Climate Action Plan
Chatham and the Environment – Introduction
Since its founding in 1869, Chatham University has embraced the environment as part of its
mission. Situated on a wooden hillside overlooking Pittsburgh‘s neighborhoods, the then-
Pennsylvania Female College was often called an ―oasis‖ far from the soot and pollution of the
City‘s industrial past. Sixty years after its founding, Chatham would grant a degree in biology to
the once-and-future environmentalist Rachel Carson, who would later alert the public to the
dangers of pesticide overuse. Decades later, as climate change becomes a global threat,
Chatham‘s focus on the environment and its dedication to honoring the legacy of Rachel
Carson have informed its passionate involvement in the American College and University
Presidents‘ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
Indeed, even before becoming a charter signatory of the President‘s Climate Commitment,
Chatham and its Rachel Carson Institute moved the campus community toward more
ecologically-minded actions. Since 2002 – the 40th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring
– Chatham has eliminated the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides and increased its
purchasing of power from alternative sources to 15 percent. Participating whole-heartedly in
the ACUPCC was the natural extension of these commitments. As with most activities at
Chatham, reaching our climate goals will be a university-wide effort built upon the support of
Trustees and students, faculty and staff.
From Plan to Action
This Climate Action Plan will highlight our efforts thus far. Upon signing the agreement in 2007,
we formed the Campus Climate Committee with representatives from administration, faculty
and students. This committee is charged with guiding the University to a comprehensive
climate action plan. With the help of students, administration and facilities management, we
completed the baseline audit of our Shadyside campus in 2008. By September of that year,
Chatham hired its first sustainability coordinator to provide expertise and oversight of the
process, as well as to assist with integrating sustainability into our curriculum and our
During that time, Chatham increased its holdings with the addition of the 388-acre Eden Hall
Campus in Richland Township (approximately 45 minutes from our Woodland Road location)
and Chatham Eastside, a 250,000-square-foot structure located one mile from Woodland Road.
In the true spirit of the Commitment, we have chosen to conduct individual baselines for each
of the two new sites since Eden Hall Campus‘ acres of field and forest have so few emissions
and provide a large carbon offset. Also, since Chatham Eastside has a fairly large footprint, we
are committed to renovating it to LEED Silver standards. By setting up baselines for each, we
can show real improvement and judge our true progress at each location.
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Our participation in ACUPCC has also reached out to the region-at-large. Chatham is part of
the City of Pittsburgh‘s Climate Action Plan and has agreed to work toward the City‘s 20
percent real reduction in emissions by 2023. As you will read in this report, Chatham‘s
preliminary data suggests that we can achieve real Scope 2 reductions of at least 10 percent
over the next 2-5 years through efficiency measures, and an additional 10 percent real
reduction over the following 7-9 years with energy and facility upgrade measures.
More long-term goals include geothermal and combined heat/power projects that are expected
to show additional real reductions in Scope 2 emissions. We are also investigating solar
photovoltaic and solar thermal projects to further reduce emissions. We have also committed
to alternative power purchasing at 15 percent or higher, as well as purchasing offsets for what
we are not able to directly reduce under Scope 2.
From Action to Academics
Chatham has always had a strong science program and a very strong focus on environmental
issues across the curriculum. We offer courses in environmental science, environmental
studies and policy, and environmental citizenship as part of our core curriculum. Our outreach
centers offer programs in environmental policy, sustainable business practices, and even organic
gardening, while our health sciences programs examine women‘s environmental health issues
and our education programs offers environmental science certification for teachers.
Growing from our environmental mission initiative, Chatham in 2009 established the School of
Sustainability and the Environment. The new School will provide ground-breaking and
innovative, interdisciplinary education and research opportunities for undergraduate, graduate
and professional students to better prepare them to identify and solve challenges related to the
environment and sustainability.
One hundred and forty years ago, Chatham‘s founders may not have foreseen the growth of
the tiny ―college on the hill.‖ Eighty years ago, Rachel Carson may not have imagined that the
smoke-stained city she would leave for Woods Hole and elsewhere would become a leader in
the green building movement, or that birds of prey, once near extinction when she wrote Silent
Spring, would now nest among the downtown office towers. Because of participation in
ACUPCC and our own environmental passion, Chatham‘s community members want to dream
of what positive impact on the climate will have in next century.
We have found the entire ACUPCC process to be deeply instructive and even
transformational, as we examine the many aspects of our campus life and behavior through its
lens. We grow and change as we progress with our action plan, look forward to more
challenges and a few victories along the way, and are proud to share this report.
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The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment is a high-visibility effort
to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse gas
emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip
society to re-stabilize the earth‘s climate. The commitment is led by a Steering Committee of
presidents, and Dr. Barazzone is a member of that committee. The project is supported by
the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), Second
Nature and ecoAmerica. The Presidents Climate Commitment is a public, transparent process,
and participants publicly post their results on the PCC/AASHE web site and other public
Signatory schools pledge to complete a baseline greenhouse gas emissions inventory within one
year of signing their pledge. Within two years of signing, the school agrees to develop a climate
neutrality action plan, and begin implementation of a series of tangible actions designed to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Institutions also pledge to Integrate sustainability into the
curriculum and make it part of the educational experience of the campus.
Chatham University has signed the commitment, is part of PCC Steering Committee, and has
formed a joint faculty, staff, and student committee to implement the program.
Chatham completed the initial emissions inventory over the summer of 2008, and has
embarked on implementation of a number of sustainability initiatives, as well as created the new
position of Sustainability Coordinator to help guide the process. Chatham‘s baseline emissions
inventory for the Woodland campus was completed over the summer of 2008, and is posted
on the ACUPCC reporting site as well as Chatham‘s Climate Commitment web pages.
Once the baseline emissions inventory was completed, the committee began working to
develop a Climate Action Plan. The plan includes mitigation strategies for the emissions
sources of all scopes, as well as education, research and community outreach plans. The PCC
agreement also requires an institution make realistic financing decisions and include long-term
tracking as part of the plan. These plans are modifiable, and are to be evaluated on every-
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Campus Emissions Inventory
In accordance with the recommendations of the America College and University Presidents
Climate Commitment, Chatham uses the Clean Air-Cool Planet Campus Carbon Calculator to
“The Campus Carbon Calculator is an electronic MS Excel workbook that takes the energy use, agriculture, refrigerant, and
solid waste data and calculates estimates of the greenhouse gas emissions for the campus. It includes the greenhouse gases
specified by the Kyoto Protocol (CO2, CH4, N2O, HFC and PFC, and SF6). The spreadsheets are based on the workbooks
provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, www.ipcc.ch) for national-level inventories. They have
been adapted for use at an institution like a college or university, but follow virtually all the same protocols.”
Campus Carbon Calculator User Guide, v 5.0, 2006 Clean Air-Cool Planet
Sources, Assumptions, and Uncertainties
The Climate Committee has made every effort to compile accurate data. Some information has
never been tracked by the university before, and no accurate records from the period exist.
Therefore, some information had to be estimated. In such cases, in keeping with the spirit of
the Climate Commitment, we chose to round up rather than down and to assume greater,
rather than lesser, carbon emissions.
