In 2019, Brown entered into two renewable electricity purchase agreements that will offset 100% of Brown’s on-campus electricity use, which accounts for around half of the University’s campus emissions. A 50-megawatt (DC) solar facility in a former gravel pit in North Kingstown, R.I., will offset 70% of campus electricity. The remaining 30% will be offset by an agreement with a Texas-based wind farm, which began operating in summer 2020. Those projects, along with a thermal efficiency project launched in 2017, will cut campus emissions by approximately 27,000 metric tons per year — the equivalent of taking 5,800 cars off the road.
In the coming years, Brown will take steps to convert its central heating plant from natural gas to renewably sourced electricity, which, coupled with additional renewable electricity purchases, will eliminate much of Brown’s remaining campus emissions. Before that can happen, campus buildings and heating infrastructure must be renovated. This is a major challenge for a campus with buildings dating back to the late 1700s. However, doing so will help the University eliminate the vast majority of its remaining emissions.
While the University’s vehicle fleet accounts for only a small fraction of campus emissions, Brown will take steps to electrify the fleet and deploy charging stations across campus.
The actions outlined cover the direct emissions produced on campus. The University also commits to quantifying indirect emissions from activities such as commuting and work-related travel, and developing targets for reduction.
All emissions reductions will be verified by third parties, including the Climate Registry, to ensure consistency and accuracy in reporting.