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Notre Dame Ceases Use of Coal Year Ahead of Schedule, Heeds Pope's Call to Care for Earth

By District Energy posted 01-09-2020 13:56


Notre Dame Press Release


When the University of Notre Dame was founded, it was envisioned to be a force for good in the world. On Oct. 14, 2019, the institution demonstrated this with the announcement that it had discontinued the use of coal at its power plant, a year sooner than expected, and cut its carbon footprint in half, more than a decade ahead of schedule.

In the fall of 2015, Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced the ambitious goals to discontinue the use of coal by the end of 2020 and cut the institution’s carbon footprint in half by 2030. That’s the same year Pope Francis released “Laudato Si’,” his papal encyclical on global climate change. In the encyclical, the pope calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path.

“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,” said Father Jenkins. “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.

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