To achieve its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040, Kenyon is partnering with Ever-Green Energy to develop a Carbon Neutrality Master Plan involving a unique perspective and discipline — ecology. The project team will look to reduce the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere on campus through its energy systems and facilities, while also utilizing soil and vegetation to increase carbon sequestration.
Ever-Green will lead the work by evaluating the existing energy system and analyzing the low-carbon solutions available to Kenyon. The master plan will define an effective, feasible path to campus decarbonization that considers the College’s short-term and long-term priorities. Planning will be overseen by the Office of Green Initiatives and Vice President for Facilities, Planning and Sustainability Ian Smith with the assistance of a steering committee to be named.
“I am delighted to be a part of Kenyon’s process for creating its approach not only to the technical aspects of carbon neutrality, but also to the community-building possibilities presented,” Smith said. “With the College about to enter its third century, now is the time to redefine its relationship with energy and to build both operational and social resilience in the process.”
For Kenyon’s particular approach, Ever-Green is partnering with ecological experts including EcoSmith Consulting and a team from Resource Environmental Solutions. In addition to mitigating the effects of climate change, ecological solutions to decarbonization can yield increased habitat for pollinators and other wildlife; improved soil fertility and capacity for infiltrating stormwater runoff; reduced soil erosion; economic benefits for landowners; and opportunities for recreation and wellness in the community.