The data were primarily collected from Business Office records, including electricity purchases,
fuel purchases, refrigerant subcontracts, and waste hauling subcontracts. Some assumptions
and attendant uncertainties are delineated below. These are also recorded in the Journal that
tracks how decisions are made and calculated, for consistency from year to year.
Specific assumptions or estimates are explained in the following pages.
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Figure 1 - Spreadsheet Map of the Campus Carbon Calculator, v6.0
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Commuter miles were calculated by survey, with ~40% response. The response data was
compared to Safety & Security Office figures for parking pass registration. The survey
distinguished between Fall, Spring, Maymester and Summer terms in an effort to more clearly
reflect actual miles traveled.
The Summer Music and Arts Day Camp at the Shadyside Campus provides intensive music- and
arts-based experiences to community youth. Summer campers were treated as commuters,
and their mileage was estimated. Camp registration data was used to estimate mileage from
the center of the relevant zip code to Chatham‘s Chapel drop-off site, using web-based
directional services like Mapquest or GoogleMaps. For campers, we made the assumption of
one round trip per family of children per day for the duration of the program. Campers may be
registered for any combination of 5, 12, 15 or 30 days, but for convenience and efficiency, we
estimated all campers to be enrolled for the entire 30 days. Although we know that many of
the campers live nearby and walk to camp, we assumed that all campers were driven.
The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School Summer Program houses students at Fickes Hall for 42
days each summer. Students travel by school bus to and from the Ballet School in the Strip
District daily. This bus travel was also included as summer commuter miles.
Commuting data also includes sport team bus and van miles, calculated from Business Office
records and Athletic Association schedules. This was added under Summer commuting,
although the trips may have been taken over the year. We did not distinguish if sports teams
used a van or shuttle for the trips for the baseline. In addition, we added 200 miles of
miscellaneous travel miles, in order to compensate for any Maymester and summer local field
trips that may not have been recorded otherwise.
Air travel was calculated from Business Office expense reimbursement, purchase orders and
check request records. The mileage from originating city to destination city was calculated
directly, and may not include connecting flight. (It is now possible to get actual miles in the air
as well as plane type data for future trips, and we will be developing methods to capture this
information for our records.) Air travel calculations do not include resident student travel to
and from campus each semester or holiday.
We have included all Chatham sports team air miles for all sports.
The data also include flights for Chatham‘s Modern Japanese Prints workshop offered each year.
Attendees come from around the world, as do the instructors, and their air miles are recorded
in the faculty and student commuting section.
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Eden Hall Farm
In 2007, Chatham University was given the gift of Eden Hall Farm by the Eden Hall Foundation.
Originally assembled by Sebastian Mueller, one of the first executives at the H.J. Heinz
Company, Eden Hall Farm served as Mr. Mueller‘s summer estate and a retreat for generations
of the company‘s working women.
The 388-acre campus includes a working conference and retreat center, the Sebastian Mueller
House, and over 32 forested acres currently under a Forest Service Conservation Stewardship
The university collected the first full year of emissions data for Eden Hall Farm over 2008. In
order to reflect both the differing time frames and the very different footprints of the Shadyside
and Eden Hall campuses, we have determined to maintain separate records and reduction plans
for each. This should prevent the low footprint of Eden Hall Farm from masking the impact of
the Shadyside footprint, and allow us to make maximum improvements on each campus
without confusion. This also allows us to more easily calculate our footprint for participation in
the City of Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, since Eden Hall farm is not within the city.
Chatham University purchased 6585 Penn Avenue, a large office building at the corner of Penn
Avenue and Washington Blvd., in Pittsburgh‘s fast-growing East End in 2008. The building, now
called Chatham Eastside, is 250,000 square feet, built midcentury.
Chatham Eastside will house the Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Nursing,
Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Studies graduate degree
programs, occupying 52,000 square feet of the building‘s leasable space. The remainder of the
space is leased to the building‘s current occupants. The space used by Chatham is now under
renovation, being designed to LEED standards, and is expected to receive a Silver rating.
Due to the lack of previous records, Eastside‘s emissions data will be collected and targeted
separately from the Woodland campus and Eden Hall Farm, although it will be included with
Woodland for the purposes of the City of Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan.
Chatham also added the Haber Apartments building in 2008. That data will be recorded as part
of the Shadyside Campus footprint, beginning with the 2009 inventory. Pelletreau Apartments
data (building purchased in 2007) will be reflected in the 2008 Woodland Campus emissions
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Emissions Inventory Results
The results of the 2007 baseline emissions inventory are listed in the following tables.
A significant portion of a university‘s greenhouse gas emissions are tied to either campus
population or to the energy used for buildings. Consequently, commuter data and square
footage are important for future calculations, including growth estimates and emissions changes.
Information on Chatham‘s population and square footage for the baseline year 2007 are shown
Calculations are based on used definitions used in the U.S. Department of Education's
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Residential Students 1,173
Commuter Students 695
Full-time Faculty 78
Part-time Faculty 145
Full-time Staff 166
Part-time Staff 29
Total Student Enrollment (FTE) 1,213
Calculations are based on the Space Use Codes in the US Department of Education's
Postsecondary Education Facilities Inventory and Classification Manual.
Net assignable square feet of laboratory space 18,000sq ft
Net assignable square feet of health care space 0 sq ft
Net assignable square feet of residential space 268,000 sq ft
Gross square feet of building space 723,000 sq ft
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Scope 1 Emissions
From sources directly owned or controlled by Chatham, including emissions from the campus
fleet of vehicles. Chatham does not produce its own power at this time. Scope 1 also includes
unintentional leaks of refrigerants during maintenance.
Stationary Combustion 0 metric tons of CO2e
Mobile Combustion 2,689 metric tons of CO2e
Process Emissions 0 metric tons of CO2e
Fugitive Emissions 35 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 1 emissions 2,724 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 2 Emissions
Scope 2 emissions are emissions from purchased power. Chatham purchases only electricity or
Purchased Electricity 3,276 metric tons of CO2e
Purchased Heating 0 metric tons of CO2e
Purchased Cooling 0 metric tons of CO2e
Purchased Steam 0 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 2 emissions 3,276 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 3 Emissions
Scope 3 emissions are from sources neither owned, controlled or purchased by the institution,
but are a direct result of institutional activities. This includes commuting by faculty, staff and
students, air travel as part of Study Abroad programs or other institutional travel. It does not
include student travel to and from campus at the beginning or end of term or holidays.
Commuting 1,986 metric tons of CO2e
Air Travel 635 metric tons of CO2e
Solid Waste 84 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 3 emissions 2,705 metric tons of CO2e
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Emissions by Sector
By breaking down emissions by sector, we are able to see where to concentrate our energies
for solutions. The charts on the following pages show the different sectors responsible for the
greenhouse gas emissions tracked by the ACUPCC.
Electricity use accounts for 56% of our footprint, with transportation the next largest sector at
44%. This comprises 23% student commuting, 16% faculty and staff commuting, 4% air travel,
and 1% for Chatham‘s fleet vehicles.
Methane emissions come almost entirely from our solid waste disposal – 90%, mostly due to
the methane management methods at the landfill that receives our waste. The remainder is
primarily from transportation.
With this information, we were able to develop working groups focused on addressing each of
these sectors specifically. The working groups are Energy, Transportation, Waste Minimization,
and Outreach. A list of the committee members is located in the Appendices.
