Accessibility links

Climate action planning: a review of best practices, key elements, and common climate strategies for signatories to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment


This report is intended for any administrator, faculty, staff, or student at an institution that is starting to create or update its climate action plan (CAP) to work towards a carbon neutral campus.

With more than 670 signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and educate students to help all of society do the same are becoming common on campuses across the country. To strengthen these efforts, schools are creating CAPs to guide their present and future campus development toward net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This paper is designed to offer guidance and insight on the procedures and elements that constitute a strong plan. The report is meant to assist schools just starting the CAP development journey by showcasing schools that have already completed their CAP, the lessons they have learned, and the projected impact of their mitigation efforts.

This report summarizes the critical insights gained through careful analysis of 50 CAPs and nearly two dozen interviews with schools’ implementation liaisons.

Among the topics covered are best practices during the process of developing a CAP, best practices in producing the final written product, as well as the variety of climate action strategies used by schools seeking carbon neutrality.

Read Climate action planning: a review of best practices, key elements, and common climate strategies for signatories to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.