Agnes Scott College's Climate Action Contribution
About Agnes Scott College's Climate Efforts
- Set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2037 and reduced emissions of scopes 1 and 2 by over 30 percent to date;
- Installed a quarter megawatt of solar power and two geothermal HVAC systems;
- Pioneered the use of a Green Revolving Fund, raising $1 million from donors to invest in energy and water efficiency;
- Developed an interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability studies minor with the number of students declaring the minor doubling in the past two years;
- Created a Center for Sustainability, unique for a college of our size, which works to integrate sustainability into both the college’s operations and its curriculum, and houses at least two full time staff and five or more student interns and volunteers during each semester.
Climate Action Commitments
Current Climate Actions Agnes Scott College Is Taking:
Commit to Responsible Engagement in Climate Policy
While individual organization action is necessary, local and federal government action is also needed to reach global climate goals. Your organization can have a critical voice in advancing public policy. A commitment to responsible engagement in climate policy means that your organization commits to supporting public policy to: promote energy efficiency and renewable energy; increase investment in a clean energy economy; support climate change adaptation, or put a price on carbon.
Commit to Reducing the Climate Impact of Your Transportation
Organizations making a commitment to reduce the climate impact of transportation should consider practices such as measuring transportation greenhouse gas emissions and setting reduction targets, switching fuels, optimizing the efficiency of shipping operations, and reducing transit- and travel-related greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses can develop a green transportation action plan to map the movement of goods to market and identify opportunities to increase efficiency. Organizations can buy hybrid and electric vehicles within their own fleet, and can reduce the footprint of their workforce through incentivizing public transportation, installing EV charging stations, promoting telework, and locating near transit centers.
Commit to Increase Your Use of Renewable Power
Increasing your percentage of renewable energy sources is a key component of reducing overall GHG emissions. Installing onsite renewable generation, like solar panels, is a good long-term strategy if possible. But renewable energy can also be procured through Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), renewable power purchasing agreements (PPAs), and in some locations from retail electricity providers or local utilities that offers a high percentage of renewable power. Also consider becoming an EPA Green Power Partner.
Commit to Completing a Resilience Assessment in Partnership with your Community
The Resilience Assessment is a key process to understand current strengths and vulnerabilities of the campus and community. This should be completed through research, in person forums, or other processes to engage your stakeholders in this assessment.
Commit to Creating a Green Revolving Fund on Campus or in Community
A Revolving Fund is a financing mechanism targeted to campus climate action projects that lower emissions, increase capacity for future projects, and reduce operating costs. Successful funds are at minimum 1% of the institution’s endowment value, or seeded at one million dollars. This is awarded as a Mark of Distinction for Second Nature Commitment Signatories.
Take Actions That Lead to Climate Leadership Network Marks of Distinction
The Marks of Distinction recognize performance among a select group of higher education institutions. For campuses that are part of the Climate Leadership Network, performing exemplary activities that illustrate climate leadership is crucial to inspire new climate action with your students, alumni, and community.
Sign one of the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments
President’s Climate Leadership Commitments are signed by Higher Education presidents and chancellors. They can sign either the Carbon or the Resilience Commitment, or the integrated Climate Commitment. The commitments require strong leadership to create a implementation structures on campuses, complete GHG inventories, develop climate action plans and consistently report on progress.
New Climate Actions Agnes Scott College Commits To Take:
Commit to an Aggregated Purchase with other Campuses to Procure Large Scale Renewable Energy
To meet ambitious climate goals, campuses must find cost effective ways to decarbonize energy supply. Aggregations helps enable smaller institutions to access the market and larger institutions to diversify their energy portfolio in a financially meaningful way. Start this process through attending Aggregation workshops via Second Nature or other partners.This is awarded as a Mark of Distinction for Second Nature Commitment Signatories.
Revise your Institution’s Climate Action Plan to Align with Other Sectors’ Climate Goals
Many campus climate action plans have not been updated in nearly a decade and much in the world has changed since they were first created. Build off of existing examples of climate action plans within the private sector, and/or look at local, city, state, regional, or international examples to allign or exceed your climate goals with new updates. These revisions could also be done in conjunction with a cross-sector forum.