Bard has pledged to achieve climate neutrality by 2035.

By signing the ACUPCC Climate Commitment, now Carbon Commitment, in 2008, President Botstein agreed to launch an ambitious and important process to achieve carbon neutrality at the college and “actions to make climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experience for all students.”

The Carbon Commitment asks that we take deliberate and systematic steps to begin this process, and lays out a prescribed timeline. Bard has prepared annual greenhouse gas inventories, a Climate Action Plan, and Progress Reports.


                                                   Drone Shot of Bard’s Solar Array


Energy, Facilities, and Climate

Bard has taken large steps to increase its energy efficiency, most notably a campus-wide upgrade of inside lighting to LED and high-efficiency fluorescent technology, with plans to upgrade all external building, path, and street lighting to LED.  Bard also has completed several renewable energy projects, including a large-scale, 280kW solar photovoltaic array near the athletic fields, solar thermal hot water systems at Keene and Tremblay Dormitories, and a 9kW solar electric system at South Hall Dormitory.

The College has been an early adopter of geothermal heat-exchange technology in its building construction practices, with all new construction since the mid-1990s incorporating the technology.  In all, roughly 40% of the total building square footage on the Bard Campus utilizes geothermal heat-exchange for space heating and cooling.

Visit Bard’s AASHE STARS report submission for more information.


The main Bard campus in Annandale comprises about 155 buildings totaling 1,260,000 sq. ft. The campus has support infrastructure such as street and path lighting, facilities for fresh water distribution, a site for receiving and treating sewage, and a fleet of maintenance and security vehicles.


Our Consumption

In order to provide occupants with electrical power; thermal comfort (space heating and cooling); hot water; food and domestic services; and safety and security, the operation and maintenance of campus facilities consumes about:

Stationary Combustion (gallons)

#2 Fuel Oil: 205,545

Kerosene: 79,908

Propane: 132,862

Diesel (generators): 12,084

Fleet Operation (gallons)

Gasoline: 44,014

Diesel: 10,122

Purchased Electricity (kWh)


Path to Net-Zero Energy

Though Bard must unavoidably consume energy in order to function as an institute, Bard is taking steps to minimize its energy consumption baseline, including:

  • Systematically upgrading existing campus facilities for energy efficiency (i.e. weatherization and  insulation, high-efficiency lighting,  controls automation for HVAC systems, and eliminating inefficient practices)
  • Invest in on- and off-site renewable energy systems, and
  • Replace old fleet vehicles with new fuel-efficient models (and low/no carbon models, as they become available)

Ultimately, any energy consumed by the college from non-renewable sources will be offset through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and/or Carbon Offset Credits.