In 2007, Emerson College (alongside 700 other higher education institutions) signed the carbon commitment, in which Emerson agreed to work toward carbon neutrality by 2030. In 2016, President Lee Pelton signed the resilience commitment, in which the College agreed to prepare for challenges caused by climate change. Together, these two commitments constitute the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, overseen by Second Nature, a third-party organization.
Since 2007, Emerson has made significant strides on the Boston campus toward its climate commitment. It has reduced its net carbon emissions by over 50%, despite increasing its square footage by 60%. Four out of five residence halls are LEED-certified. Campus buildings have decreased their carbon emissions by 80%. Emerson purchases enough wind energy to cover 100% of its electricity needs, which has allowed the College to become an EPA Green Power Partner. Bon Appétit Management Co. sources at least 20% of its food from small, owner-operated farms and ranches within a 150-mile radius of campus, and the Dining Center offers a reusable clamshell food container and tumbler program. These are just a few successes highlighting the College’s commitment to sustainability.
The Emerson community has made substantial progress toward its goal of reaching carbon neutrality and climate resilience by 2030. However, despite these achievements, there is (and always will be) work yet to be done to carry out our commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change. Explore some of the ways in which Emerson is committing to being a leader of social change on the sustainability front and get involved in our efforts.