2022-2023 Summary Report


Kalamazoo College is a campus committed to a sustainable future – a future in which the students, faculty, and staff who call this community their home may interact with the College in ways that are mutually beneficial for both people and planet. A guiding force of that interaction is the College’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), which ensures that our core value of sustainability is interwoven with all aspects of campus life. This document serves to report out on the progress made under the Climate Action Plan, demonstrating the steps we have made and the goals for which we strive.

Highlighting tangible changes that align with the four goals of the CAP, this report is intended to educate the greater campus community and beyond about environmental action at Kalamazoo College.

What is a Climate Action Plan?

“A climate action plan is a framework document for measuring, tracking, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adopting climate adaptation measures. These documents are used as a framework to guide administrative bodies in addressing the impact of climate change in their communities. Climate action plans typically include targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and detailed steps for meeting and tracking those targets. Climate plans are a crucial tool for tracking and meeting global climate goals. They can be applied at a wide range of different institutional levels, but the positive effects of a climate action plan will only be realized if the programs and goals within the document are implemented by government, university, or community institutions.”

Climate Check, 2022

2022-2023 Climate Action Plan Committee

Throughout the 2022-2023 academic year, the Climate Action Plan Committee shared the new 5-year Climate Action Plan with the campus community through all campus gatherings, department staff meetings, classes, and student forums. This was the first official year of the new 5-year action plan.

  • Andy Brown – News and Social Media Director
  • Brian Dietz – Associate Dean of Students
  • Richard Koenig – Professor of Art
  • Susan Lindemann – AVP for Facilities Management & Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Sara Stockwood – Director, Larry J. Bell ’80 Environmental Stewardship Center
  • Emerson Wesselhoff – K’25

Our Climate Action Plan

With the overarching goal of carbon neutrality, this document is intended to outline actionable steps towards attainment, with realistic outcomes. These interim goals consider the progress that has been achieved over the past ten years, areas that need targeted effort to stay on track, and what is possible with current technology and resources. The College maintains the aspiration to outperform these goals, as the climate crisis presents a mounting threat.


  • Greenhouse Gas Goal
  • Resource Conservation Goal
  • Learning Goal
  • Environmental Responsibility Goal

CAP Matrix

The plan is laid out in a matrix that provides a high-level view of each item. The matrix format allows easy and accessible viewing of the CAP and its goals, as well as the actionable steps that are being taken to achieve those goals. This format is also particularly conducive to highlighting progress on each action item. To view the CAP Matrix, available on the Climate Action Plan website, please visit: 5-Year Climate Action Plan Matrix

Greenhouse Gas Goal: Reduce GHG emissions by 35% of 2008 levels by fiscal year end 2028.

One of the primary goals of the Climate Action Plan is the Greenhouse Gas Goal, which outlines plans to “continually work to reduce GHG emissions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.” In the interim, the GHG goal aims to “reduce GHG emissions by 35% of 2008 levels by fiscal year end 2028.”

Essential to the GHG goal is thorough and accurate reporting of our GHG emissions; this is the basis of the college’s carbon reporting and this document.

The Reporting Mechanism

Where Are We Reporting Our Footprint?

Kalamazoo College utilizes a nation-wide program called SIMAP, or the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Program, to report our emission’s data. SIMAP provides public reporting for the President’s Climate Commitment.

“SIMAP® is a carbon and nitrogen-accounting platform that can track, analyze, and improve campus-wide sustainability. Our proven algorithms, based on nearly two decades of work supporting campus inventories, helps create a baseline, benchmark performances, create reports, set goals, and analyze progress year over year.”

To view our SIMAP report, please visit: Kalamazoo College Carbon Reports

SIMAP is run by the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute. Over 100 universities and institutions around the world are reporting through SIMAP.

Carbon Report Components

Gross Carbon Equivalent: Total emissions (total gross emissions and gross emissions normalized per 1000 square feet), including all fossil fuel combustion from campus activity.


  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources that K College owns or controls directly (Fuels: refrigerants, natural gas, running vehicles, etc.)
  • Scope 2: Emissions that K College causes indirectly from where the energy is purchased and produced (electricity: from coal and natural gas and renewable energy)
  • Scope 3: All other emissions that occur due to the nature of the operations of K College (business travel, commuting, waste, study abroad travel, etc.)

Categories: CO2 emissions per types of campus activity.

Gross Carbon Graphs

Total emissions (total gross emissions and gross emissions normalized per 1000 square feet), including all fossil fuel combustion from campus activity.

