American University is a private research university located in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1893 and has since become a prestigious institution of higher education, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of fields. The university is committed to sustainability and has made significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint through decarbonisation and the adoption of renewable energy sources.
One of the ways American University has achieved decarbonisation is through the use of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs). These agreements allow the university to purchase renewable energy directly from a generator, such as a wind or solar farm, at a fixed price over a long-term contract. By doing so, American University is able to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and support the growth of the renewable energy industry.
In 2018, American University signed a 20-year corporate PPA with a solar farm in North Carolina. This agreement will provide the university with 50% of its electricity needs and reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 37,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. The PPA also provides a stable source of energy at a fixed price, which helps the university to manage its energy costs and reduce its exposure to market volatility.
In addition to PPAs, American University has also invested in on-site renewable energy generation. The university has installed solar panels on several campus buildings, including the School of International Service and the Washington College of Law. These panels generate clean energy that is used to power the buildings and reduce the university's reliance on grid electricity.
American University has also implemented energy efficiency measures to reduce its overall energy consumption. The university has conducted energy audits of its buildings and implemented upgrades such as LED lighting, HVAC system improvements, and building automation systems. These measures have helped to reduce the university's energy consumption by over 20% since 2005.
Another way that American University is promoting sustainability is through its commitment to sustainable transportation. The university offers a free shuttle service that runs on biodiesel fuel, as well as a bike share program for students and staff. The university has also installed electric vehicle charging stations on campus to encourage the use of electric vehicles.
In addition to its sustainability efforts, American University is also committed to corporate social responsibility. The university has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has implemented a number of initiatives to promote these values. These include the creation of a Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the establishment of a Bias Incident Response Team, and the development of a diversity and inclusion strategic plan.
American University is also committed to ethical sourcing and has implemented a responsible purchasing policy. The university seeks to purchase products and services that are environmentally sustainable, socially responsible, and ethically sourced. This includes products that are Fair Trade certified, organic, or made from recycled materials.
In conclusion, American University is a leader in sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Through its commitment to decarbonisation, the adoption of renewable energy sources, and the implementation of energy efficiency measures, the university is reducing its carbon footprint and promoting a more sustainable future. The university's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as its responsible purchasing policy, demonstrate its commitment to ethical and socially responsible practices. American University serves as a model for other institutions of higher education and businesses to follow in their efforts to promote sustainability and corporate social responsibility.