Campus Carbon Footprint Study at a South Texas University

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A campus carbon footprint study was conducted at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, a Southern Texan university. This initiative was the school’s strategic plan to set a baseline for overall campus resource utilization status as well as to answer global requests to track and reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions and achieve greater sustainability on campus. For fiscal years of 2016 to 2018, an overall increase of campus carbon footprint was about 0.6%. The biggest increase was observed from sources owned or controlled by the school while the emissions associated with power usage decreased. The university’s carbon footprint was greater than other universities in South America while smaller than some peer universities in the western countries. It was found that the university’s emissions associated with non-controllable sources including business travel and commuting were the greatest among compared universities. Recommendations were presented to the school, which included many initiatives to reduce campus carbon footprint such as composting, recycling, taking alternative business travel methods, promoting carpool for commute, and better resources consumption data management at the facilities and purchasing departments.

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International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Applied Science (IJSEAS)