Office of Sustainability  >  Campus Sustainability  >  Climate Action  

Climate Action

Climate change is one of the biggest environmental threats the planet has ever seen, and will impact everything from the levels of the oceans (leading to flooding and weather events) to food security (through the creation of new deserts, called desertification).  While Mason's footprint is small compared to the rest of the world, we keep growing as a university – more buildings, cars, and people means more emissions.  Climate is Mason's top environmental priority. Nearly all of our environmental impacts can be tied to emissions production. We need everyone's help, from Mason students to faculty and staff, to meet our goals. Each of us can do our part to lessen the environmental impact that Mason has.   

Fairfax campus

Back in 2007, George Mason University's President Merten signed a pledge to become climate neutral by 2050.  That means the university is actively taking steps to reduce its environmental impact, primarily the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with the university's operations, and then eventually offsetting the rest.  Moreover, Mason agreed to incorporate sustainability into its academic and extracurricular offerings.  Since that pledge, Mason has made real progress with those goals, completing several Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventories to measure its emissions, producing its first Climate Action Plan which serves as a road map for achieving climate neutrality, and reporting on its sustainability progress with the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) report. In 2014, Mason scored a Gold rating on that report.  Additionally, from 2011 to 2015, Mason purchased wind powered Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to offset a portion of its electricity use.  Buying RECs supports the development of the renewable energy industry in the United States.