Figure 1: Gross Carbon per Year

Figure 2: Gross Carbon per Year Normalized per 1000 Sq Ft

Key Takeaways:

  • Both figures show the College’s carbon emissions by year. Note the scale and Y axis do not start at 0.
  • Figure 1 shows total Gross Carbon per year.
  • Figure 2 shows Gross Carbon normalized per 1000 square feet.
  • From 2008 to 2022 the College’s square footage increased by 69,386 sq ft.
  • There were minimal changes from FY22 to FY23.


The “scopes” data records CO2 emissions based on type of fossil fuel use, which falls into three categories.

Figure 3: Scopes data displaying carbon emissions per 1000 sq ft from varying fossil fuel usages, measured in metric tons.

Key Takeaways:

From FY21 to FY22 there was an increase in Scopes 2 & 3, with Scope 1 staying fairly consistent. From FY22 to FY23 there was a minimal change. Scope 1 represents fuels, Scope 2 represents electricity and renewable energy, and Scope 3 represents all other fossil fuel emissions (business travel, commuting, waste, etc.)


The “categories” data records CO2 emissions per types of campus activity.

Figure 4: Categorical data displaying the level of emitted CO2 per campus activity per 1000 sq ft, measured in metric tons.

Key Takeaways:

  • These categories are a more detailed view of the three Scopes, also normalized per 1000 square feet.
  • Most categories remained consistent from 2022 to 2023. There was a slight increase in Study Abroad/Away travel in 2023.

Greenhouse Gas Goal: Reduce GHG emissions by 35% of 2008 levels by fiscal year end 2028.

In addition to the carbon report data, progress on the goals listed under the Greenhouse Gas Goals are noted below:

  • Natatorium has building level metering (for all utilities including water, gas, and electricity).
  • Dewing Hall underwent retro-commissioning.
  • A student SIP (Kiah Holdsworth) continued a GPS tree mapping project on K’s campus
  • After distributing buckets at an All-Campus Gathering, 10 new departments are participating in the on-campus composting program.
  • A Better Way to K was officially started in the spring of 2023, encouraging campus community members to find transportation to and from campus with reduced emissions.
  • The Natatorium was certified with 45 LEED points. A LEED certification is recognized worldwide as a hallmark of commitment to environmental and sustainable excellence.

Resource Conservation Goal: Provide leadership in Resources Conservation measures for campus operations.

  • Natatorium landscape completed first full season with no irrigation or supplemental watering
  • Planned for a student summer fellowship focused on waste mapping and campus behavior
  • Added a composting shed for program access
  • Olds-Upton: installed detention structures (let sediment fall out, protects natural waterways, and prevents flooding)

Learning Goal: Work toward exposing every Kalamazoo College student to the study of issues related to climate/climate change, ensuring that Kalamazoo College graduates will possess climate literacy.

  • Environmental Studies faculty social in January 2023
  • A new student intern joined the CAP Committee
  • The CAP Committee held a student forum, drawing many interested students to learn about the plan
  • Several student groups held community reflections about climate-related topics, such as environmental action and food justice

Environmental Responsibility Goal: Develop campus-wide efforts to educate the K College community about climate change — stretching beyond courses an academic programs.

  • Module in planning stage for Orientation FY24/ESC intern helped create content for module.
  • ESC Director attended dining service presentations
  • Communications with Dean of Students and CFO about AVP Facilities Mgmt and ESC Director being part of the transition process in July 2023 for new dining partner.
  • Parkhurst Dining chosen as new dining services provider. Had the closest definition of local (100 miles) and uses their “know your source” program for local purchasing
  • Planning with Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition for a presentation during academic year 23-24
  • Roll-out of the CAP:
    • All Campus Gathering announcement in January ’23
    • Presentation to student President Ambassadors (in combination with master plan)
    • Website overhaul to become more accessible, more information available
    • Started blog posts related to the CAP
    • Student forum during first week of spring term
    • Presentation to the AACK group on May 23rd


The FY 2023 year represented a stabilization following three years of more dramatic swings in GHG emissions, due to both large capital projects and operational adjustments during the pandemic. Weather accounts for a normal variation in energy use.

We have made significant progress towards the responsibility and learning goals, as the rollout of the CAP and efforts from the student, faculty, and staff communities have increased both awareness and opportunity for environmental action.

Resource conservation has made a large impact on campus life this year, with infrastructure projects reshaping Olds-Upton, Mandelle, Markin, and more. A complete draft of new campus helium policy is an exciting move which opens the door for more sustainable policy changes to come.

Get Involved

We would love to be in touch and work together to make meaningful and sustainable change on the Kalamazoo College campus. Please get in contact with us any of these three ways, and we will make sure to continue the conversation about getting involved with the CAP.