Spelman College Teams Up With Chevrolet On Carbon Neutrality

​(3BL Media/Just Means) - ​Since it was founded in 1881 as the Atlanta Baptist Female Seminary, and having renamed itself as Spelman College in 1924, the educational institution has blazed many a new trail, not least​ as a​ leader in the education of women of African descent.

Like other educational entities in the U.S., Spelman College currently aims at becoming carbon neutral, an initiative that is already yielding results. Recently, the institution announced that it has entered a partnership with Chevrolet to sell the automaker carbon credits, which will help the college rake in up to $100,000.

The partnership was one of the highlights of the program of the Campus Sustainability Day at Spelman, which took place on October 22. The nation-wide event is designed to celebrate sustainability, providing a platform for colleges and universities ​to exchange ideas and knowledge on sustainability.

The partnership with Chevrolet is framed within the automaker’s campus energy efficiency campaign to reduce carbon emissions. It is part of a comprehensive voluntary carbon reduction initiative launched in 2010 to prevent up to eight million metric tons of carbon emissions. The company is investing in community-based carbon reduction projects across the country.

So far, all investments have been made through the purchase of certified carbon credits. Spelman is one of 12 colleges to take part of the initiative and the only women’s college, Georgia College and historically black college or university to be part of it. Chevrolet buys and retires the credits, so they they will not be used to offset emissions related to specific Chevrolet operations or products.

Spelman began measuring its baseline greenhouse emissions in 2009. With its Climate Action Plan, the college is working towards a 50 percent GHG reduction by 2031, when it will turn 150, and 100 percent by 2056. The plan covers educational, campus emissions, carbon reduction strategies and community outreach efforts.

“We are halfway to our 2031 carbon emissions goal of a 50 percent reduction. The funds from the Chevrolet Campus Clean Energy Campaign will provide a jumpstart for further reducing our greenhouse gas inventory,” Art Frazier, Spelman College director of facilities management and services, said.

With the funds raised from the sale of carbon credits, the college will invest in energy efficiency projects such as LED lighting and retrofittings, which it has already done across the campus, including a LEED Gold certification award for the renovation job of the Laura Spelman Hall in 2012. Students are also engaged in sustainability initiatives through guidance and practical engagement.

Other colleges participating in the Chevrolet program include Ball State University, Grand Valley University, Southern Oregon University, the University of Illinois at Urban Champaign and Valencia College.

Image credit: GM