Summary – Energy Use by Sector
23% Student Commuters
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Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The ACUPCC inventories six greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4);
nitrous oxide (N2O); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and sulphur
Chatham‘s emissions are mainly carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Sector
19% Student Commuters
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Methane Emissions by Sector
5% 4% Purchased Electricity
Nitrous Oxides Emissions by Sector
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The Energy Working Group had identified several high-priority projects that will show an actual
reduction in our carbon footprint. The projects have been assigned a priority, based on costs,
return on investment, and carbon reduction.
Note: Eastside projects are included in this climate plan, even though the Eastside baseline
inventory has not yet been posted. The first year of Eastside data has been recorded and will
be incorporated into our reporting in September 2009. The following projects have already
been analyzed for carbon reduction potential for Eastside and will be part of that campus‘s
#1. Enhanced Metering and Power Quality – Woodland and Eastside
Chatham has completed a study of the main campus (and the Eastside Building) with Frontier
Energy Conservation Systems. Through power quality assessments at each location, Frontier
Energy reviewed the incoming services, including power factors, condition of capacitors and
surge protection systems, an analysis of inductive motor loads, and of motor and lighting
efficiency. Through the use of STEMS technology (Savings Through Energy Management
Systems), STEMS units could be installed at specific locations in each building at a cost of
$55,295 with an energy savings of 387,650 kWh and a cost savings of approximately $48,486
including demand savings. (see chart)
This project also includes sub-metering for each building on campus. Chatham does not
currently have meters on each building, and so finds it difficult to provide building-by-building
data. This in turn makes it difficult to incorporate behavior-change programs designed around
conservation. Therefore, fully separate meters are a priority.
#2. Lighting Efficiency Upgrade
The lighting fixtures in many campus buildings can be upgraded to T8 ballasts. Replacing the
older less efficient fluorescent lighting ballast with higher efficiency electronic ballast will cost
approximately $96,800.00 , with an anticipated energy savings of 616,711 kWh and a cost
savings of approximately $60,999.00. This project estimate includes both demand savings and
occupancy sensors. (see chart)
The motor controls and lighting upgrades projects would, when fully implemented, show an
estimated 10% annual real reduction in emissions, within a maximum 4-year ROI time frame.
#3. Photovoltaic Power - 50 kW Array on the Eastside Building
This project would consist of a 50 kW solar electric array to be located on the Eastside
Building. The array would consist of high efficiency GE photo-voltaic panels with array
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combiners, a DC/AC inverter; disconnect switches and an isolation transformer. It is
anticipated that this array will cost around $408,000.00 to install and will provide nearly 85,600
kWh annually at a savings of $11,124.00 per year. It is estimated that approximately 1025 tons
of CO2 would be saved annually. (Eastside use data is not included in the current inventory, but
preliminary data suggests a carbon footprint of approximately 3,245 tons annually.)
#4. Centralized Geothermal Co-generation –
On the Woodland campus, the master plan will consolidate all heating and cooling into one
centralized green heating and cooling plant. This natural-gas fired co-generation plant will
produce combined heat and power. The plant‘s three megawatt co-generation plant would be
located in the center of the quad below grade. Three 1-megawatt co-generation units would
provide electrical energy to the upper campus grid via new connections at the Jenny King
Mellon Library and the Buhl Science Building.
The process of generating electricity would produce waste heat in the form of hot water. This
waste heat can instead be used to heat the upper campus buildings, and domestic potable
water. The hot water is also usable to cool the upper campus buildings via an absorption chiller
plant. Condenser water for the absorption chiller would be cooled via a geothermal condenser
Through the use of co-generation, the reduction in nitrous oxides emissions will substantially
reduce Chatham‘s greenhouse gas footprint. Chatham‘s gas usage will increase nearly 4%, with
an increase in methane as well, but the plant will provide nearly all of Chatham‘s electrical
usage. The cost of this project is approximately $7-10 million dollars. It is estimated that this
power plant will save nearly 21,395,000 kWh in off-site power generation and will save
Chatham nearly $1.5 million dollars annually.
We are also planning for a natural gas cogeneration / geothermal system to be located under
the parking lot at Eastside. Preliminary numbers show an estimated cost of $3-5 million dollars,
with estimated reduction of 15,000,000 kWh , about $1 million saved annually.
#5. Solar Thermal Hot Water
Fickes Hall is the busiest residence hall on the Chatham campus, with 27 showers, 12
washrooms, and 4 laundry machines for 113 occupants, and is fully occupied year-round. Given
its high hot water requirements and year-round use, it is ideal for a solar thermal installation.
Woodland Hall houses 130 students over the academic year, and has 24 showers, 25
washrooms and three washing machines. Woodland also houses Café Rachel, a coffee shop, on
the lower floor.
Chatham has proposed installation of solar thermal hot water systems at Fickes and Woodland
to augment the existing HVAC system The micro-channel solar thermal system is made with
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100% recyclable materials, with a life span of at least 25 years. As a pre-heater unit for the
existing natural-gas hot water systems, the micro channel solar thermal system will take over
approximately 70% of the heating load. The project includes a smaller highly-visible section for
Café Rachel that will provide live-time data and educational signage for the project. The cost
for this project is $368,000. Modeling predicts an energy savings of 61.6 MwH. This system is
also estimated to show a CO2 reduction of 64.5 tons per year. If successful, solar thermal
projects on all viable buildings will be planned.
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Figure 2 - Significant Projects for Woodland Campus
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Reduction Strategies Comparison
In an effort to prioritize projects, the following chart delineates the costs, savings and emissions reductions of Projects #1 and 2 with
a payback period of less than 2 years, as well as the ―lost‖ opportunity costs to neutralize those emissions with RECs if the projects
are not implemented.
Project Total Cost Total $ Savings Payback Period Carbon Reduction Cost of RECs equivalent to amount of carbon per year
(per year) (years) (US tons per year) (range from low of $0.005 to high of $0.01 per kwh)
Buhl $14,575.12 $18,366.22 0.79 90.0 $694.00 – 1388.00
Eastside $55,295.00 $48,486.00 1.14 279.40 $1661 – 3322.00
Eddy/Library $28,187.24 $23,060.15 1.22 201.60 $1554 – 3109
AFC $26,796.24 $21,683.58 1.24 211.2 $2112 - 4224
Eastside Lighting Retrofit
$96,800 $60,999 1.8 501.10 $3863 – 7727.00
Woodland Metering (will allow us to take advantage of demand response and other PUC programs)
14 >600 amp meters $21,000.00
Eastside Electrical Management
Demand meters, $18,728.00 ~=$111,104.00 32.20 for all electrical $248 – 496.00 *(compared to meter system now in
submeters * management use – does not reflect actual
methods for billing MSA)
Infrared scanning $6,750.00 $9800
Harmonic $17,833 $2211
Main distribution $8,548.00
Surge suppression $12,499.00
Monitoring $8,400 per
Total Cost Total $ savings (per Carbon Reduction (US RECs $ =equivalent $ to offset net emissions
$316,030.60 year) tons per year) amount of carbon per (7987 US tons / 7246
$184,605 + 1315.50 tons year tonnes)for Woodland
~$111,104.00 $10,122 – 20,266.00 campus per year:
$61,581 – 123,161
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The Climate Committee prepared an assessment of the ease of implementation compared to
the amount of carbon reduction for all identified projects.
