Working to Reduce Our Emissions

Dickinson was one of the first 20 colleges and universities in the U.S. to commit to reducing emissions of greenhouse gas pollutants. Today, over 400 institutions have made similar commitments. In 2020, Dickinson reached zero net emissions, a goal we set in 2007, making us one of the first 10 carbon neutral colleges or universities in the nation.

We cut our gross emissions of greenhouse gases from nearly 15,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) in 2008 to under 8,000 MTCO2e in 2020. Purchases of carbon offsets brought net emissions down to less than zero.

Significant emission reductions were achieved through:

Energy efficiency and conservation

  • Replacing nearly all lighting with high efficiency LED
  • Optimizing the performance of the central energy plant
  • Connecting residence halls to the central energy plant for heating and cooling
  • Optimizing energy performance of the Rector Science Complex
  • Incorporating energy saving measures when renovating buildings (e.g. energy efficient windows, energy efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment, weather sealing, insulation)
  • Incorporating energy efficient design and technologies in new building construction
  • Purchasing EnergyStar and other high efficiency equipment when replacing appliances

Renewable energy

  • Development of a 3-MW solar photovoltaic field at Dickinson Park that produces zero-carbon electricity equivalent to 25 to 30 percent of our annual electricity us
  • Participation in a virtual power purchasing agreement to enable development of a 45-MW solar farm in Texas
  • Purchasing Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Credits to source the balance of Dickinson’s electricity

Behavior change

  • Campaigns promoting energy savings, walking, biking, and carpooling, waste reduction, recycling, and composting have contributed to emission reductions.

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