Climate Action Plan

Climate Action Plan

Our Climate Action Plan is Cornell’s comprehensive roadmap on how to achieve campus Carbon Neutrality by 2035. Completed in September 2009, the original Cornell Climate Action Plan was unveiled as part of the Cornell Sustainable Campus website and is considered the basis document as we evolve with the emergence of new technology, funding opportunities, and external regulatory, policy, and market factors. The Climate Action Plan (CAP) now lives and evolves as a living document informed by a series of reports and studies over time.

Current Climate Action Plan Strategies & Key Actions

Avoid, reduce, replace, offset carbon reduction hierarchy
The carbon reduction hierarchy helps identify which actions will be most impactful and efficient.

The Sustainable Cornell Council (SCC) coordinates our work in creating a more sustainable campus and community, and supporting partnerships for global impact. The CAP strategies and actions are informed by two decision-making frameworks, our quadruple bottom-line sustainability framework (people, planet, prosperity, and purpose) and a carbon reduction hierarchy (avoid, reduce, replace, then offset)  

CAP Strategies

  • Steam to low-temperature hot water heat distribution conversion
  • Heat campus with renewable energy: Develop Earth Source Heat
  • Power campus with 100% renewable electricity
  • Optimize campus energy systems for renewables: peak heat and emergency power strategies
Relative carbon reducing potential of each key action vs 2019 emissions