Bard College Recognized by U.S. Department of Energy for Committing to Reduce Portfolio-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions by at Least 50% Within 10 Years
Bard Senior Vice President and CFO Taun Toay Discusses the College’s Sustainability Efforts in an Interview for DOE’s Better Climate Challenge “Decarbonization Download” SeriesANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized Bard College for committing to reduce portfolio-wide greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% within 10 years and to work with DOE to share successful solutions and decarbonization strategies. As a partner in DOE’s Better Climate Challenge, Bard College is one of only 50 organizations across the U.S. economy that are stepping up to the Challenge and driving real-world action toward a low-carbon future. As a place of higher education, Bard College’s campus and buildings are its biggest carbon footprint. Bard is the only small liberal arts college in the country that is converting its built environment to carbon neutral as a Better Climate Challenge partner.
Bard College has set ambitious pollution reduction goals including to cut energy use in campus buildings through efficient lighting and HVAC retrofits, to eliminate fossil fuels by converting to geothermal, to generate 10% of electricity with on-campus solar (and micro hydropower), and to purchase off-site renewable electricity for the remaining 90%. This will be supported by Net Zero design goals for all new construction. As Bard College undertakes this challenge, DOE will support its efforts with technical assistance, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and a platform for the organization to demonstrate its commitment to being part of the solution to climate change.
“Better Climate Challenge partners like Bard College are committing to decarbonize across their portfolio of buildings, plants, and fleets and share effective strategies to transition our economy to clean energy,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Their leadership and innovation are crucial in our collective fight against climate change while strengthening the U.S. economy.”
“Colleges and universities should take leadership roles on such pressing issues as global climate change,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “We’re gratified to be working with the Department of Energy as we move forward with our ambitious goals, and we encourage others in higher education to follow suit.”
“Bard is pleased to join a who’s who of 80 global companies committed to mitigating climate change. As an early adopter of geothermal and narrowing in on our carbon neutrality target, Bard is the only college to represent higher education along with four universities throughout the nation to be a first mover with the DOE,” said Taun Toay, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Bard College.
“Decarbonization Download: 5Qs with Bard College” is a video interview featuring Toay discussing Bard College’s sustainability goals, including the development of a Climate & Energy Master Plan that will provide a roadmap to transform campus infrastructure from being dependent on fossil fuels to being operated on 100% renewable energy. Watch the interview here.
In March, Bard College also launched the Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice, a flagship event organized by the Graduate Programs in Sustainability (GPS) at Bard College, with support from the Open Society University Network. Bard’s Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice brought together climate-concerned educators and students at universities and high schools from around the globe for bottom-up conversations about changing the future. Building on a foundation of more than 300 participating organizations this year from Liberia to Colombia, Taiwan to Vienna, and Florida to Alaska, the teach-in organizers hope to engage 1,000 colleges, universities, and other institutions next year, targeting at least 100,000 participants worldwide.
The DOE Better Climate Challenge is the government platform that provides transparency, accountability, technical assistance, and collaboration to identify decarbonization pathways and provide recognition for leadership across the US economy. The Better Climate Challenge builds on over a decade of DOE experience through the Better Buildings Initiative. Through Better Buildings, DOE partners with public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. To date, more than 950 Better Buildings partners have shared their innovative approaches and strategies for adopting energy efficient technologies. Discover more than 3,000 of these solutions in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 161-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Bard Press Contact:Mark Primoff
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