Marissa Gebhard | October 18, 2019
Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced in the fall of 2015 the ambitious goal of discontinuing the use of coal by the end of 2020, and cutting the University’s carbon footprint in half by 2030. Both goals have been achieved ahead of their target dates.
“Guided by the wisdom of Pope Francis in his encyclical ‘Laudato Si’,’ we have used a multifaceted strategy to make our campus more sustainably responsible,” Father Jenkins said. “I am proud of our progress, while realizing that we have still more work to do.”
Because of combined efforts laid out in the University’s Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy, Notre Dame has achieved a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions per gross square foot based on 2005 levels, accomplishing the goal well before 2030. The University accomplished these goals by reducing energy consumption, diversifying its energy sources and expanding and evolving its energy infrastructure to increase efficiency and capacity.
Since 2008, the University has implemented numerous energy conservation measures including installing energy-efficient lighting, establishing temperature set points, tightening building operating schedules, optimizing lighting and HVAC controls, using low-flow water devices, installing a computer-based irrigation system, applying energy analytics, applying variable-frequency drives on pumps and fans, installing the state’s largest green roof system and pursuing a minimum of LEED silver certification standards for all new construction. When aggregated, the energy conservation measures not only contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions, but also generate an annual savings of more than $2 million.
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