The results are shown below, with the ―A‖ quadrant representing the easiest-to-implement
projects with the greatest reduction potential. Projects in bold are also considered to be cost
effective, with relatively quick returns on investment.
A Low Effort, High Carbon
B High Effort, High Carbon
Management Geothermal Plant
Lighting Retrofit PV Array
C Low Effort, Low Carbon
D High Effort, Low Carbon
Bike Commuting Free Store
Paper Reduction Live Near Campus
No-mow Zones campaign
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Costs and Financing
Through the Office of University Advancement and the Office of Finance and Administration,
Chatham will seek financing to support the implementation of carbon reduction strategies
through the Office of Sustainability and environmental education at the institution through its
public outreach center the Rachel Carson Institute. A combination of funding sources will be
explored including government (at the local, state and national levels), private foundation and
corporate. Several specific sources have already been identified as possible funding
opportunities and are being developed. Another approach under consideration for funding
energy reduction strategies would be to contract with energy service companies who finance
the installation of new and efficient equipment with no upfront capital expenditures and then
cost-share the savings over time with Chatham.
Individual project costs are listed under the descriptions in the Reduction Strategies section.
Project Campus Cost ($) Cost Savings Energy Saved Carbon
Component Building (annual $*) (Year) Reduction (tons
Motor Controls Buhl 14,575 11,049 140,586 kwh 90.0
Eastside 55,295 43,922 558,800 kwh 279.40
Eddy/Library 28,187 24,586 312,794 kwh 201.60
AFC 26,796 25,823 328,539 kwh 211.2
Mellon 16,866 4,680 59,552 kwh 38.6
Gate House 3,724 1,042 13,259 kwh 8.6
Sub Total 145,443 111,104 1,413,530 kwh 829.40
Lighting and Eastside 169,558 83,835 1,066,600 kwh 532.30
Solar Thermal Fickes, 368,000 6398 31,740 mtbu 64.50
Hot Water Woodland
Photo-Voltaic Eastside 408,000 6,728 85,600 kwh 1025.0
Totals 1,059,001 313,407 2451.20
*based on a Duquesne Light billing rate of 7.86 cents/kWh
**based on 1.26 lbs CO2 /kWh to reflect primarily coal-fired electricity production in Western Pennsylvania
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In addition to the real reductions from the energy upgrades, Chatham is developing plans to
reduce the Scope 3 emissions from commuting by addressing barriers to wider use of
The transportation committee has the primary goal of reducing use of fossil fuels in student and
faculty commuting. Though air travel is part of Chatham‘s greenhouse gas emissions, there is
little beyond offsets that can be done immediately. Therefore, the first goal of the
Transportation Working Group is to identify obstacles to alternative transportation use for
commuting: bicycles, walking, bus, or carpooling.
The Working Group has begun researching options, and has made some preliminary
recommendations. Overall, the committee estimates that these changes could result in an
approximately 2% reduction per year in campus transportation emissions, with a potential 20%
reduction overall, barring more city and national infrastructure changes. The main
recommendations for further development include:
Policies encouraging students, faculty, and staff to live near campus can help reduce
emissions from transportation. (estimate a 1-2% reduction in emissions over 5 years)
Priority parking for hybrid, efficient or small vehicles. (estimate a 1-2% reduction over
Changes to parking rate structures to reward less use of a car. Proposals include a set
of day passes priced lower than the semester pass, so that part-time car commuters
would pay less than commuters who need their vehicles on a daily basis, and shared
single permits for two or three campus community members, to encourage single-day
use or carpooling.
Zipcar program or other short-term rental car, which would enable people to easily
leave campus and return without needing their personal cars.
Institutional support of bicycle commuting, including city bike maps, dispensers of patch
kits and innertubes, access to tools with simple written directions for use, lessons in
simple bike mechanics, a shower facility on the north side of campus (in the Chapel,
Woodland, Braun/Falk/Coolidge or Buhl) and increased/sheltered bike parking facility.
Start a program where experienced riders pair with less experienced cyclists interested
in riding to work. Work with Human Resources to incorporate bike commuting into
the wellness program credit .
Facilitate participation in the recently passed Federal tax credit for bicycle commuting,
by instituting verification methods for employees to use to document for their tax
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In addition, Chatham is purchasing three shuttles to transport the community between Eastside
and Woodland campuses, as well as eventually to Eden Hall Farm. The shuttles will run on
biodiesel purchased locally from a biodiesel filling station now under construction near Eastside.
The shuttles are able to run a B5 ultra-low sulfur biodiesel mix without additional conversion.
Once the biodiesel station near Eastside is online, Chatham will install a conversion system to
allow use of B85 or B100 from Fossil Free Fuels, in Braddock. The shuttles will be included in
the 2009 emissions inventory.
Chatham converted its fleet to higher efficiency vehicles over the last two years, purchasing
new vans for Admissions and Facilities use. The vans are the highest-rated ―green car‖ available
in their class.
The Waste Minimization Working Group has been looking at ways to reduce the amount of
Chatham trash headed to the landfills. The committee has identified several areas of focus.
Some of these have more emissions data available than others, but all should work to reduce
the emissions associated with our landfilled waste. Without complete information at this time,
we hypothesize a 1-2% reduction each year in solid waste emissions.
Composting Food Waste
Chatham will complete its first year of food waste composting in September 2009. Between
September 2008 and May 2009, we composted 32.6 tons of food service waste. We do
extremely well with composted food waste at Anderson Dining Hall, but there are still gaps at
Café Rachel and the Weathervane Snack Bar. Café Rachel, in particular, has some logistical
issues due to the location on campus and the weight of the recycling containers, as well as
truck access for the hauler. Chatham has been working with an area nonprofit organization to
look at ways to overcome some of these barriers. A report is expected by September 2009
from Pennsylvania Resources Council with their recommendations.
Increased Recycling of Plastics, Cans, Glass
Chatham currently recycles 15% of its paper, cans, bottles and glass. As we increase the
recycling rate, we expect to see reductions in the emissions associated with landfilling. This
year, the winning schools in the RecycleMania competition were averaging 25-75% recycling
rates. Meeting these recycling rates will require investment in recycling bins around campus,
including in faculty and staff offices as well as increasing the number of bins in public areas.
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Paper Use Reduction
Chatham has switched to 30% recycled content paper for all stocked copiers and printers. We
expect to see the savings from this switch when completing our inventory for next year.
As an institutional measure, Chatham renegotiated a contract for copier and print services that
specifies the default for printing be set to 2-sided,or duplex. (There are still some legacy
printers that don‘t have the capability, but as they age, their replacements will.) Switching to
duplex printing will reduce paper usage on campus about 25%. In addition, in February 2009,
Printing Services replaced old copiers with those capable of printing double-sided, and set that
as the default for printing.
