Climate Action Plan
by Mog,Justin M — last modified Jan 28, 2014 01:56 PM
UofL is committed to reducing our net greenhouse gas emissions and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
UofL’s emissions down 27 percent (UofL Today, Jan. 27, 2014)
UofL Reports 27% Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions (WFPL, Jan. 24, 2014)
How are we doing? See our January 2013 Climate Action Plan Progress Report
University of Louisville is on its way to carbon neutrality (Louisville Alternative Energy Examiner, January 31, 2012)
As a 2008 signatory to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, the University of Louisville is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the ultimate long-term goal of carbon neutrality.
On September 15, 2010, UofL released its Climate Action Plan, a comprehensive roadmap for achieving this goal over the next four decades. A summary of the Plan and a link to the full document can be found here. The Sustainability Council coordinates UofL's Climate Action Planning as well as the reporting of our greenhouse gas emissions.
On January 15, 2014, UofL released a very encouraging Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for 2006-2013. From 2006 to 2013, we estimate that emissions have dropped over 27% from 246,929 to 178,679 metric tons, an amount equal to taking 14,167 cars off the road! While this reduction is worthy of note and should be celebrated, it still does not represent a steep enough decline to achieve our goal of climate neutrality by 2050. We must continue to innovate and strive for even greater reductions in years to come.
The 2013 report represents a significant step forward in the comprehensiveness and accuracy of data gathering for carbon accounting as the University continues to strive to improve data collection methods and to more accurately track emissions. It was proceeded by our Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for 2006-2010 released in September 2011, and our first benchmark Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline Inventory (2006-2008), released in September 2009.
UofL's target goals for university-wide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from our 2008 benchmark estimate of 192,788 MT eCO2 are:
Our plan for making progress toward climate neutrality is dynamic and multifaceted. We recognize that sustainability demands progress on multiple fronts and that lasting change cannot be achieved without coordinated efforts campus-wide. As such, we propose taking a variety of steps to lead UofL down a path toward climate neutrality with a focus on the following initiatives: green purchasing; energy conservation and efficiency; renewable energy; carbon sequestration; master planning; green building design; composting and horticultural practices; behavior change; recycling; transportation; food; and carbon offsets.
UofL's Climate Action Plan is designed to be a living document that we will continue to revisit and refine as we go through a four decade process of adaptive management on the road to climate neutrality. Engaging students, faculty, researchers, staff and the broader community in this process will be vital to its success and to our broader educational and research mission. This plan is a key element in our sustainability initiatives, and it involves many steps that will help us achieve our strategic goals as well as our climate commitment. It is also the right thing to do in a world of dwindling fossil fuel resources and worsening climate crisis.
How are we doing? See our January 2013 Climate Action Plan Progress Report.