SEDAC is partnering with the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN) to provide planning, education and support to community colleges in the IGEN network to develop Net Zero Plans. Show your commitment to mitigating climate change by collaborating with SEDAC and IGEN colleges to create a pathway to carbon neutrality! Colleges can participate by attending collaborative meetings and receiving free technical assistance for developing and implementing Net Zero Plans.

Contact us to learn more about this program and join the collaborative. Call 800.214.7954 or email Sedac-netzero@illinois.edu to get started.

 

What is a Net Zero Plan?

Also called a Climate Action Plan, a Net Zero Plan describes a pathway to reduce energy use or greenhouse gas emissions and achieve "net zero" by some future date. A Net Zero Plan typically includes the following key components:

  • An energy use or emissions inventory of building energy use, transportation, waste, and more.
  • A "business as usual" forecast into the future that predicts energy use or emissions if no climate actions are pursued.
  • Descriptions and analysis of measures that can lead to net zero energy or emissions by some future date.
  • Interim target dates for meeting milestones that will lead to net zero goal.
  • A roadmap for implementing short, medium, and long-term measures.
  • Mechanisms for tracking progress.

What does participation look like?

Collaborative Meetings

SEDAC organizes monthly collaborative meetings where IGEN community college leaders can meet together to learn about climate action planning. These  meetings allow community colleges to network and learn from each other, sharing best practices and strategies to overcome barriers. Topics are determined by the needs of the collaborative members. Past topics have included:

  • Climate Action Planning Basics
  • Conducting an Emissions Inventory
  • Emissions Data Challenges
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewables

Recordings of past meetings are available upon request to members of the collaborative.

Technical Support for Select Colleges

SEDAC works with select colleges to create net zero plans or revise existing ones. SEDAC's technical support is customized to college's unique strengths, abilities, and limitations. SEDAC works with each college to determine goals, data collection methods, the sectors to focus on, reasonable target dates, and measures to pursue. We build off what the college has already accomplished. Participants will work with SEDAC to:

  1. Establish scope, goals and timeline for action
  2. Gather data and create a baseline emissions inventory
  3. Identify possible climate actions to pursue
  4. Create, revise, and review plan
  5. Implement measures and track progress

Resources

Heartland Community College Net Zero Plan

Heartland Community College has an impressive sustainability record. Their accomplishments include the installation of a 1.65 MW wind turbine, geothermal […]

Emissions Inventory Spreadsheet Template

Check out SEDAC's Net Zero Emissions Inventory Spreadsheet for Community Colleges. This is the spreadsheet that SEDAC uses to develop […]

University of Illinois engineering quad

Beyond 2020: Net Zero Planning

At SEDAC, we're looking forward to putting 2020 behind us and moving towards a more hopeful future! As you set […]

Emissions graph

Collecting data for emissions inventory

Image source: University of Illinois 2015 Climate Action Plan Collecting data for emissions inventory Once your college has established parameters […]

Diagram explaining Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions

Emissions inventory basics

Image source: Greenhouse Gas Protocol, ghgprotocol.org Creating an accurate baseline inventory is key to developing a Net Zero Plan. It's […]

Creating a Climate Action Team

A Net Zero Planning process will be more successful if it is supported by strong leadership and involves collaboration throughout […]