Climate Action Banner


SDSU has committed to operational carbon neutrality by 2040 and full carbon neutrality by 2050. Now that we have completed the Implementation Profile, initial Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and the 2017 Climate Action Plan, we can move campus toward a carbon-free future as we enter the implementation and tracking phase. In 2019, two students (Christi Yip and Victoria Lawless) adapted the UN Habitat Toolkit for City Climate Action Plans for universities. Using this framework, they completed a review of the SDSU Climate Action Plan. Their framework has now been approved for use across the United States.

On March 5th, 2014, President Elliot Hirshman signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. An implementation profile was submitted on June 6th, 2014 and a baseline greenhouse gas inventory was submitted on January 15th, 2016. The Climate Action Plan was approved by President Hirshman on April 27th, 2017. By May 1st every year, SDSU must submit a progress report including a greenhouse gas inventory. The Climate Action Plan must be reviewed and refreshed by May 1st, 2022. SDSU has set an operational carbon neutrality goal of 2040 and a full carbon neutrality goal of 2050.

Status of each of the climate actions identified in the plan are available here.


Historical Climate Action

History matters since many goals reference the past. For example, the CSU system has a goal that campuses reduce direct (Scope 1 and 2) greenhouse
gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80
percent below 1990 levels by 2040. 

The majority of campus emissions have been Scope 1 and 2 also known as operational emissions. This
primarily consists of electricity and natural
gas usage and fleet gas usage

Historical Emissions by Scope

Operational Emissions

Operational Emissions


Accomplished Climate Action

Our team and university affiliates have worked together to accomplish more and more of the goals stated in the plan.

Most of the needed actions are intersectional among various entities such as Associated Students, Chancellor's Office, EDCO Waste Management, and more. Collaboration and support is critical to meeting these goals.

In Progress Climate Action

The primary contributor is from the co-generation plant, which provides electricity and steam to campus, while a smaller portion is from other natural gas burned on campus and purchased electricity. Most of the remaining emissions are from students, faculty, and staff, commuting to campus.

For more data, visit our metrics section.

Click graphics for exact data.

Carbon Pie for GHG


Additional information about SDSU and other campuses can be found on the Second Nature Reporting System