Virginia Tech® home

Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment

2020 Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment

Over the past decade, Virginia Tech has become a leader in seeking a sustainable society, with the university’s original Climate Action Commitment endorsed by the Board of Visitors in 2009 and revised and reaffirmed in 2014 and 2020.

Approved initially in 2009 by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment serves as the university’s guiding framework around sustainability and energy efficiency in campus operations, facilities, curriculum, and research.

In 2019, President Tim Sands called for its renewal and revision to ensure the most stringent climate and sustainability standards are implemented as Virginia Tech continues to grow and seeks to be a leader in environmental stewardship. The 2020 Climate Action Commitment builds upon a decade of university sustainability efforts.

The 2020 Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment was approved by the Board of Visitors in March 2021 after a highly collaborative revision process.

2020 Climate Action Commitment tenets

  1. Achieve a carbon neutral Virginia Tech campus by 2030. 
  2. Achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
  3. Complete the total conversion of steam plant fuel to natural gas by 2025, plan for full transition to renewable steam plant fuel after 2025, and continue to improve efficiency of campus energy systems.
  4. Reduce building energy consumption to enable carbon neutrality by 2030. 
  5. Operations of new buildings initiated by 2030 will be carbon neutral.
  6. Agricultural, forestry, and land use operations will be carbon neutral by 2030.
  7. Virginia Tech to become a Zero-Waste Campus by 2030. 
  8. Establish the Sustainable Procurement Policy and Procedures by 2022. 
  9. Reduce single-occupancy-vehicle commuting to campus by 20 percent by 2025 and reduce transportation-related GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
  1. Integrate the Climate Action Commitment into Virginia Tech’s educational mission through the Climate Action Living Laboratory beginning in 2021.
  2. Establish climate justice as a core value of the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment.
  3. Diminish barriers to sustainable behaviors through institutional change, education and social marketing.
  4. Implement the Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment at a high level of university administration and governance; by integrating goals for facilities, education,and campus culture; and with stakeholder engagement for evaluation of goals and progress.
  5. Develop innovative budgeting and financing mechanisms to generate funding and staffing to achieve Climate Action Commitment goals.
  6. Develop pathways after 2030 to eliminate fossil fuels and carbon offsets by 2050.

Listen to the resolution to approve the updated Climate Action Commitment:

Learn even more details about the Climate Action Commitment:

Sustainability at Virginia Tech at a glance

2020 Climate Action Commitment

Implementation Guide: 2020 Climate Action Commitment

A Decade of Sustainability Achievements at Virginia Tech

Latest Sustainability News at Virginia Tech