October 28, 2010

VU reduces greenhouse gas emissions

VU reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Vanderbilt University released an updated inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for calendar years 2005 through 2009.

The report shows that total GHG emissions decreased by 7.8 percent from 2008 to 2009 and by 2.4 percent overall from 2005 to 2009.

Vanderbilt's Sustainability and Environmental Management Office (SEMO) compiled the report, which is available in its entirety at www.vanderbilt.edu/sustainvu.

“We're proud of the progress we've made, especially this past year, and look forward to continuing improvement,” stated Mark Petty, assistant vice chancellor for plant operations. “Vanderbilt is one of a small percentage of schools that have undertaken the completion of a five-year GHG inventory and made it publicly available.”

“Additionally, most university greenhouse gas inventory reports do not include research and/or patient care activity, making Vanderbilt's report more comprehensive than most and also more comprehensive than what is now required by the EPA,” said Judson Newbern, deputy vice chancellor for facilities and environmental affairs.

Vanderbilt emits greenhouses gasses primarily through campus building energy consumption, but also by the use of fuel in university-owned vehicles, commuting behaviors of the university's faculty, staff and students, and the disposal of waste generated by Vanderbilt.

“Using this information, we can identify our most significant opportunities for improving our carbon footprint such as reducing energy consumption and using mass transit, carpooling or vanpooling,” said Andrea George, director of SEMO.

“Suggestions on how the university community can take action to reduce our energy consumption can be found at Vanderbilt's ThinkOne website http://www.vanderbillt.edu/sustainvu/thinkone.”

Special Note: University officials emphasize this updated report replaces the original baseline inventory report published April 21, 2009. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced new methodology for assessing GHG emissions on Oct. 30, 2009.