In 2007, Freeman Hrabowski, UMBC’s President, signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). This committed UMBC to develop a plan to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible, to immediately initiate a number of tangible actions to reduce greenhouse gases, and to make our action plan, greenhouse gas inventory, and periodic progress reports publicly available. To access UMBC’s Greenhouse Gas Reports and Climate Action Plan, go to http://rs.acupcc.org/
Shortly after signing the ACUPCC, UMBC’s Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) was formed. Comprised of UMBC faculty, staff, and students, the CCTF is charged with advising President Hrabowski on strategies to reduce UMBC’s greenhouse gas emissions, engaging the campus community in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting research and education on the impact of greenhouse gas emissions. The CCTF is now comprised of four workgroups that focus on different elements of sustainability: Energy & Waste Management, Transportation, Outreach, and Research & Education.
What actions has the University taken so far to honor our commitment to become a more sustainable campus?
- Numerous energy-related projects and initiatives have been implemented. To view, click here.
- Campus standards and energy-conservation guidelines have also been implemented. To view, click here.
- UMBC gets 20% of its electricity from renewable sources. For details, click here.
- Transportation Alternatives for a Greener UMBC (TAG UMBC) include improved transit, bicycling, car sharing (zipcar), and carpool programs.
- Installation of two electric vehicle charging stations in the Stadium Lot for use by students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
- Installation of bicycle lockers and other bike facilities to encourage cycling to campus.
- Extensive recycling program. For more information on UMBC’s recycling efforts, click here.
- Composting program that collects food waste from True Grit's and other campus dining facilities. The compost is converted into nutrient-rich soil and returned to the campus.
- New construction is being designed to a minimum of LEED Silver or equivalent. The Patapsco Hall Addition received LEED Gold Certification.
- In 2012, UMBC hired a full-time employee focused solely on sustainability. The UMBC Environmental Sustainability Coordinator is Tanvi Gadhia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- For more information on Sustainability Matters at UMBC, go to http://www.umbc.edu/sustainability/
Carbon Footprint Summary - Amazing Results!
- UMBC has been taking steps to leave a smaller footprint even before President Hrabowski signed the ACUPCC. For example, energy initiatives implemented before FY 2007 proactively reduced UMBC’s carbon footprint by over 10,000 MT eCO2. Without such efforts, UMBC’s baseline would have been over 99,000 MT eCO2.
- UMBC’s official greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory baseline for tracking ACUPCC progress is 88,710 MT eCO2, and the baseline year is FY 2007.
- In each and every year since signing the ACUPCC, (FY 2008 to FY 2012), UMBC has continually reduced its carbon footprint.
- During the same five years, UMBC’s campus square footage increased by about 2% and student enrollment increased by about 15%. Increases in campus size and enrollment are both positive signs of growth for UMBC, again ranked the nation’s #1 Up-and-Coming University.
- Despite this robust campus growth, UMBC has achieved a 13.3% reduction in carbon footprint. Net emissions in FY 2012 were 76,919 MT eCO2.
Carbon Footprint Breakdown
Energy usage accounts for about 60% of UMBC’s carbon footprint (45% from electricity and 15% from natural gas). About half of UMBC’s energy usage is attributed to heating and cooling; therefore efficient heating and cooling equipment and control strategies are essential to reducing UMBC’s energy usage and carbon footprint.
Transportation accounts for about 38% (student commuters 18%, faculty/staff commuters 8%, air travel 11%, and university fleet 1%).
Other items (waste, refrigerants, fertilizer) combined account for about 2%.