In 2010 UVM committed to climate neutrality by 2025, with the following goals:
- 100% renewable electricity starting in 2015
- 100% carbon-neutral thermal energy starting in 2020
- 100% carbon-neutral commuting, business and air travel by 2025
UVM began purchasing 100% Green-E Certified renewable electricity in 2015. As of 2017, UVM is a member of the EPA's Green Power Partnership, committing to report annually on these purchases. In 2017 UVM also joined the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition, a state-wide coalition of businesses, non-profits, municipalities, and educational institutions dedicated to the Paris Climate Agreement and Vermont’s goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050. Read more about UVM's climate actions in the "pledge tracker" here.
The University's commitment to energy conservation and climate action goes way back. A revolving loan fund for energy efficiency projects was created in 1992. The Environmental Council conducted an inventory of climate-changing gases associated with university operations in 2002 as part of the Tracking UVM report, showing emissions increases between 1990 and 2000. In 2005 committed to green building. Since then many members of the community of faculty, students and staff have participated in processes leading to the target dates for climate neutrality, as well as the actions already undertaken to reduce our collective carbon footprint.
In 2007 the University of Vermont President Daniel Mark Fogel signed a climate action commitment developed by the organization Second Nature, called the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. He created the Office of Sustainability shortly afterwards. In December 2010 UVM committed to climate neutrality by 2025, and published a climate action plan that resides on Second Nature's website. About the same time UVM's Clean Energy Fund began funding renewable energy installations, research, and educational activities, documented in a 2016 report called Energizing UVM.
The name of the national-level commitment UVM participates in has now formally changed to the Carbon Commitment, run by Second Nature. The Carbon Commitment is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving carbon neutrality as soon as possible. .