Dartmouth to Invest $500 Million in Decarbonization

News subtitle

The Dartmouth Climate Collaborative will reduce campus emissions 100% by 2050.

Baker Library and Dartmouth Hall tower

(Video by Jay Beaudoin)

In a message to the community on Earth Day, President Sian Leah Beilock announced the launch of the Dartmouth Climate Collaborative, a comprehensive commitment to meaningfully address climate change and sustainability on campus and beyond. 

The plan calls for investments of more than $500 million in the next five years to accelerate campus decarbonization efforts and meet new targets for reducing carbon emissions on campus by 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2050—the largest investment in sustainability in Dartmouth history.

“Our aging infrastructure—some of which is more than 100 years old—is in dire need of repair, and rather than sinking resources into an outdated system, we will take this opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint in a lasting way,” President Beilock says.

Major upgrades around campus will include improvements to energy efficiency, the continued transition from steam to hot water heating, and the installation of geo-exchange borefields and high-capacity heat pumps “in order to aggressively reduce our greenhouse gas impact,” she says.

The Climate Collaborative will not stop at addressing campus infrastructure. 

“As a leading research university, our responsibility to address climate change goes far beyond the carbon footprint on campus,” Beilock says. “As we embark on the largest operational change in Dartmouth’s history, our campus will become a living lab as our capital projects become drivers of new research, teaching, and collaboration. Critical to this will be our students, whose passion and creativity have helped spur our aggressive push around campus decarbonization.”

Several efforts toward the collaborative’s educational goals are already underway, including the recently announced Climate Futures Initiative—which Beilock describes as a year-long program to “help ensure we capitalize on areas where Dartmouth is best positioned to drive climate scholarship and solutions”—and the Greenshot Accelerator, a partnership of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, Tuck School of Business, and Thayer School of Engineering that is supporting climate entrepreneurs.

The Dartmouth Climate Collaborative will have an advisory council that includes faculty, students, alumni, and a representative from the Sustainable Hanover community group. The council will be co-chaired by Professor of Anthropology Laura Ogden, who is serving as the special advisor to the provost on climate and sustainability, and Rosi Kerr ’97, director of the Sustainability Office.

The advisory council will report to Provost David Kotz ’86 and Senior Vice President for Capital Planning and Campus Operations Josh Keniston.

The community is gathering on Tuesday, April 23, at Collis Common Ground for a Celebrating Dartmouth’s Climate Commitment event, where several faculty, senior leaders, and students will share why they’re excited about the future of climate action and study at Dartmouth. A livestream will be available.

“As the effects of climate change become more and more pronounced, Dartmouth must meet the moment. Maintaining the status quo is not an option, nor is incremental change. The time for bold action is now,” Beilock says.

Office of Communications