Campus Sustainability

Campus Sustainability

Since 2008, Sightlines has been working with campuses across the country to analyze and benchmark sustainability performance. The creation of Sightlines’ Go-Green services was a natural extension of our experience in facilities management. Members requested assistance in compiling, quantifying and comparing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically in response to the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).

Today, Sightlines has completed over 450 annual operational sustainability analyses, looking beyond carbon to other campus sustainability issues like water use, waste production and community engagement. Sightlines’ Go-Green services offer varying levels of support to institutional leaders as they work through the challenges of campus sustainability.

Go-Green Benchmarking & Analysis

Campuses across the country are faced with limited sustainability resources. It often doesn’t make sense for campus sustainability officers to be burdened with data collection, processing and redundant or even duplicative reporting efforts. Sightlines’ Go-Green service was built with this in mind. This full service sustainability analysis not only addresses the data challenge of quantifying operational sustainability, but also provides deep analytics and peer comparisons to highlight institutional successes and identify areas of opportunity. This allows sustainability leaders to spend their time driving institutional change grounded in real, accurate data. Furthermore, our Go-Green service provides direct submission to the ACUPCC; covers approximately 70% of the STARS Operations section and fulfills select state reporting requirements for many institutions.

CarbonMAP Validation

At the outset of our Go-Green services, Sightlines forged a strategic partnership with Clean Air-Cool Planet. In 2011, Sightlines and Clean Air-Cool Planet began working in earnest to develop a web-based version of the Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC). This new, more powerful web-based version of the CCC is now available on the Carbon Management and Analysis Platform (CarbonMAP).

The CCC remains the gold standard in GHG measurement for higher education. A core challenge identified by Sightlines and Clean Air-Cool Planet is ensuring data quality and credibility. Sightlines now offers a CarbonMAP Validation service to evaluate existing inventory data for Comprehensiveness, Credibility, Consistency and Comparability. This service utilizes both quantitative and qualitative analysis to identify data and methodological issues, while also contextualizing institutional performance through percentile rankings based on Sightlines’ validated database of campus emissions.

Go-Green Strategy

As member institutions develop a deeper understanding of campus sustainability performance, it simply begs the question “what can we do to improve?” Go-Green Strategy helps institutions develop climate action plans with realistic carbon reduction targets, portfolios of mitigation projects that balance cost-effectiveness, impact and community engagement. Sightlines will also facilitate efforts to incorporate global sustainability into curricular, co-curricular and research programming of the institution. This service is designed to catalyze campus sustainability efforts into an actionable plan for carbon reductions and effective community engagement.