Chevrolet ‘credits’ schools for clean energy leadership
Colleges and universities across the United States are pledging to reduce their carbon emissions. There’s a clean energy revolution happening in communities across the country and a lot of ingenuity and commitment behind it.
While Chevrolet is reinventing the automobile to increase its efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint, there’s a movement driving campuses to run on cleaner energy. These two things actually go hand-in-hand. A clean energy infrastructure and vehicles like the electric Volt or Spark EV work together to maximize the full benefits of each.
We’ve now unlocked a new path to carbon savings. In partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Climate Neutral Business Network and support from U.S. Green Building Council and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, we developed a formula enabling campuses to earn money for their clean energy efficiency upgrades. Chevrolet will now buy and retire carbon credits resulting from leading campuses’ greenhouse gas reductions from either their LEED certified buildings or other campus wide energy-saving initiatives.
With Chevrolet’s voluntary initiative preventing up to 8 million metric tons of carbon emissions from entering the earth’s atmosphere—the carbon-reduction benefit of a mature forest the size of Yellowstone—it is supporting the innovative ways people are reducing their carbon emissions.
Eban Goodstein, director of Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy, sums up the significance: “Historically, campuses purchased other organizations’ carbon credits to help achieve carbon neutrality. Now they are earning revenues for the carbon reductions achieved right on their own sites, where the long-term clean energy benefits lie for their community.”
This is the first time college campuses can use carbon performance methodologies to monetize their greenhouse gas reductions from their energy efficiency leadership.
Campuses are increasingly pursuing aggressive clean energy efficiency projects from installing more efficient building equipment to using renewable energy to help power operations. As carbon emissions continue to contribute to the warming of the earth, such funding enables universities to reduce their environmental impact and save money on utility bills while engaging and educating students in their efforts.
Two schools have participated as pilot projects: Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. and Valencia College in Orlando, Fla. They’ve since confirmed that funding such as Chevrolet’s is strategic to their other efforts to reduce greenhouse gases.
Chevrolet is dedicated to securing a cleaner energy future through innovative, highly efficient vehicles and responsible manufacturing. When we collaborate with others looking to achieve the same outcome—like the leaders driving the higher ed sustainability movement—we can realize even greater results.