Non-recyclable Waste Reduction
The Sustainability Office, in partnership with the Rachel Carson Institute and Student Affairs, is
developing a plan for the establishment of a free store as a waste minimization option. The free
store is a cyclical model, to be operated by work study students. The staff will collect used
clothing, appliances, furniture, etc. from outgoing students as well as faculty and staff, for use by
others. Items will be relocated to a designated area, the ―store,‖ for others to reclaim at no
cost. Establishing a free store year round will aid in curbing trash produced by the Chatham
community. In addition, a free store on campus will promote environmental consciousness
while simultaneously providing students a free and time saving alternative to purchasing new
items. We will be able to monitor the waste kept out of the landfill through the inventory
process (now under development). The system will track the volume of reusable and reused
items. Our estimate for the amount that can be kept out of landfill is about 1 ton, calculated at
½ the average of other universities with more extensive space, larger population, and
established programs have been able to do.
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Energy Mitigation Initiatives
Chatham has implemented a series of behavior change actions over the last year, and the
Energy Working Group has suggested several more projects.
Facilities is moving toward no-mowing zones to complement our existing policies of native plant
use. Both the Woodland and Eden Hall campuses will soon have designated no-mow zones, to
be designed and planted with suggestions from the Landscape programs graduate students.
This will reduce the emissions from the mowers that are now in use every day during the
Beginning next year, there will be incentives to faculty and staff offices to surrender their in-
window air conditioners. Many of the Woodland campus buildings do not have central air, so
some community members bring in their own for office or room use. We hope to discourage
the practice through incentives before moving to more permanent changes. Plug-in air
conditioners are a heavy user of electricity. For each unit that is removed, approximately 1200
pounds of carbon will be reduced, but this is not estimated to be a widely-adopted program.
Incoming students will be participating in a ―Light Hunt‖ to help find and replace any
incandescent light bulbs that may remain on campus or in their rooms. The Sustainability Office
is also sponsoring a ―Lights Out‖ campaign over the 2009-2010 year to remind people to switch
off lights when they leave a room. A switchplate reminder design contest was held, and the
winning designs will be printed for distribution across campus. We expect a small reduction in
actual use, but hope to raise awareness about energy across our campuses.
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Renewable Energy Certificates
Renewable energy certificates are an indirect form of green power purchasing. They are not
designed to offset carbon, but to encourage the production of green power and to provide
support for green power markets. RECs do reduce the carbon associated with an energy
purchase. Chatham has been purchasing renewable energy certificates since 2002.
For the inventory baseline year, Chatham purchased 2,100,000 kWh of CleanSource certificates
through Renewable Choice Energy corporation. CleanSource power is a blend of wind,
biomass, small hydro and geothermal, produced from installations located across the United
States. The credits are Green-e certified. The emissions reduction associated with this
purchase is 1,447 metric tons of CO2.
Chatham remains committed to purchasing green power through renewable energy certificates.
Our plan calls for continuing at the current rate for the next 5 years, with a reevaluation of
structure and pricing for future increases every five years.
Chatham recognizes the concerns expressed in the ACUPCC Carbon Offsets guidance
documents for investing in offsets, and will consult the guidelines when purchasing any
necessary offsets for our Scope 3 commuting and air travel emissions. We have determined
that our Scope 2 emissions (we have no Scope 1 emissions at this time) are vey amenable to
reduction, and will pursue offsets only as a last resort.
Chatham‘s Scope 3 travel emissions for the baseline year will require offsets equivalent to 2621
metric tons of emissions.
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Chatham, home to both an urban arboretum and a forest, is keenly aware of the need for tree
preservation policies and practice. We are also concerned that methods to account properly
for the preservation and protection of existing trees and to encourage new plantings are not
being addressed in the rush to green buildings and co-generation plants.
The failure to include methods for measuring sequestration from existing trees when
conducting a greenhouse gas audit is a matter of grave concern. Our world‘s entire
environmental history is haunted by the failure to properly account for ecosystem services,
leading to a pattern of ignorance, destruction and devaluation that now requires remediating
measures like the Climate Commitment. What is not counted soon ceases to count, and it is
our fear that failure to include trees into offsets or reduction plans will soon lead to the
complete devaluation of trees as carbon sinks.
There is a large body of sound scientific research to support the measured sequestration of
carbon in existing trees, either as street and landscape trees or as a forest preserve. Chatham
is working with the United States Forest Service, urban and community foresters, and other
interested organizations and institutions to develop a peer-reviewed methodology, using the
government data, for institutions to include their existing trees in their carbon footprint. Our
goal is to encourage policies within and beyond the ACUPCC that respect the preservation and
precedence of trees before buildings, and encourage increased use of tree planting as a carbon
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Education and Outreach
Chatham has infused environmental concerns throughout its curriculum, as well as its public
outreach centers and institutional structures. In addition, the Climate Committee Working
Groups provide opportunities for student, faculty and staff involvement on a larger scale.
The Outreach Working Group has played a pivotal role in researching environmental attitudes
on campus. A survey completed by Dr. DeLong in January 2009 surfaced several interesting
beliefs and behaviors among the respondents, particularly with regard to recycling concerns.
This valuable research allowed us to fine-tune our approach to RecycleMania. The Outreach
Working Group includes experts in community-based social marketing, psychology, and the
Dean of Students, helping us incorporate sustainability thinking throughout the university‘s
community. The complete research is available from Dr. DeLong or the Sustainability Office,
and the key findings are excerpted here.
An online survey was developed to measure attitudes, intentions and behaviors related to
environmentally sustainable issues and practices. Specific objectives address the degree to
which Chatham constituencies are concerned about the environment in general and with
regard to specific areas of concern, the degree to which Chatham constituencies engage in
environmentally responsible behavior, significant motivations and barriers for behaving in an
environmentally responsible manner, perceptions of Chatham‘s environmental performance, in
general and with regard to specific areas of concern, and finally the willingness to support and
possibly pay for specific environmentally responsible initiatives on campus.
A total of 208 members of the Chatham community participated in the survey. The sample was
comprised of four subgroups: 58 undergraduate students, 25 graduate students, 59 faculty and
66 staff members. The sample was 89% female overall (100% undergrads, 84% grads, 83%
faculty, and 87% staff), and representative of departments, levels and majors.
Out of 10 specific areas of environmental concern, all subgroups rated ―Energy Conservation‖
as their greatest concern. The other areas of concern, in order of priority, are: Drinking Water
Contamination, Air Pollution, Ground Water Contamination, Food Hormones, Water
Conservation, Greenhouse Gases, Landfill Waste, Soil Contamination, and Food Waste.
Implication: Initiatives that focus on reducing energy consumption, as a direct or indirect
benefit, have a good chance of capturing community interest and participation.
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All of the subgroups rated their primary motivations for environmentally responsible behavior
as ―to make the world a better place‖ and ―health concerns.‖ When asked as an open-ended
question about personal motivation, the most frequently mentioned reason for making
environmentally sound choices is ―for my children and grandchildren/setting an example.‖
Implication: Emphasizing the emotional benefits of adopting sustainable behavior is as important
as the rational benefits when attempting to recruit participation. The emotional benefits relate
to enhanced ―safety‖ (make the world a better place, health concerns) and ―caring‖ for loved
ones (for my children/grandchildren). Clearly linking the new behaviors with these emotional
benefits can make a message more powerful and compelling to target groups.
All subgroups rate ―I need more information about what I can do‖ as the primary barrier that
prevents their environmentally responsible choices. Implication: Undergrads are not alone in
their need for more information about environmental issues. Education and direction regarding
specific environmentally responsible opportunities could help all subgroups to adopt positive
environmental attitudes and behaviors.
