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Decarbonization Strategies for K-12 Schools

Reducing carbon emissions to create healthier, more productive learning environments

Decarbonization is the process of implementing building solutions that prevent or reduce carbon gasses from being released into the atmosphere. Doing so can help lay the foundation for state-of-the-art comfort systems, improved facilities and more cost-effective, energy-efficient operations. With so many competing needs and unique challenges, it can be hard to know where or when to start shrinking your carbon footprint.

At Trane, we meet with you where you are on your low-carbon journey and partner with you to address your school's most pressing needs—for the benefit of your bottom line, learning objectives and the environment.



Federal funding can go towards your school's decarbonization process.



Why Decarbonization Is Important

Decarbonization can reduce carbon emissions and operating expenses while keeping you ahead of change. Here’s how your decarbonization process can benefit your school:

  • Increase energy conservation and maximize cost savings
  • Invest taxpayer dollars and government grants responsibly
  • Avoid unnecessary maintenance costs
  • Make classrooms more productive
  • Position your school as an energy leader in your district
  • Support a more sustainable community
  • Promote a cleaner planet and brighter future




How to Decarbonize Your School Building

Whether it’s for new construction or retrofitting your existing building, Trane can partner with you on individualized, low-carbon solutions in four steps: 

Step 1: Collect Information To Inform Our Conversation

Data around your needs, building, equipment and local regulations/incentives is gathered to start understanding your school and current situation.

Step 2: Assess Your Goals

Your aspirations, motivations and constraints are fully understood through thought-provoking, data-backed questions.

Step 3: Advise on a Plan for Decarbonizing

Based on the decarbonization outcomes that matter most to you, we recommend a strategic, measurable and tactic-driven plan that’s backed by our operational and energy expertise.

Step 4: Implement and Deliver on Decarbonization

You receive individualized solutions with validated results, helping you achieve your goals now and in the future.




A Real-Life Decarbonization Snapshot


Kaneland Community Unit School District knew they wanted to reduce their energy costs by using taxpayers’ dollars wisely, but they didn’t want a project that would require major capital spending. Trane partnered with them to pursue a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) so they could fund the project without a heavy up-front investment. Kaneland Community Unit School District used this agreement to install Solar PV systems. Since project completion in 2021, the district has saved over 3.175 GWh, which is equivalent to planting over 140 acres of trees.





Decarbonization Pillars

Trane approaches your school’s decarbonization process through four essential pillars: energy efficiency, electrification, refrigerant management and renewable energy. These key ways to decarbonize can solve for a wide range of building and energy challenges.


energy efficiency diagram


Become a more energy efficient school building that manages, monitors and stores energy optimally across all systems.

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Upgrade your low-carbon HVAC, lighting, boilers, furnaces and more with hybrid electrified equipment, or aim for total building electrification.

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Remotely regulate temperatures while transitioning away from high-GWP, or Global Warming Potential, options.

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Transition to producing and using emissions-free electricity sources, like solar and wind, to offset your energy costs and ultimately become a net-zero school. 

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Decarb 101 & 201 Series 

Decarb 101

One of the most important aspects of sustainability today is decarbonization—the process of reducing carbon gases from being released into the atmosphere. Find out how Trane addresses decarbonization from four different angles.

Read it now

Decarb 201

Our decarb expert talks about energy efficiency, electrification of heat, building automation systems and more. There are many ways to make HVAC systems more sustainable. Funding is still available to cover the costs.

Read it now


Financing and Energy Services Contracting


To maximize your investment, help you decarbonize responsibly and save you money in the future, we base our financial services on our local and community connections. 

Learn More 


Government grants can make your decarbonization efforts more effective. 

Put federal funding towards school upgrades




The Gigaton Challenge

We’re on a mission to eliminate 1 Billion mCO2 (one gigaton of carbon) from customers’ footprints by 2030. Click below to learn more about Trane’s Gigaton Challenge.

Your Guide on the Decarbonization Journey

No matter what you’re considering for your decarbonization journey, or where you consider yourself to be on it, Trane can be your localized expert. As a leading decarbonization company, we’ve worked with over 30% of schools in the U.S., and we can guide you on a path towards less carbon reliance too.


Customer Stories