University Sustainability

Defining Sustainability since 1899
The goal of the Climate Action Planning process is to develop a pathway by which our campus can achieve carbon neutrality.
Legends parking lot is home to Appalachian’s 4-plug solar-powered EV charging station.

Climate Action Plan

Climate Action Planning Public Forum

In order to build a strong document based on the collective expertise of our campus community, we are soliciting carbon mitigation strategies for consideration/inclusion in the next iteration of Appalachian State University’s Climate Action Plan. Your suggested strategies should lead to a measurable reduction in Appalachian State University’s carbon footprint. For this reason, we are targeting High and Medium carbon impact categories because they embody the greatest percentage of our university’s carbon footprint. Your proposed solutions will be analyzed and considered for adoption into the Climate Action Plan. Out-of-the-box thinking and creativity are encouraged!

Current lists of publicly submitted suggestions:

“...higher education plays a critical role in accelerating climate action in two ways: as an institutional actor as well as an enabler of action.”
-Timothy Carter, President of Second Nature

The goal of the Climate Action Planning process is to develop a pathway by which our campus can achieve carbon neutrality. Through informed decision-making, availability of current information, and with thoughtful intent, these efforts will give members of the Appalachian community a voice on these critical issues that affect us all. This effort is being led by the Appalachian State University Sustainability Council and the Office of Sustainability. The majority of the Council’s existing working groups are continuing their work with a focus on the creation of the 2020 Climate Action Plan. A timeline and complete list of the 2020 climate action working groups can be found below.

Follow App State’s path toward climate neutrality

Appalachian is creating a “roadmap to climate neutrality” with its 2020 Climate Action Plan. The new plan will be released April 22, 2020 — the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Read More

CAP Timeline

Phase 1

October-December 2019
Initial working group meetings to evaluate carbon reduction strategies:

  • CAP Writing Group
  • Campus Electricity Group
  • Campus Heating Group
  • University Transportation Group

December 2019
CAP Webpage publication

January 31, 2020
First Facilitated Public Forum

Phase 2

Remaining working groups meet, change to virtual meetings due to COVID-19

April 24, 2020
Public Update - via zoom

Summer 2020
Working groups and writing group meet virtually

August 3, 2020
Draft due

The 2020 CAP is a living document designed for flexibility. Updates will occur on a regular basis


Climate Action Timeline

Full Size Image (

Greenhouse Gas Table: SIMAP

The following is the greenhouse gas inventory for Appalachian State, beginning in 2005.

Table as produced by our chosen inventory tool, SIMAP. Full Size Image

Working Groups

There are currently 13 groups working on the Climate Action Plan (CAP), each focusing on the CAP through the lens of their topic. These groups are a combination of reimagined Sustainability Council sub-committees and Climate Action Plan-specific interest areas.

In addition to members who are experts in each area, each group has at least one representative from SGA, REI, Office of Sustainability, RIEE, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Climate Action Collaborative.

Groups will assess the impact of each area as it relates to the carbon footprint of the University, imagine mitigation strategies, offering efficiency gains, and investigate sourcing of lower- carbon alternatives.

Climate Action Plan working groups

Climate Action Plan Writing Working Group

  • Focus — drafting the 2020 Climate Action Plan.

Campus Heating

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating carbon reduction strategies for campus-based heating.

Campus Electricity

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating carbon reduction strategies for campus-based electricity.

University Transportation

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating carbon reduction strategies for university-based transportation.

Academic Integration

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating curricular opportunities to support climate action.

Education and Outreach

  • Focus — developing a communication and marketing plan.

Climate Justice

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating social and ethical ramifications of proposed mitigation strategies.

Natural Environment

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating environmental ramifications of proposed mitigation strategies.

Climate Resiliency

  • Focus — long-term localized ability to adapt to change.

Embodied Carbon

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating unaccounted-for carbon impacts of purchased goods.

University Purchasing

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating environmentally preferable purchasing guidelines.

University Food Systems

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating carbon associated with Campus Dining services.

Zero Waste

  • Focus — identifying and evaluating campus waste diversion and reduction opportunities.

Have convened as of December 2019:

  • Climate Action Plan Writing Working Group
  • Campus Heating
  • Campus Electricity
  • University Transportation

Groups that have been meeting as Sustainability Council subcommittees, will be meeting in Jan-Feb for CAP Writing:

  • Academic Integration
  • Climate Justice
  • Climate Resiliency
  • Embodied Carbon
  • University Food Systems
  • Natural Environment
  • University Purchasing
  • Zero Waste

Working Group Template (pdf, 100Kb)


All meetings are in the Office of Sustainability’s conference room.

1/22 - 10am - Purchased and Generated Electricity
1/30 - 11am - Purchased and Generated Electricity
2/5 - 10am - Purchased and Generated Electricity

1/29 - 9am - Campus Heating Working Group
2/5 - 1pm - Campus Heating Working Group
2/13 - 11am - Campus Heating Working Group

1/24 - 10am - Transportation Working Group

3/13 - 10am - Transportation
3/17 - 10am - Campus Electricity
3/18 - 1pm - Education and Outreach
3/18 - 3pm - Natural Environment
3/25 - 2pm - Resiliency

Useful Links

Second Nature



For more information about the climate action planning process, please email