There was remarkable consistency across subgroups regarding their support (or the lack
thereof) for the proposed initiatives. The initiatives receiving the greatest degree of positive
support across all subgroups are ―recycling,‖ ―local food,‖ ―motion detectors,‖ and ―greening
existing buildings.‖ The least popular measures are those that pertain to banning certain
products or practices: ―banning insecticide,‖ ―banning sale of plastic bottles,‖ and ―banning
plastic bottles on campus.‖ Implication: Clearly, members of the Chatham community do not
like to be told what they are allowed to buy and consume, especially when the wording is
perceived as dictatorial. Moving forward with programs that ―ban‖ certain products or
practices will require intensive education of the rationale and benefits to the individual and to
the community. The wording of how these programs are communicated will require great care
and sensitivity to consumer rights and free choice.
Across subgroups, the initiatives receiving the greatest percentages of those willing to pay more
included ―Local Food,‖ ―Recycling,‖ ―Hormone-Free Food,‖ ―Renewable Energy,‖ ―Sustainably
Caught Seafood,‖ ―Motion Detectors,‖ and ―Greening existing buildings.‖ Implication:
Willingness to pay more for these particular initiatives may be due to being well suited to
delivering the rational benefit of reducing wasted energy as well as to the emotional benefits of
health and safety. At the same time, willingness to pay more must be interpreted as an
―intention‖ that may or may not translate to an actual purchase.
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The recycling program was the single most criticized aspect of Chatham‘s environmental
performance. There was a profound lack of confidence in the recycling program, expressed as
suspicion that it does not really happen, that there are too few recycling containers overall and
by type, that the contents of recycling bins are routinely emptied into the regular trash, and
that bin contents are often contaminated and thus never actually recycled. Implication: While
this type of feedback can be upsetting to read, it represents a tremendous opportunity for
improvement. Recycling is vilified on campus; corrective action would be a highly visible,
appreciated and even celebrated. ―Fixing the recycling problem‖ would be a dramatic jump-start
in our efforts to achieve meaningful and sustainable behavioral change on campus. Much
depends upon launching a new recycling system that people can believe in; it is critical that
education and enforcement of proper recycling procedures are effectively designed and
managed. The repercussions of under-delivering on a ―new and improved‖ recycling program
would be even more profoundly negative and long-lasting as the positive benefits of a
successfully implemented program.
Many comments advised choosing wisely among the available environmental ―improvements‖
that are available, as some investments will pay off in terms of savings and status to greater
degree than others. Implication: The findings reveal the care and concern that Chatham
members feel toward our heritage as an environmentally responsible institution. Chatham‘s
environmental performance is a critical component of the university‘s brand. The comments,
suggestions and advice (such as the advice to move forward judiciously) serve to reinforce our
shared commitment to achieve our environmental stewardship goals in a reasoned and
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School of Sustainability and the Environment
Chatham University has created a School of Sustainability and the Environment, which has at its
core a focus on research and problem-solving. The university will draw upon its diverse
undergraduate and graduate faculty as well as its outreach centers – the Center for Women‘s
Entrepreneurship, the Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy, and the
Rachel Carson Institute – to develop academic and co-curricular programming.
The university‘s General Education curriculum is constructed around the three primary themes
of the University mission: Global Understanding, Environmental Responsibility, and Women‘s
Public Leadership. Students are required to take a series of courses during their time at
Chatham that build knowledge in these thematic areas and build critical lifelong skills, including
information literacy, critical reading, analytical thinking, problem solving, and public
communication through writing and speaking.
Undergraduate Environmental Studies & Environmental Science
Undergraduate Environmental Studies and Environmental Science students complete a common
core which focus on experiential and service-learning as well as building environmental literacy,
multidisciplinary problem-solving skills, and a community of environmentally-oriented students
and faculty. Students complete an internship or service-learning project and a year-long senior
Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education
Chatham is home to one of a very few programs certified by the Pennsylvania State
Department of Education to offer a teaching certificate in environmental education. Begun in
1997, this program prepares students to for teaching in classrooms and in settings such as
nature centers, parks and nonprofit organizations.
Master of Fine Arts in Nature Writing
Chatham is also home to a unique Master of Fine Arts focusing on nature, environment and
travel writing. This graduate program is designed for creative writers interested in the
environment and place-based writing.
Master of Landscape Architecture / Master of Landscape Studies
The Master of Landscape Architecture program at Chatham emphasizes sustainability and
environmental concerns. The focus ranges from the use of landscape architecture techniques
to restoring wetlands and brownfield sites, to sustainable site design corresponding with green
building. The Master of Arts in Landscape Studies provides preparation for professionals in the
planning, design, conservation, care, and study of residential designed landscapes.
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Continuing the legacy of Chatham‘s most distinguished alumna, the Rachel Carson Institute
works to advance the understanding that all living things on Earth are linked, bound by systems
and cycles that are both interdependent and currently at risk. The Institute was founded in
1989 as Chatham‘s environmental education and outreach arm in order to promote awareness
and understanding of current environmental issues through public symposia and educational
programs. Programming includes women‘s environmental concerns and leadership in
environmental policy and science, environmental education programs for youth, and campus-
based programs for environmental stewardship and campus sustainability.
Each year, in conjunction with local or national environmental groups, Chatham hosts a variety
of educational programs for middle and high school students to provide education on current
environmental issues and to encourage them to become actively involved in the movement
toward a healthier, more sustainable global environment. Rachel Carson Environmental
Awareness Day has been held each spring for over sixteen years.
Chatham‘s student environmental organization, Green Horizons, sponsors Green Week every
year. Green Week is designed to raise awareness on campus for issues such as composting,
waste minimization, planet-friendly diets, bicycling, and green power. Green Horizons
organized a Climate Change Teach In this year, and sponsors community meetings and
discussions for the Focus the Nation webcast each year.
Both the Rachel Carson Institute and the Sustainability Office provide training sessions for
dislocated workers enrolled in a state green jobs and brownfields program. Our community
partnerships include the City of Pittsburgh, Phipp‘s Conservatory, the Garden Club of
Allegheny County, children‘s‘ groups such as Girl Scouts, and, new this year, Eco-Nature camp
for children in the city and near Eden Hall Farm.
Chatham is a supporting member of the Urban Ecology Collaborative, a unique multi-city
network for urban ecosystem research and restoration working to develop healthy sustainable
cities. Chatham employees and graduate students co-chair the Education Working Group of
the UEC. Chatham is also a member of the Green Building Alliance, a non-profit organization
that advances green buildings and green building products in western Pennsylvania.
The Chatham University Arboretum incorporates elements designed for the original Andrew
Mellon estate by the renowned Olmsted Brothers. Designated an arboretum in 1998 by the
American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (now known as the American Public
Garden Association), Chatham‘s 35-acre Woodland campus features 115 different varieties of
species. The Arboretum provides an outdoor classroom for students in the University‘s
Landscape Architecture and Landscape Studies programs, as well as for campus visitors.
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Institutional Structure and Infusion
Chatham ‗s commitment to the ACUPCC and sustainability in general are demonstrated by
new institutional structures as well as our curriculum. Chatham hired its first Sustainability
Coordinator and organized the Office of Sustainability in 2008. The office sends out regular
updates via the campus newspaper and via an e-newsletter to the entire Chatham community
about the Climate Commitment and specific actions that individuals can do to help us
meet our goals.
