Progress Report for Case Western Reserve University
Submitted on May 15, 2013; Last updated on Sept. 3, 2015
The Progress Report is intended to help signatories assess and track progress toward the goals outlined
in their Climate Action Plans and to share that progress with their stakeholders and the general public.
click on a section heading below to expand its content; click again to collapse
Case Western Reserve University's (CWRU) Climate Action Plan and ACUPCC commitment continue to inspire and guide our institution's sustainability journey. The CAP was published in May 2011, now in May 2013, incremental progress is occurring in many areas and departments, utility savings are being realized, new procurement protocols are being created, community partnerships are being strengthened, student research projects are using the campus as a living lab, and behavior change initiatives are being launched.
Several recent highlights include:
1. A new, hybrid energy efficiency fund was launched in FY13 by the Medical Center Company (MCCo), the University's district utility provider. This fund is meant to speed-up energy conservation measure implementation. CWRU was awarded just under one-million to cover the upfront costs of 31 projects in seven campus buildings. MCCo first funded a level two energy audit on over thirty of CWRU's 109 buildings to update the facility departments' energy conservation measure priorities list, which now also includes prioritization by carbon equivalent reduction.
This new funding mechanism has doubled money being invested annually in energy conservation measures.
While this year's fund was a pilot program, it is anticipated that it will be renewed.
2. A retro-commisioning team of three FTE staff members are being added to the facilities department. These individuals will systematically "tune-up" the CWRU building envelopes and energy systems.
3. The University Farm, a nearly 400 acre site in nearby Hunting Valley underwent a strategic planning process that resulted in a new focus or re-framing of the farm as a Green Campus. The Farm has an active food production program that provides local produce to the University's food service vendor and is utilized as a research site for faculty, students and other community NGOs. The site is currently being further evaluated to determine what infrastructure can be provided that would grow utilization as a sustainability research site and showcase.
Many CWRU individuals and departments are adopting the Climate Action Plan's goals as their own and creating inspiring initiatives, helping to mainstream climate and sustainability into daily business and lifestyle decisions.
As President Snyder stated in her remarks in the CAP, "Most of all, we must persist. This process is no sprint. As in a marathon, we will progress one well-paced step after another, always remembering the value of the goal at the end of our journey."
|Climate Neutrality Target Date:||2050|
|Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target||Target Date||Baseline*|
|25% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions||by 2020||relative to baseline emissions in 2009|
|50% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions||by 2030||relative to baseline emissions in 2009|
|80% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions||by 2049||relative to baseline emissions in 2009|
|Reporting Year||Gross Emissions||Net Emissions||Full Time Enrollments||Total Bldg. Sq. Ft.||[action]|
|2008||250553.0||250423.0||9278.0||7747210.0||[ view ]|
|2009||263349.0||263217.0||9132.0||7747210.0||[ view ]|
|2012||217973.0||217858.0||8404.0||7909541.0||[ view ]|
Change in GHG gross emissions
Change in GHG emissions per 1000 sq.ft. building space
Change in GHG emissions per full time enrollment (FTE)
How is your institution making climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students?A benchmark analysis was conducted in FY13 to determine to what degree sustainability and climate related curriculum integrations has occurred. The intention is to regularly update this data and use it to advocate to the administration to set timely goals towards progress. Many academic programs are integrating sustainability but it is often one faculty member or one class at a time. Currently several groups on campus are working to increase climate and sustainability related class offerings including the Sustainability Alliance, the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value and the Great Lakes Energy Institute.
A wide variety of co-curricular and community collaboration initiatives exist that help to informally increase sustainability and climate literacy amongst the student-body. Many such initiatives are further detailed in this report.
An additional area of movement is related to the University Farm, a nearly 400 acre campus in a nearby community Hunting Valley. The site is working farm and provides locally grown food to the University's food service provider. There is research related to the food production and several other disciplines that occurs at the Farm. But the Farm's new strategic plan calls for a reframing of the Farm as a Green Campus and to grow the amount of research actively being conducted on the site and to improve faculty and student utilization of this natural resource through the lens of sustainability.
Education methods in use
Does your institution offer an undergraduate degree program(s) related to climate change/sustainability?Yes
BA in Environmental Studies, http://bulletin.case.edu/collegeofartsandsciences/environmentalstudiesprogram/#undergraduatetext
Does your institution offer a graduate degree program in climate change/sustainability?Yes
PhD in Management: Designing Sustainable Systems,
Does your institution have a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution's sustainability efforts?Yes
Does your institution include sustainability prominently in new student orientation?CWRU's most recent New Student Orientation Fall 2012 prominently included sustainability as follows: The Convocation speaker was William Kamkwamba and the common reading was his renewable energy-based book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind; each new student received an electronic newsletter with a link to "Green Your Move In"; Orientation picnics and BBQs were zero-waste / compostable waste events; an optional Pre-Orientation event focused on Service Learning in the Cleveland Community.
