The Community Climate Fund

“Williams is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making a positive impact on the community. This project enables us to do both and it also offers a rich opportunity for students to critically engage with important issues that live at the intersection of multiple disciplines.” 

– Mike Evans Interim Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College
Pictured: Williams College Zilkha Center

CET developed and administers the Community Climate Fund as a vehicle for colleges, universities, and businesses to invest in high-impact, local carbon reduction projects. The project portfolio ranges from energy efficiency and renewable energy interventions, to food waste reduction and building materials recovery. Projects are designed to yield significant environmental and social impacts along with experiential learning opportunities for students.

Sample Projects

  • Revolving Loan Fund for On-Farm Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects. CET has found that a significant number of high impact projects get stymied because farms lack the upfront capital.
  • Roadblock Removal for Weatherizing Small Businesses. CET currently has support from the MA Department of Energy Resources to bring innovative approaches to small business weatherization programs. The  CCF can complement this effort by funding measures such as removal of knob-and-tube wiring and asbestos, for which there are no incentives.
  • Installation of Wifi Thermostats in Low- to Medium-Income Communities. Peak load shaving is an emerging demand-side management tool for stabilizing the costs of energy generation and reducing reliance on dirty back-up power systems. Wifi thermostats yield immediate carbon reductions for households and will unlock significant system-wide carbon emissions reductions through peak load shaving.
  • Building Material Recovery. EcoBuilding Bargains relies on donations of building materials from individuals and contractors, and donations are limited by the ability to pick up materials in a timely fashion. The diversion of these materials yields a significant carbon reduction.