With the assistance of the Sustainability Office, Chatham has incorporated sustainability into the
campus in many ways. Some are more immediately obvious than others, but the focus on
sustainable systems runs through departments and across areas of responsibility. We
appreciate that there is always considerable room for improvement in institutional policies, and
are always looking at ways to expand and improve and become truly sustainable.
The university also supports and participates in regional initiatives such as Champions for
Sustainability, a network that that encourages businesses and community leaders to share ideas
for sustainability, and the Higher Education Climate Committee of the City of Pittsburgh.
Campus Master Plan
Chatham retained the services of Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C. to
review and revise the University‘s Campus Master Plan. It has been ten years since the last
Campus Master Plan was created. Growth in undergraduate enrollment, the expansion of
graduate and professional programs, and the University‘s ongoing commitment to reduce the
environmental impact of the campus community made renewal of this plan a necessity.
As part of the year-long process, Einhorn Yaffee Prescott‘s services included a site visit by their
energy specialists to complete a walk-through inspection of campus facilities. Their engineers
looked at the buildings on campus to further the structural solutions to the carbon emissions
matters. Their findings and recommendations were included in the 2008 Campus Master Plan.
Building and Grounds
Current practices include a campus-wide ban on herbicides since 2002, and green cleaning
products. Chatham also specifies environmentally-friendly materials and practices for building
upkeep, including the use of no-VOC, recycled materials for carpets, flooring, and roofing
materials. The Finance and Administration offices recently converted to a cloth towel program
for their restrooms, and is encouraging other offices to do the same.
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In addition to the composting program, covered in the Achievements section, Café Rachel
offers a ―use your own cup‖ discount for beverages, and Chatham also purchased BPA-free
water bottles for all students. Dining Services has gone Totally Trayless this year.
The Human Resources department conducts an orientation session for new hires each
semester, and the Sustainability Coordinator incorporates a session on what sustainability
means at Chatham as part of that program. The orientation includes explanations of
sustainability itself, the campus systems, transit options, opportunities for participation in the
Climate Committee and community-supported agriculture, and expectations for behavior
related to energy and resource consumption, composting, recycling and waste minimization.
Working with Student Affairs, incoming students have their Orientation Week at Eden Hall
Farm campus, and sustainability and the environment are woven into the entire week-long
program. This orientation is similar to that for new hires, but incorporates self-awareness
activities to stimulate thought and discussion.
Chatham offers themed housing, and students may choose to live in Rea Environmental Living
House. Rea is open to any student, and students that choose to live there agree to live as low-
impact a lifestyle as possible. Residents meet regularly with the Sustainability Coordinator to
work on refinements to the house systems and living arrangements. Residence Life and the
Sustainability Office are also examining the possibility of floors in other residences adopting
green living practices in their halls as well.
Chatham University has an extensive internships system. In addition to outplacements with
regional environmental non-profits working on biofuels, energy conservation, and civic
environmental education, students can work with the Rachel Carson Institute and the
Sustainability Office on behavior-change projects for improving Chatham‘s footprint. Some of
those projects include a GIS assessment of rain barrel potential installation sites for the Upper
St. Clair neighborhood, an implementation plan for RecycleMania, an assessment of university
trayless dining programs, and the project proposal for a free store.
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In addition to its responsibility for developing and coordinating sustainability initiatives across
campuses, the Sustainability Office is charged with the responsibility for collecting and
maintaining the records necessary to meet Chatham‘s commitment to the ACUPCC. The
Climate Working Groups are also an integral part of the tracking process. Each group is
charged with generating ideas and projects to address emissions from that sector, tie them to
real reduction estimates, and assist with implementation when feasible.
Many of these records are distributed across other departments and areas of responsibility.
Some mechanisms for collecting the relevant data are already in place. Opportunities for better
recordkeeping have been identified as part of the campus inventory process, and new
mechanisms for collecting the information are in development now. Chatham is also
investigating using a professional emissions calculator, (possibly Clear Standards) to better assist
us in our scenario planning and project development.
Chatham is firmly committed to the public component of the Agreement, and posts its reports
and the full-data calculator on its website, at www.chatham.ed/climatecommitment.
Projects have been assigned an estimated timeframe. Short-term projects are those that should
be fully implemented, from securing funding to final installation, within 1-5 years.. Long-term
projects are those that should be fully implemented from 5-15 years.
Eastside data is separated from Woodland, as Eastside emissions are not reflected in this
inventory. Preliminary data suggests a carbon footprint of approximately 3,245 tons annually,
estimated from purchased electricity records.
Based on the implementation of these projects, Chatham University‘s Woodland and Eastside
campuses should be able to meet ACUPCC neutrality goals by 2025.
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Woodland Campus Short Term Projects:
8865 Tons of CO2 Reduced or Offset
8% Solar Thermal
74% Enhanced Metering
Implementation Period: 2010 – 2015
Offsets data reflects no change in commuting or air travel actual emissions.
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Woodland Campus Long Term Projects:
30,180 Tons of CO2 Reduced or Offset
Implementation Period: 2016-2025
Offsets data reflects no change in commuting or air travel actual emissions.
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Chatham has been purchasing green power for the last nine years, starting out at 10% and
moving up to our current 15%+ . We have committed to continuing at that level or higher, and
purchasing RECs for that which we are unable to directly reduce.
Chatham has heavily-subsidized public transit for our students and staff for the last 5 years, and
we are considering completely underwriting transit passes in the future. Our Transportation
Working Group, with the help of our student Bike Collective, is looking at ways to integrate
bicycle commuting as a viable option, as well as the purchase of biodiesel shuttles for
transporting students between our sites and out to the farm.
Chatham already had a policy requiring the purchase of Energy Star-rated appliances if those
guidelines exist for a particular type of appliance. Chatham recently replaced all laundry
machines with Energy Star washers and dryers.
Chatham also purchased the first hybrid police car in the city last year. Campus police cars, of
necessity, spend long hours idling. The use of a Toyota Prius as a campus vehicle has
drastically cut gasoline use, and when the car is stopped it emits no carbon.
In addition to these ongoing initiatives, Chatham has incorporated two more of the tangible
actions requested by the ACUPCC.
Our new buildings will be built to LEED silver Standard. Our in-process renovation of the
Eastside building will be completed by June of this year, and is expected to comfortably make a
LEED Silver rating.
We have been pleased to participate in RecycleMania for the first time this year, and have
already implemented 9 of the 18 related waste minimization policies. Some, such as
intercampus mail envelopes, on-line printing, paper-saving print settings and pay-per-print, have
been standard practice for more years than we can count, while others are newly implemented,
such as our food waste composting program.
Chatham is part of a pilot food-service composting program, and composted approximately 44
pounds per person since beginning the program in September 2008. Our research indicates
that this is a significant amount, and we recycled more food waste than any other participant in
the Food Service Organics competition for RecycleMania 2009. We also send our waste food
oil to a biodiesel processing plant, through the auspices of a local biodiesel non-profit
organization and our Food Service.
