Franklin & Marshall is committed to decreasing energy consumption and emissions while at the same time pursuing alternative energy sources and making current systems more efficient. Goals in the Sustainability Master Plan include reducing consumption of fossil fuels and increasing use of energy-efficient and recycled equipment and materials.
The plan sets immediate and long-term goals for energy efficiency, including the following:
F&M in 2007 became a signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In taking this step, the College became one of the first 200 signatories to the Commitment. Signing the ACUPCC committed the College to take three steps: 1) create an inventory of F&M's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (and update it annually), 2) adopt at least two of ACUPCC’s seven climate mitigating policies, and 3) create and implement a Climate Action Plan for achieving net climate neutrality (reduce its overall greenhouse gas footprint to zero).
The College developed its first GHG inventory in fiscal year 2007. The results of the inventory showed that 80 percent of the College's GHGs came from the consumption of energy, 59 percent involved the production of electricity and 24 percent came from heating buildings (primarily natural gas with oil as backup). In 2008, the College adopted an ENERGY STAR appliance policy and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver building standard policy.
As of 2012, the College purchases 33 percent of its total purchased electricity from renewable energy sources through Renewable Energy Credits in the form of wind energy from Community Energy. Between 2007 and 2010, the College reduced its net CO2 emissions by 24 percent from 18,560 metric tons to 14,236 metric tons. The Sustainability Master Plan builds on these efforts.