Oberlin College and Conservatory has initiated a bold energy project to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. They are transforming their century-old, steam heating infrastructure into a hot water system using large-scale geothermal and heat pumps. Ever-Green led the Carbon Neutrality Implementation Plan for the college with an emphasis on energy and water utilities. Efforts included data collection, identification of building energy efficiency opportunities, exploration of renewable energy source options, development of financial strategies, and community and campus engagement.
In August, 2021, Oberlin secured $80 million in funding for its Sustainable Infrastructure Program, through an offering of some of higher education’s first Certified Climate Bonds. This funding is only the second Certified Climate Bond in the country and the third in the world. Certification by the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) indicates that independent experts have verified the environmental benefit of Oberlin’s Sustainable Infrastructure Program.
Kestrel Verifiers completed the report which secured Oberlin’s funding. Regarding Ever-Green’s work in the study and planning phase of the project, Kestrel’s CEO, Monica Reid, noted:
“Oberlin’s Sustainable Infrastructure Program is so well-organized and planned that it provides a roadmap for other colleges and universities that want to pursue carbon neutrality and sustainable infrastructure programs. Certified Climate Bonds are the gold standard for debt financing to support environmental projects and Oberlin has met that standard in excellent fashion.”
Oberlin is committed to making meaningful and lasting change through the Sustainable Infrastructure Project. Ever-Green began its partnership with Oberlin in 2015. Energy system construction began in 2021 and will continue each summer through 2024 to reduce the impact on campus activities. To learn more about Ever Green’s work at Oberlin College, visit our Oberlin College Project Profile on our website.