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Chatham University Climate Committee
Anna Beach, student
Deborah DeLong, Assistant Professor, Business and Entrepreneurship
Robert DuBray, Director of Facilities Management & Public Safety
Walter Fowler, Vice President for Finance and Administration (co-chair)
Grace Frankenberg, student
Kate Freed, Director of Corporate/Foundation Relations
Nancy Gift, Acting Director, Rachel Carson Institute
Amelia Matthews, student
Elizabeth Morris, student
Cheryl Sedlock, student
Maria Shoop, student
Deborah Steinberg, Sustainability Office Graduate Assistant
Zauyah Waite, Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Mary Whitney, University Sustainability Coordinator (co-chair)
Angela Wiley, student
Climate Committee Working Groups
Robert DuBray, chair Nancy Gift, chair
Eric Jones Michael Boyd
Richard Leighty Grace Catranis
Outreach Waste Minimization
Deb DeLong, Chair Mary Whitney, chair
Renee Falconer Michael Burgess
Sarah Hallas Leslie Ekstrand
Mary Beth Mannarino Greg Gelormini
Liz Rodgers Steve Karas
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The ACUPCC Agreement
American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment
We, the undersigned presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities, are deeply
concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for
large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects. We recognize the scientific
consensus that global warming is real and is largely being caused by humans. We further
recognize the need to reduce the global emission of greenhouse gases by 80% by mid-century
at the latest, in order to avert the worst impacts of global warming and to reestablish the more
stable climatic conditions that have made human progress over the last 10,000 years possible.
While we understand that there might be short-term challenges associated with this effort, we
believe that there will be great short-, medium-, and long-term economic, health, social and
environmental benefits, including achieving energy independence for the U.S. as quickly as
We believe colleges and universities must exercise leadership in their communities and
throughout society by modeling ways to minimize global warming emissions, and by providing
the knowledge and the educated graduates to achieve climate neutrality. Campuses that address
the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into
their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a
thriving, ethical and civil society. These colleges and universities will be providing students with
the knowledge and skills needed to address the critical, systemic challenges faced by the world
in this new century and enable them to benefit from the economic opportunities that will arise
as a result of solutions they develop.
We further believe that colleges and universities that exert leadership in addressing climate
change will stabilize and reduce their long-term energy costs, attract excellent students and
faculty, attract new sources of funding, and increase the support of alumni and local
communities. Accordingly, we commit our institutions to taking the following steps in pursuit of
1. Initiate the development of a comprehensive plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as
a. Within two months of signing this document, create institutional structures to guide the
development and implementation of the plan.
b. Within one year of signing this document, complete a comprehensive inventory of all
greenhouse gas emissions (including emissions from electricity, heating, commuting, and air
travel) and update the inventory every other year thereafter.
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c. Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for
becoming climate neutral, which will include:
i. A target date for achieving climate neutrality as soon as possible.
ii. Interim targets for goals and actions that will lead to climate neutrality.
iii. Actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and
other educational experience for all students.
iv. Actions to expand research or other efforts necessary to achieve climate neutrality.
v. Mechanisms for tracking progress on goals and actions.
2. Initiate two or more of the following tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases while
the more comprehensive plan is being developed.
a. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S.
Green Building Council‘s LEED Silver standard or equivalent.
b. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY
STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.
c. Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid
for by our institution.
d. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff,
students and visitors at our institution
e. Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of
our institution‘s electricity consumption from renewable sources.
f. Establish a policy or a committee that supports climate and sustainability shareholder
proposals at companies where our institution's endowment is invested.
g. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania
competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.
3. Make the action plan, inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available by
providing them to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
(AASHE) for posting and dissemination.
In recognition of the need to build support for this effort among college and university
administrations across America, we will encourage other presidents to join this effort and
become signatories to this commitment.
The Signatories of the American College & University
Presidents Climate Commitment
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ACUPCC Steering Committee
The Steering Committee is the chief governing body of the ACUPCC and is responsible for
guidance, policy and direction of the ACUPCC. It is comprised of 15-20 volunteers from the
Leadership Circle that reflect the diversity of higher education.
President, Aquinas College Michael Crow (co-chair)
President, Arizona State University
President, California State University- Kathleen Schatzberg
Bakersfield President, Cape Cod Community College
Esther L. Barazzone David Hales
President, Chatham University President, College of the Atlantic
Rosalind Reichard Martha Kanter (co-chair)
President, Emory & Henry College Chancellor, Foothill-De Anza Community
David Shi (co-chair)
President, Furman University Mary Spilde
President, Lane Community College
Chancellor, Los Angeles Community Herlinda M. Glasscock
College District President, North Lake College
William Merriman Thomas Purce
President, Southwestern College - Kansas President, The Evergreen State College
Martha Saunders Mitchell Thomashow
President, The University of Southern President, Unity College
G.P. "Bud" Peterson
Tim White President, Georgia Institute of Technology
Chancellor, University of California,
Riverside Mark Emmert
President, University of Washington
President, University of Minnesota Morris Judith Ramaley
President. Winona State
William Sanborn Pfeiffer
President, Warren Wilson College
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Terms and Definitions
Climate neutrality is defined by the ACUPCC as ―having no net greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions, to be achieved by minimizing GHG emissions as much as possible, and using
carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions.‖
ACUPCC Implementation Guide, September 2007
Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
For the purposes of the ACUPCC, GHGs are the six gases covered under the Kyoto
Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O);
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
ACUPCC Implementation Guide, September 2007
The GHG Protocol defines three ―scopes‖ for GHG accounting and reporting purposes.
Scope 1 refers to direct GHG emissions occurring from sources that are owned or controlled by the
institution, including: on-campus stationary combustion of fossil fuels; mobile combustion of fossil fuels by
institution owned/controlled vehicles; and "fugitive" emissions. Fugitive emissions result from intentional or
unintentional releases of GHGs, including the leakage of HFCs from refrigeration and air conditioning
equipment as well as the release of CH4 from institution-owned farm animals.
Scope 2 refers to indirect emissions generated in the production of electricity consumed by the
Scope 3 refers to all other indirect emissions - those that are a consequence of the activities of the
institution, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the institution - specifically those from
commuting and from air travel paid for by or through the institution, to the extent that data are available.
Commuting is defined as travel to and from campus on a day to day basis by students, faculty, and staff. It
does not include student travel to and from campus at the beginning and end of term or during break
ACUPCC Implementation Guide, September 2007
The term ―offset‖ refers to the practice of compensating for GHG emissions that cannot
feasibly be avoided at a given time, by supporting projects that reduce, avoid, or sequester
emissions elsewhere, and that would not have otherwise occurred. These projects
generate offset credits, or ―offsets‖, that individuals or organizations purchase to
compensate for their emissions.
ACUPCC Implementation Guide, September 2007
REC / Renewable Energy Certificate
A REC is a certificate that represents the attributes of 1 MWh of renewable energy
production. RECS can be used to satisfy the regulatory requirements of renewable
portfolio standards or to supply voluntary green power markets.
A Consumers‘ Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers. Clean Air—Cool Planet, 2006.
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Eden Hall Farm
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With special thanks
to the hard-working volunteers
Chatham Climate Committee
all the data collection, input and great ideas.
Thanks also to Dr. Sherie Edenborn
invaluable troubleshooting assistance!