SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City School District is now adopting a student plan to achieve 100% clean-renewable electricity by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2040.

The district has 43 buildings, and students found they are the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Highland High School Senior Emma Johnson tells us, “We wanted our school district to become more renewable because we realized that was an area in which we had a lot of power as students, and we wanted to take advantage of that.”

Johnson, Lola Maldonado, and her classmates in the Sustainability Task Force came up with a resolution to get the district on a 100% clean-renewable electricity plan by 2030, and carbon neutral by 2040.

“While it is easy to get sad and frustrated with the climatic situation, there are solutions that individuals can do,” says classmate Lola Maldonado.

The plan calls attention to three areas:

  • Reduce energy use by electric and natural gas equipment.
  • Increase and produce renewable energy
  • Electrify all vehicles, buildings, and other equipment using fossil fuels
SLC Schools Paul Schulte, Lola Maldonado, and Emma Johnson

SLC Schools Executive Director of Auxiliary Services Paul Schulte says, in reality, the students drove many of the district’s green initiatives, “Yeah, I think they did. I think they kind of highlighted different areas that the district had been making some headways on, but I think they took it to another level.”

Maldonado says, “And now from that, we’ve seen other high schools reach out to us looking for advice on their own resolutions.”

The plan is going so well, the board members are now urging the Sustainability Task Force to take their plan to the National School Board Association in San Diego.

“It just really feels good to be making an impact on the greater scale of things,” says Johnson.

Maldonado adds, “It just shows that if you are driven and motivated to do something you can make change.”

You can see the SLC School District’s full Sustainability Action Plan here.