Transportation Commitment Areas
As the Campus Energy section outlines in great detail, the path to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 will evolve over the course of the next ten years to account for new and developing technology. Fleet vehicle emissions are classified as a Scope 1 emission, and therefore directly affect the University’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 net zero emissions targets. Columbia has significantly reduced emissions from on-campus fleets through the work on the first sustainability plan and, as part of Plan 2030, Columbia aims to set and meet more rigorous goals to achieve the stated science-based emissions reductions. Reducing emissions will also have a positive effect on local air quality, contributing to better living conditions for Columbia and its neighbors.
Columbia will use the carbon hierarchy in making decisions toward reducing emissions from its on-campus fleet:
Zero emission on-campus vehicle Fleets by 2037 or sooner, aligning with NYC goals.
- Beginning immediately, require that retired department vehicles be replaced only with hybrid or electric vehicles through 2027, and with only electric vehicles after 2027, pending market availability.
- Maximize efficiency of shuttle routes and minimize unnecessary mileage and emissions through ongoing analysis.
- Offset emissions that cannot be eliminated with strategic offset projects until net zero is met, by 2037 or sooner.
As of 2019, mobile combustion accounts for 1% of total emissions in Columbia’s portfolio. While the percentage may seem minimal, the impact to air quality is a very local issue and attention to this emissions source remains central to Columbia’s climate leadership. To this end, Columbia was one of the first in New York City to introduce all-electric buses into its fleet in 2018, reducing annual emissions by over 70% and demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of vehicle electrification.
CUIMC is aligned with all stated goals and strategies in this section.
LDEO is aligned with all stated goals and strategies in this section.