Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Princeton's primary greenhouse gas goal is to reduce direct carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels (95,000 metric tons) by 2020 — some 17,000 metric tons less than the current amount. This goal is to be accomplished while adding square footage and without the purchase of offsets.
The University seeks to achieve reductions through conservation, application of energy-saving technologies, renewable energy generation and behavior change. Additionally, the University aims to reduce emissions associated with transportation by modeling and promoting sustainable transportation alternatives to reach a goal of reducing the number of cars commuting to campus by 10 percent by 2020.
The strategies employed to reach the goals are included in the following three priority areas:
- Campus Energy: Invest $45 million between 2009 and 2017 to reduce overall utility usage on campus, in part by improving the efficiency of the high-performance central cogeneration plant and the buildings it serves (which account for approximately 85 percent of the University's emissions). These initiatives are being coordinated through an Energy Master Plan.
- Green Building: Increase building efficiency in new construction and major renovation projects using Life Cycle Cost Analysis and strive for LEED Silver equivalency wherever applicable; use on-site renewables and alternative energy technologies, as well as natural resource conservation technologies, wherever cost-effective; build internal expertise to ensure consistent application of the University's Sustainable Building Guidelines across all projects.
- Transportation: Encourage the use of public mass transit; develop and promote car pools and van pools; improve the on-campus transit system; provide and promote a car sharing service; improve the campus network of bicycle paths and walkways, and support and promote walking and biking; communicate information about the University's Transportation Demand Management programs; coordinate campus fleet management; standardize electric carts and ultra-low or zero-emission vehicles; track University-related air travel.