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University commits to carbon neutrality by 2050, looks toward more sustainable future

By District Energy posted 09-14-2021 19:38


The Observer


Notre Dame has pledged to become a carbon-neutral campus by 2050, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced Friday.

The announcement came during Jenkins’ opening remarks for the first keynote event of this year’s annual Notre Dame Forum, “Care for Our Common Home: Just Transition to a Sustainable Future,” held in Washington Hall. 

On the path to full carbon neutrality, Notre Dame also plans to achieve a 65% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 compared to a baseline year of 2005, Jenkins said. 

These announcements mark a continuation of the university’s recent efforts toward a more sustainable campus, the most recent being the elimination of coal usage in 2019, motivated by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’.” 

Achieving these goals, Jenkins explained, will require a long reevaluation process as well as many improvements in campus infrastructure, including an expanded use of geothermal wells, a shift to green fuels within boilers and an increased utilization of solar power as an energy source. The university will also employ emerging sustainable technologies as they become available.

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