American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC)
Oberlin took a leadership role in environmental stewardship it became one of the nation’s first institutions of higher education to accept the goal of climate neutrality by signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
As a charter signatory, Oberlin was one of the first four schools in the United States and the first in its peer group to sign the ACUPCC, an environmental initiative developed by Second Nature, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and ecoAmerica to address what they term "the defining challenge of our century—the twin crises of energy sustainability and climate change."
Building on the growing momentum of action on climate change, the ACUPCC provides a framework and supporting mechanisms for America’s colleges and universities to rapidly accelerate this effort. It capitalizes on the critical role of colleges and universities to serve as examples for their communities and to train the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming.
Signatories to the ACUPCC pledge to commit their institutions to making the transition to a climate neutral society a major priority.
- The Commitment (pdf)
- Program Overview (pdf)
- ACUPCC Implementation Guide (pdf)
- Oberlin's A Plan to be Carbon Neutral
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
As part of the ACUPCC commitment, Oberlin College is regularly conducts inventories of all greenhouse gas emissions from electricity, heating, air travel and commuting.
Energy Study for Campus Climate Action Plan
Oberlin College seeks to maintain and expand its role as a national leader in campus sustainability. Energy Ventures International has been hired to conduct a comprehensive Design and Engineering study to develop the energy component of Oberlin College’s Climate Action Plan. The purpose of this study, commissioned by Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov, is to explore and assess costs and benefits of the options available for reducing CO2 emissions associated with energy use. The CES (Committee for Environmental Sustainability) has, through previous research, identified three areas which they feel present the greatest potential for CO2 emissions reductions (and potentially offsets). They are 1) conversion and/or replacement/or reduction in dependency of what is currently a coal-fired central heating plant (CHP), 2) adoption of energy efficiency and sustainability measures in the technologies and management of buildings and equipment (both heating and electricity) and 3) purchasing and/or producing electricity with low carbon emissions intensity. Additional important components of Oberlin’s Climate Neutral Plan will address environmentally sustainable transportation, grounds, purchasing and food.
Campus Climate Action Plan
Following the completion of the College’s greenhouse gas inventory and the sustainability course, the Office of Environmental Sustainability worked with the Committee on Environmental Sustainability to develop acomprehensive Campus Climate Action Plan. This plan assesses the impacts of the college’s current level of emissions, develop indicators and targets for continual improvement and outline a specific implementation plan and priorities for improvement. In 2009, Oberlin submitted A Plan to be Carbon Neutral that set a target of carbon neutrality by 2025.