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The Carbon Charge Fund

The Carbon Charge Fund is to be used for renewable energy installations, energy efficiency upgrades, improved metering, reductions in energy consumption, and education initiatives. The Carbon Charge Committee is responsible for allocating funds to projects.

In 2016-17, the Carbon Charge Committee divided the $300,000 fund into three categories:

  • $234,000 for Energy Saving Projects through the Green Revolving Fund
  • $61,000 for Research, Analysis, and Strategic Planning
  • $5,000 for Education, Engagement, and Behavior Change


Energy Saving Projects through the Green Revolving Fund

This category aims to directly reduce Swarthmore’s emissions, especially through projects with a financial payback. The College has created a Green Revolving Fund, which is a pool of capital to be “loaned” out for energy projects that will have a payback, drawing from the analysis mentioned above. The savings from those projects with be returned to the revolving fund until the “loan” is paid off, replenishing the fund for further projects.


Research, Analysis, and Strategic Planning

This category aims to support an integrated and informed approach to emissions reduction, utility planning, renovations, and resiliency.

This includes:

  • The Energy Strategy for Sustainability and Resilience, which encompasses a facilities condition assessment, an electric resiliency plan, a renewables integration plan, and a list of energy savings projects for the college. This has also yielded a plan to convert our heating system from steam to hot water, which could reduce our campus emissions by up to 11%.
  • A detailed analysis of energy saving opportunities in Sharples Dining Hall.


Education, Engagement, and Behavior Change

This category aims to raise awareness and understanding of carbon pricing on campus and in the wider higher education community.

This includes:

  • A screening of the Years of Living Dangerously “Priceless” episode and a panel discussion on carbon pricing
  • Supporting the PERC workshop on how to bring internal carbon prices to other colleges and universities
  • Supporting the People’s Climate March delegation from Swarthmore

We plan to undertake more projects in this category in 2017-18, including an educational video about carbon pricing and the Carbon Charge program and behavior change pilots.


Voluntary Additional Contributions

Thanks to the generous support of many departments and offices listed below who made voluntary additional contributions, we have an additional $33,000, for a total of $333,000 to put towards this valuable work next year! 

Dean's Office
Department of Dance
Department of Education
Department of Engineering
Department of Environmental Studies
Department of History
Department of Music
Department of Philosophy
Department of Political Science
Department of Psychology
Finance & Administration
Lang Performing Arts Center
Office of Admissions
Office of Sustainability
President's Office
Provost's Office
Psychobiology Program