goals and establish concrete targets to reach carbon neutrality.
The college released a sustainability statement explaining that it recently purchased RECs to cover its electricity consumption and incorporated sustainability concepts into new constructions such as its LEED gold-certified Chalmers Library. The university is also focused on fossil fuel divestment and plans for less than 1% of its investment portfolio to be in fossil fuels by 2030.
“The fact that we have specific sustainability and carbon neutrality issues identified in the strategic plan is a really good thing because that’s where, when it comes down to choices about the College’s resources and how to allocate them, the strategic plan is one of the governing documents,” Ian Smith, vice president for Facilities, Planning and Sustainability, told the college’s student newspaper.
An open letter from student interns at the Office of Green Initiatives (OGI) urged the school to consider other carbon sources such as embodied emissions from the materials and construction of old buildings and infrastructure. However, college administrators have expressed concern over the viability of such an audit.
Kenyon announced its commitment to reaching carbon neutrality by 2040 in 2015. The college’s sustainability steering committee will develop a plan with interim goals by 2022 and plans to re-evaluate those targets every three years.