Kenyon has made significant strides in sustainability initiatives over recent years. Institutional effort and a committed, passionate student body came together to steer Kenyon towards a greener future.
Our commitment to becoming carbon neutral, establishing the Green Revolving Fund, achieving LEED certification on new buildings, and funding the Office of Green Initiatives have all been important steps. Achieving carbon neutrality of our campus will be reached through continuous improvements in several fields, such as energy, infrastructure, transportation, and waste management. Some initiatives are already in progress, some are just starting up, and we are constantly looking for new ways to increase our efforts.
A class project that grew into an independent study was Kenyon's first step on the path toward carbon neutrality.
In 2016, the college formally signed the Second Nature Climate Leadership Pledge: Carbon Commitment. This pledge is designed to promote and drive sustainability initiatives at institutions of higher education and focuses on carbon neutrality and resilience in the face of climate change.
The Office of Green Initiatives has compiled and published a guiding set of potential improvements and projects, the Carbon Neutrality Plan. This plan outlines the general process of Kenyon becoming carbon neutral. In 2019, a commitment to refining the document will lead to more specific projects aimed at reaching our benchmarks.
Our commitment to becoming carbon neutral has led to the College funding the Office of Green Initiatives, establishing the Green Revolving Fund, and creating the Sustainability Steering Committee, which have all been important steps. Achieving carbon neutrality will require continuous improvements in several fields, including energy, infrastructure, transportation, and waste management. Some initiatives are already in progress and some have yet to take their first step. We are always looking for new ways to refine our efforts and accelerate towards our carbon footprint benchmarks.
Our plan for carbon neutrality by 2040 relies on averaging an annual 5 percent (of 2015 baseline) reduction in CO₂ emissions each year. Four benchmarks established in the Carbon Neutrality Plan allow us to track progress and adjust our efforts accordingly.
Comprised of staff, faculty, and representative students, the Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC) was established in 2019 to review and oversee Kenyon’s environmental efforts through a variety of lenses. The committee works to ensure maximum integration of sustainability into the college’s curriculum while supporting green initiatives, their development, implementation, and communication.
To submit your green initiatives to the SSC, fill out this form.
In the spring of 2017, an independent study comprised of five students and one faculty mentor, devised a plan that would allow the College to responsibly finance steps towards carbon neutrality. The Green Revolving Fund is a financing mechanism that funds carbon reduction projects that result in significant financial and energy savings. These savings are then looped back into the fund, allowing it to grow and making it more financially feasible for the College to venture into larger energy efficiency projects. The GRF lays out short and long term sustainability projects, including those proposed by student and faculty members.
The GRF grows in the following ways: