University of Arizona Launches - Diversified Communications

GHG Emissions, Solar, Wind  -  April 21, 2023

University of Arizona Launches Sustainability & Climate Action Plan

The Office of Sustainability at the University of Arizona is leading development of the university's first Sustainability and Climate Action Plan as its first step toward weaning off fossil fuels and going carbon-neutral by 2040.

Before exploring carbon offsets, the action plan will prioritize strategies that reduce the university's emissions. Recommendations could include replacing two cogeneration turbines and supplementary boilers on the Tucson campus, all of which run on natural gas. Additional actions may include incentives to decrease emissions from travel and a new campus infrastructure that primarily uses sustainable energy sources.  

"About five years ago, the university moved up our goal of achieving carbon neutrality from 2050 to 2040," said Trevor Ledbetter, director of the Office of Sustainability and co-chair for the action plan process, in a statement. "This action plan will be instrumental in providing us with a road map to reaching that goal and will help us to do the same for other areas such as water usage, teaching and learning, research and more."

From July 2021 through June 2022, the university emitted 166,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to approximately 37,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The university already has an agreement in place with Tucson Electric Power that enables its Tucson campus to procure 100% of purchased electricity from renewable solar and wind resources. This enhancement decreased carbon emissions from the Tucson campus by about 30%.

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