For a mandatory Cleveland Exploration Trip Event, students self-selected area tours, many of which had a sustainability angle, and were oriented to the regional mass-transit system. An optional sustainability tour conducted during parent orientation.
Fall 2013 Orientation is adding additional sustainability focused elements including providing a sustainability Adventure pre-orientation program opportunity for 60 students.
If applicable, how is your institution expanding research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality research?Between FY09 and FY12 several key faculty with expertise in climate research were hired and this trend is continuing. Examples include faculty hired in Business, Philosophy, Political Science and Civil Engineering. Additionally, the Summer Undergraduate Research in Energy and Sustainability (SURES) program exposes students to basic concepts in energy and sustainability research, as related to their discipline. During the 10 week program, students work closely with their research mentors, learn about the broad area of energy research and attendant societal issues and, via a weekly seminar series, are exposed to topics central to their professional development as future scientists, social scientists, humanists, and engineers. Each SURES participant is paid a $stipend for full-time commitment. http://www.case.edu/provost/source/opp/oncampus.htm
Does your institution have a program to encourage student climate and or sustainability research?Yes
SURES: Summer Undergraduate Research in Energy and Sustainability - (SURES) exposes students to basic concepts in energy and sustainability research, as related to their discipline (all disciplines welcome). During the 10 week program, students work closely with their research mentors on their proposed projects, learn about the broad area of energy research and attendant societal issues and, via a weekly seminar series, are exposed to topics central to their professional development as future scientists, social scientists, humanists, and engineers. Each SURES participant is paid a $3,500 stipend for full-time commitment. URL: http://www.case.edu/provost/source/opp/oncampus.htm
Does your institution have a program to encourage faculty climate and or sustainability research?No
How is your institution expanding community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality?CWRU has committed to local sustainability partnerships such as Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (a 10-year campaign for building a sustainability centered economic engine) http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Community/ThingsToDo/AISummit Additionally, the University is a stakeholder in the City of Cleveland's Office of Sustainability's climate action planning process. CWRU also regularly collaborates with several local and national NGOs that work to advocate for regional climate related planning, policy and education.
Does your institution participate in community climate change and or sustainability partnerships?Yes
CWRU has committed to local sustainability partnerships such as Sustainable Cleveland 2019 (a 10-year campaign for “building an economic engine to empower a green city on a blue lake”) and Greater University Circle Initiative (financial incentives for CWRU employees to buy or rent property in University Circle area). http://www.city.cleveland.oh.us/CityofCleveland/Home/Community/ThingsToDo/AISummit & http://www.universitycircle.org/live-here/housing Additionally, the University is a stakeholder in the City of Cleveland's Office of Sustainability's climate action planning process.
Has your institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance your goal of climate neutrality?Yes
CWRU has been a strong partner with the city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County in the development of long and short term sustainability policy plans, such as bike and complete streets legislation, climate action planning and other sustainability initiatives.
Energy Efficiency Projects
Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects planned, but not yet implemented:31
Number of Energy Efficiency Retrofit Projects completed since signing the ACUPCC:39
Number of buildings that have received a green building certification since signing the ACUPCC:1
Number of green buildings planned or scheduled for completion in the next 2 years:3
For all buildings, the green building certification/rating used is:USGBC:LEED
Annual output (in kWhs) for each renewable energy system utilized by Case Western Reserve University
- Solar output: 67100 kWh
- Wind output: 70913 kWh
Has your Climate Action Plan and/or related sustainability efforts saved your institution money so far, e.g. by reducing operational expenses?yes
Amount spent on CAP projects:$1-10M
Estimated amount saved to date from implementing your CAP projects:$1-10M
Estimated total savings expected from implementing entire Climate Action Plan$90-100M
Financial resources (dollar amount) secured from outside sources to support mitigation efforts related to the Climate Action Plan (grants, gifts, etc...) :998000
Additional information on secured outside funding:The University's district utility provider of steam and chilled water and purchaser of electricity, he Medical Center Company, piloted a hybrid FY12 green revolving loan fund, awarding CWRU just under 1 million in funding for thirty-one mechanical and lighting projects in seven campus buildings.
- Financing Methods utilized for Mitigation or Renewable Energy Projects:
- Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)