A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. The carbon footprint is a sum of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced by various campus activities through the burning of fossil fuels, electricity use, transportation, etc. and is frequently called a GHG inventory. Once the size of the carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be developed to reduce or eliminate it. These reduction strategies include improved efficiency, better technology, behavior changes, policy changes, reforestation, and incorporating renewable energy.
The Association of College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) established protocols for emission measurement includes three “scopes” or general categories of sources. According to the ACUPCC Implementation Guide:
In 2008, Salisbury University conducted a GHG inventory for FY2008 in accordance with the standards of the ACUPCC. In addition, an inventory was developed for FY2005, which was established as a baseline year for tracking progress toward emission reduction.
At a glance, approximately two-thirds of the GHG emissions result from electricity, heating and cooling buildings. And nearly one third of our emissions are associated with transportation and commuting by our students, faculty and staff. Inventories have also been developed for 2010 and 2011. Going forward, GHG inventories will be completed on alternating years, at a minimum. Publicly reported GHG inventories may be accessed here.
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