Department of
Facilities Management
Brown University
Box 1941
295 Lloyd Ave.
Providence, RI 02912

Facility Emergency:
Tel: (401) 863-7800

Service Request:
Tel: (401) 863-7800

Main Office:
Tel: (401) 863-7850
Fax: (401) 863-7885

Energy and Environmental Advisory Committee Policy Recommendations

Current science indicates that the demonstrable adverse effects of human activities on global climate and the environment will cause major negative impacts on agricultural production, natural ecosystems, human welfare and the world economy unless immediate substantial action is taken. Brown University acknowledges its responsibility to act as an engaged world citizen, role model and community leader. To this end, Brown University will establish policies and practices to help protect the present and future global environment.


In order to develop sustainable and equitable patterns of local and global resource use, Brown University will minimize its energy use, reduce negative environmental impacts and promote environmental stewardship. Brown will use the opportunities created by these actions to further its educational, research and service missions.


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction:

Brown University should aspire to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050 [1]. As an interim commitment Brown University should reduce its emissions by 10% to 15% below 1990 levels by 2020 (45% to 48% below FY 2007 levels) [2]. To meet this target we anticipate incremental annual reduction targets of greenhouse gas emissions beginning in FY2008.

Carbon Neutrality:

Brown should allocate funds and implement a policy to achieve carbon neutrality by FY2008 to be maintained at least through 2020. This will serve as an example to the community, contribute to measurable reductions in global carbon emissions, and be sensitive to global inequalities in natural resource utilization. To achieve carbon neutrality Brown will initiate carbon offset projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the local community and purchase carbon offset contracts. As Brown reduces its greenhouse gas emissions on campus the need for total carbon-offsets will decrease.


As a result of long-term investments Brown University is more energy efficient than its peer institutions (energy use per square foot of building area) [3]. By meeting greenhouse gas emission targets and achieving carbon neutrality Brown will ensure that it maintains this leadership position in addressing climate change. Brown must also continue to help advance relevant research and educational efforts.


Below are a set of strategies that will enable Brown to achieve the improvements needed to meet the short-term goals. The proposed strategies will provide a portfolio of approaches with differing capital needs.

1. Research reported in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report ( suggests that to avoid major disruption of the earth's climate the world will need to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations at no more than two times pre-industrial levels (550 Parts Per Million (ppm). To meet this target the United States alone is expected to need to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 80% below current levels by as soon as 2050.

2. Brown’s greenhouse gas emissions in 1990 were 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCDE). Brown’s total greenhouse gas emissions for FY2007 are projected to be 82,000 MTCDE (46,000 MTCDE emitted from on-site burning of fossil fuels and 36,000 MTCDE from the use of electricity). This is an increase of 64% above 1990 levels. Greenhouse gas emissions that have been tracked do not include transportation either from Brown owned vehicles or faculty, staff and student owned vehicles.

3. As reported in Sightlines TM ; College and University facilities benchmarking survey,