Climate and Energy

In celebration of Earth Month, WPI committed itself to combating climate change. The university has signed a pledge to join a movement to accelerate climate action goals, emphasizing on the critical role of WPI in turning knowledge into action to confront such global challenges as climate change.  
  • WPI’s Carbon Commitment with Second Nature Carbon Commitment with Second Nature. Second Nature is committed to accelerating climate action in and through higher education. 
  • Student groups
    • Green Team – Climate Action Fair.
  • Academic Programs
    • Undergraduate – Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Sustainability Program, & Great Problem Seminar( GPS)  
    • Graduate Program – Community Climate adaptation program
  • Climate Action Committee  
  • Other related areas – See menu items, & projects.  

Example projects related to climate action and energy:


WPI uses energy for heating buildings, lighting, restrooms, cooking, transportation, landscaping, etc. The energy is obtained in a variety of ways, including from natural gases, nuclear fusion, coal, oil, municipal trash, hydroelectric, and wind. WPI’s Energy Research Group WPI students and faculty collectively work on common research topics including fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, catalysis, biomass, and electric power systems. Ways WPI is Reducing its Energy Consumption In the past couple years WPI has installed, and continues to install, products that use less energy as well as help the WPI community use less energy. For example, motion-sensored lighting is prevalent in many academic buildings on campus, especially restrooms. WPI continues to make sustainable switches to reduce energy consumption such as low-flow shower heads in residence halls and LEED lighting. Green Revolving Fund A budget for sustainable projects and renovations on WPI campus. Cost savings from sustainable switches and additions are recycled back into the fund. For example, the switch to low-flow shower heads in the residence halls and LEED lighting reduced WPI’s electricity expenditure. The yearly cost reduction cycles back into the fund to maintain a balance for future sustainable energy projects. WPI Sustainable Energy Project Center The purpose of this project center is to coordinate and support undergraduate student project work in all aspects of energy as well as across all areas of academic inquiry at WPI. It includes consideration of projects on the WPI campus as well as projects off-campus in collaboration with external organizations. After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, involvement with the project center is expected for fall of 2021.
WPI’s faculty, students and staff engage in a variety of initiatives to address sustainable buildings.  Initiatives include the new academic building, work with LEED-Certified Buildings, the Green Revolving Fund (GRF), and the development of  a zero net energy home for the Solar Decathlon in Morocco. 


New Academic Building A new WPI academic building, Unity Hall has been built behind Gordon Library following LEED Silver certification, with energy-efficient features like  EV charging ports. LEED-Certified Buildings WPI has 5 LEED certified buildings on campus: Bartlett Center (Certified), East Hall (Gold), Recreation Center (Gold), Faraday Hall (Silver), and The Innovation Studio/Messenger Hall (Gold). Green Revolving Fund This fund supports sustainable projects on-campus. Ongoing projects include lighting upgrades, HVAC retro-commissioning, and a cogeneration study. Solar Decathlon A competition in which universities design, build, and operate a net-zero energy dwelling. NOTE: Solar Decathlon infomration is still being developed. EXAMPLE PROJECTS RELATED TO BUILDINGS