Climate and Energy

WPI recognizes that we have a critical role to play in turning knowledge into action as we confront global challenges of climate change and energy management. The University has recently signed pledges with two leading organizations in the movement to accelerate climate action goals, and we continue to support academic knowledge and real-world action in these important areas.

Energy Consumption at WPI

WPI uses energy for heating buildings, lighting, restrooms, cooking, transportation, landscaping, and more. The energy is obtained in a variety of ways, including from natural gas, fuel oil and grid electricity.

In the academic year 2022-2023, WPI used the following resources:

  • 27,000 MWh of electricity
  • 1.4 million therms of natural gas
  • 37 million gallons of water

The use of these resources resulted in emitting approximately 15,300 MTCO2e of Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. WPI’s most recent public greenhouse gas reporting can be found on Second Nature’s reporting platform, SIMAP. This report accounts for additional Scope 3 emissions that are attributed to the processing and transportation of fuel and electricity, for a total footprint of 18,944 MTCO2e.

Ways WPI is Reducing its Energy Consumption

Whenever possible, WPI strives to choose and install products that use less energy across our community. For example, LED, motion-sensor lighting is prevalent in the majority of buildings on campus and energy-efficiency equipment is installed in new buildings and renovation projects.  Other sustainable switches to reduce resource consumption include low-flow shower heads in residence halls.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan

WPI aims to reduce its scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emission by 20% by 2025 based on its FY14 emissions. 

WPI has reduced its emissions by 10.7% since FY14 (as of FY18: 20 thousand metric tons/3.2 metric tons per FTE). The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan proposes retrofits and operations projects in order to meet the reduction goal.

Carbon Commitment with Second Nature

WPI has signed Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible. This is accomplished by mobilizing a diverse array of higher education institutions to act on bold climate commitments, to scale campus climate initiatives, and to create innovative climate solutions. 

WPI’s commitment includes the development of a climate action plan in the Spring of 2024, which will provide a plan and timeline for achieving carbon neutrality.   The Climate Action Plan is being led by the Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with the Facilities Department and a Climate Action Committee consisting of WPI staff, faculty, and students. This climate action plan is being developed to build upon the planning and initiatives established through a partnership between WPI and Harrison Street, a Chicago-based investment management firm.

WPI Climate Action Planning Forum

Reducing WPI’s Carbon Footprint - Harrison Street Partnership

WPI has partnered with Harrison Street to provide $45 million for strategic initiatives, focusing on reducing WPI's carbon footprint. This includes expanding energy-conservation measures, improving the power plant, and developing sustainable energy technologies on campus. The collaboration offers research opportunities for students and faculty. Upcoming improvements include energy-efficient windows, LED lighting, optimized heating and cooling systems, and solar panels on some buildings. Future projects may involve microgrids and alternative energy technologies like geothermal systems.

Responsible Investment at WPI

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment, helping institutions across sectors to understand ways to integrate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment and ownership decisions.

Green Revolving Fund

WPI’s Green Revolving Fund supports sustainability projects that will generate financial returns, reduce environmental impact or carbon emissions, enhance the academic climate, and engage the WPI community. 


WPI’s GRF supports sustainability projects that will generate financial returns, reduce environmental impact or carbon emissions, enhance the academic climate, and engage the WPI community. This fund was initiated in 2017 with an initial allocation of $1.5 million ($500,000 over the first three years of the fund). Savings resulting from these projects are returned to the Green Revolving Fund, ensuring its sustainability.

In the past 5 years, the Green Revolving Fund projects have produced a combined total of $450,000 in estimated annual savings to the operations budget.

Have Questions?

Please send an email to if you'd like any further information about the GRF.

Academics and Research

WPI is home to many academic programs that include a focus on global climate and energy challenges, such as the undergraduate civil engineering, environmental engineering, and environmental and sustainability studies programs, as well as the Master’s in Community Climate Adaption.