GHG Emissions - May 25, 2021
University of Michigan Sets Carbon Neutrality Plan
The University of Michigan committed May 20 to achieving carbon neutrality campus-wide.
The Ann Arbor-based university plans to reach this target by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, increasing its geothermal heating and cooling projects, implementing electric buses on campus, creating a revolving fund for energy-efficiency projects, and discontinuing direct investments into publicly traded companies that are the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
In the interim, the university plans to reach carbon neutrality for Scope 2 emissions and establish a plan for reaching Scope 3 carbon neutrality by 2025. U-M plans to eliminate its Scope 1 emissions by 2040.
“Today’s commitments place carbon neutrality at the center of U-M’s mission,” President Mark Schlissel said in a statement. “To fulfill our mission as a public research university, we must address the climate crisis by leading the way on our campuses and beyond, creating, testing, and teaching the knowledge and technologies that will transfer to other large institutions, and inspiring and empowering others to solve the defining scientific and social challenge of our time.”
Other projects that the university plans to pursue include making new buildings compatible with renewable-energy-powered heating and cooling systems and creating new standards to lower building emissions. It will soon also submit a request for proposal to source all purchased electricity from renewable sources. U-M set a goal in 2011 to source 25% clean energy by 2025 and is making progress toward that goal.
Its planned revolving fund for energy efficiency projects will begin at $25 million over 25 years to pay for such projects. U-M will also be investing in carbon neutrality research and development, building on its Carbon Neutrality Acceleration Program, the Global CO2 Initiative, and the Institute for Global Change Biology.