Elaine Sadowski, Energy Manager
(412) 237-3157
[email protected]

The Climate Initiative at CCAC

As a member of the Higher Education Climate Consortium, the Community College of Allegheny County is committed to aligning its campus practices with the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative. An overview of its efforts is outlined below.

Educational Initiatives & Outreach

Green Institute
Renewable/Alternative Energy Technology Program

Emissions Inventory

CCAC completed its first greenhouse gas inventory in 2011, becoming only the third community college in the country at the time to accomplish the task. The inventory established a baseline of emmissions, allowing the school to produce a climate action plan with a goal of reducing emmissions 15% below 2009 levels by 2016. The plan outlines various energy saving projects that will help achieve this reduction.

Energy: Efficiency, Conservation, and Alternative

CCAC is currently writing a comprehensive energy policy, as well as energy procedures outlining specific steps to be taken to conserve energy and reduce costs on CCAC campuses. These procedures encompass buildings and facilities, purchasing, computers & electronics, use of personal electronic equipment, vehicles and trasnportation, and academic programs. The school is also exploring ways to purchase renewable energy.

CCAC has implemented PC power saver software in its offices and computer labs that allows for central administration of power management settings for networked PCs and can result in savings of 30% or more in electricity use by PCs. The software is expected to result in an annual savings of 1 million kWh and a reduction of 771 tons CO2e.

Recycling and Waste Management

CCAC currently recycles and will be writing a formal reycling policy in the coming months while a Director of Sustainability Initiatives is hired.

Buildings and Grounds

CCAC is currently in the process of retrofitting interior and exterior lighting aross its campuses. Inside, many of the older T12 flourescent lamps are being replaced by more efficient T8’s, while outside the older metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and mercury vapor lamps are being replaced by LEDs. Combined, these projects will save 2.9 million kWh and $257,000 per year, resulting in an annual reduction of 2,235 tons of CO2e.

CCAC is currently replacing 2,500 square feet of obsolete and deteriorated windows at West Hall on Allegheny Campus with low-emittance double-glazed windows that reduce heat loss while admitting solar gain. The project will result in an annual savings of $18,641 and annual reduction of 46 tons CO2e.

The new science complex building on the Allegheny campus is striving for LEED Silver certifiication.


CCAC currently offers discounted Port Authority passes to all students, faculty, and staff.

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