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Making Your Mark: Climate Leadership Network institutions lead with Distinctions

Marks of Distinction is a new initiative for the Climate Leadership Network that recognizes a select group of signatories that set high-performance goals, demonstrate and report measurable progress towards those goals and support Network activities.

For more than a decade, signatory institutions have shared their knowledge by developing climate action plans and annual progress evaluations. Until now, this information has never been used to recognize the accomplishments of individual schools. The Marks of Distinction recognize schools according to key performance indicators that demonstrate climate leadership.

The Marks of Distinction initiative will allow your institution to tell the story of your progress to students, faculty, community members, and alumni. Signatories are encouraged to strive to achieve Marks of Distinction and to share the recognition with your campus & community to inspire further climate action. 

Marks of Distinction Categories

Marks of Distinction are awarded in three categories:

  • Performance: Recognizes climate action progress based on data collected through the Reporting Platform
  • Participation: Recognizes participation in a program or initiative that advances a campus’ climate action
  • Goals: Recognizes institutions that have set aggressive climate action goals, going above and beyond incremental change

Marks of Distinction
TypeHow Are the Marks of Distinction Determined?


More InformationWhat year's data
or participation will this be awarded on?
Marks of Distinction
TypeHow Are the Marks of Distinction Determined?


More InformationWhat year's data
or participation will this be awarded on?
100% Renewable Energy GoalGoalA public statement declaring a 100% Renewable Energy purchasing goal by 2030. Starting in 2019, institutions will also be able to note this goal in their updated Climate Action Plan.
Renewable Energy is defined as Thermal and Electricity purchases.
More InformationCurrent Year
(2017-2018)
Aggregated Renewable Energy PurchaseProgramSignatories who have joined together, and made an aggregated large scale renewable energy purchase.More InformationCurrent Year (2017-2018)
Billion Dollar Green ChallengeParticipationBillion Dollar Green Challenge participants have committed to establishing Revolving Funds that are 1% of the institution’s endowment value, or one million dollars.More InformationLast Year
(2016-2017)
C2P2ParticipationParticipation in the Carbon Credit and Purchasing Program, which indicates leadership in campus emissions reduction and verification of marketable carbon offsets, and a dedication to reinvestment of proceeds in further carbon reductions.More InformationCurrent Year (2017-2018)
Carbon NeutralPerformanceA 100% reduction of total carbon from baseline to current year as reporting in the Annual Progress Evaluation. More InformationLast Year (2016-2017)
Carbon Neutral Goal by 2025GoalA carbon neutrality goal in the Climate Action Plan that is 2025 or sooner.More InformationLast Year (2016-2017)



Carbon Reduction
25%, 50%,75%
PerformanceRepresents meeting reduction thresholds of total carbon from baseline to current year as reporting in the Annual Progress Evaluation. For example if an institution has a 41% reduction, this crosses the 25% threshold. More InformationLast Year (2016-2017)
Climate Leadership Award
PerformanceThe Climate Leadership Awards recognize advanced leadership in climate change mitigation and resilience across academic, community, and operational arenas.More InformationCurrent Year (2017-2018)
Cross Sector ForumsParticipationInstitutions that held public campus and community forums or workshops on shared climate action plan goal setting and/or resilience assessments. Program participation is Indicated via the Resilience Assessment Reports, UC3 participation, or other public statements.More InformationNext Year (2018-2019)
Honor SocietyParticipationThrough exemplary contribution to the Network via dues or service activities.More InformationCurrent Year (2017-2018)
On TrackPerformanceInstitutions select their own carbon reduction goals in the Climate Action Plan, when their submitted data via the Annual Progress Evaluation matches these goals, they would be determined "On Track". More InformationLast Year (2016-2017)
Renewable Energy Purchaser;
25%, 50%, 75%, 100%
PerformanceIn the Annual Progress Evaluation signatories can note the percent of a signatory’s energy purchase is renewable in a given year. This includes electricity and thermal energy but not transportation fuels.More InformationLast Year (2016-2017)
Revolving FundGoalA Revolving Fund is a financing mechanism targeted to campus climate action projects that lower emissions, increase capacity for future projects, and reduce operating costs. Starting in 2019, institutions can note in the updated CAP if they are using this important mechanism and the goals of their fund size.More InformationNext Year (2018-2019)
We Are Still InParticipationRepresents institutions who have participated in the We Are Still In campaign, voicing crucial support for continued US participation in international climate agreements.
More InformationCurrent Year (2017-2018)