Columbia will meet its sustainable energy goal through the focused application of available and emerging energy efficiency, technology, and supply market options. Columbia’s action plan for campus energy will follow the carbon management hierarchy, address critical regulatory requirements for campus buildings (i.e. Local Law 97), and exploit clean energy options that emerge in response to New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). The CLCPA has charted an aggressive course for the state to have a net zero economy by 2050, including an interim goal of 70% renewable energy by 2030, and decarbonization of the electric sector by 2040.
Goal & Strategies
Columbia commits to electrification and 100% renewable electricity.
Strategy 1: In the near- to mid-term, aggressively identify and implement opportunities to avoid and reduce emissions through traditional energy efficiency measures including new building and retro-commissioning standards, space use optimization, and both electricity- and fuel-related improvements in efficiency.
Strategy 2: Transition as rapidly as is practical from brown power paired with national renewable energy credits (RECs) to zero-emission electricity sources on the New York grid that, where feasible, are Local Law 97 (LL97)-eligible or (ideally) are located on Columbia campuses.
Strategy 3: Mid- to long-term, pair deep conservation with electrification to displace fossil fuels used for heating and cooling. As a first step, Columbia will undertake comprehensive engineering studies of strategic electrification of its campuses.
Campus Energy Content Sections
Continuing its 2018 commitment to achieve 100% net zero emissions electricity, Columbia University has again taken action to mitigate emissions associated with its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from purchased electricity.
Columbia has committed to quantifying and reducing its Scope 3 emissions. Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions not included in Scope 2, and that arise from upstream and downstream activities in Columbia’s value chain.