Climate & Energy

Carbon Neutral by 2050

The College of Charleston became a signatory of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2012. Through this commitment, the College recognized its responsibility to lead in climate and sustainability action. This responsibility is magnified due to the unique and unprecedented challenges of operating a coastal university in the midst of this climate crisis.

Since 2012, the Center for Sustainable Development has been leading the charge to reach a goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050. The first step in achieving this goal is to measure our greenhouse gas emissions impact. The Center has conducted four GHG Emissions inventories (2011, 2013, 2015 & 2019), with 2013 being the identified baseline year. You can read the FY19 report online, and check out past reports on our research page. 

Since 2013, the College's emissions have decreased by 11%, mainly due to a cleaner energy grid in South Carolina. 


And, in FY19, the College emitted 49,073 mtCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents). This is equal to the emissions of a 1,141 home neighborhood. Compared to other peer institutions, the College's emissions are fairly average. 


The next step is to create a College-wide Climate Action Plan, which the Center is currently developing. If you'd like to find out more or get involved in the development of our CAP, please contact us at

Renewable Energy on Campus

Solar film image Solar Film

The building currently housing the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services, previously the Center for Sustainable Development, features solar film on the roof. This building is located at 14 Green Way in the heart of the College's campus - the strands of film lay between divots on the historic roof. This film produces approximately 1/3 of the energy needed to operate this historic home. If you stand in Rivers Green looking back towards main campus, you can just see the solar film on the roof. More information on the electricity generation can be found on this solar generation software. 

Solar Pavilion Launches Fall 2021

Solar Pavilion RenderingThrough a partnership between Facilities Management and the Center for Sustainable Development, a grant for $10,000 was awarded to the College from the SC Office Of Regulatory Staff Energy Office's Mini-Grant program to install solar panels on top of a shade structure for student tours on campus. A ribbon cutting is planned for Fall of 2021! 

Additional Climate & Energy Projects