Northern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Northern Kentucky University's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Analysis

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

Abstract

In 2007 Northern Kentucky University’s (NKU) President James Votruba agreed to join the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To implement the commitment a Climate Taskforce began a comprehensive assessment of NKU’s carbon footprint. The ACUPCC had adopted the Clean Air-Cool Planet Carbon Calculator (CACPCC) to guide the university assessments. Throughout 2008, students collected NKU’s 1990 to 2007 data and entered it into the calculator. The data is divided into 4 categories: Institutional Data, Scope 1 - Direct GHG, Scope 2 - Indirect emissions and Scope 3 - other emission sources. Scope 1 and 2 were relatively easy to collect, with the help of university administrators, but Scope 3 consisting of transportation and study abroad, was a more challenging endeavor. After entering the data, the calculator uses the relative warming impacts of the major GHGs (CO2, CH4, N20, etc.) to transform them into a standard unit known as eCO2, or carbon dioxide equivalent. NKU’s total for FY2007 was 72,482 tons of eCO2. The largest source was commuting (46%) and purchased electricity was a close second (38%). Given our physical size and population NKU is about average among the other participating universities across the nation. This informational analysis acts as a precursor to the university’s planning for growth, as it seeks to reduce its impact on the environment. The goal of the ACUPCC and NKU are to be leaders in becoming a sustainable society. This project was the first step.

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Northern Kentucky University's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Analysis

In 2007 Northern Kentucky University’s (NKU) President James Votruba agreed to join the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to reduce the university’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To implement the commitment a Climate Taskforce began a comprehensive assessment of NKU’s carbon footprint. The ACUPCC had adopted the Clean Air-Cool Planet Carbon Calculator (CACPCC) to guide the university assessments. Throughout 2008, students collected NKU’s 1990 to 2007 data and entered it into the calculator. The data is divided into 4 categories: Institutional Data, Scope 1 - Direct GHG, Scope 2 - Indirect emissions and Scope 3 - other emission sources. Scope 1 and 2 were relatively easy to collect, with the help of university administrators, but Scope 3 consisting of transportation and study abroad, was a more challenging endeavor. After entering the data, the calculator uses the relative warming impacts of the major GHGs (CO2, CH4, N20, etc.) to transform them into a standard unit known as eCO2, or carbon dioxide equivalent. NKU’s total for FY2007 was 72,482 tons of eCO2. The largest source was commuting (46%) and purchased electricity was a close second (38%). Given our physical size and population NKU is about average among the other participating universities across the nation. This informational analysis acts as a precursor to the university’s planning for growth, as it seeks to reduce its impact on the environment. The goal of the ACUPCC and NKU are to be leaders in becoming a sustainable society. This project was the first step.