Greenhouse Gases Have Decreased 6 Percent, University of Texas at Austin Inventory Shows

Greenhouse gas emissions under the direct control of The University of Texas at Austin decreased about 6 percent from 2004 to 2006, placing the university in the mid-range of comparable universities that have completed inventories, an inventory of the main and J.J. Pickle Research campuses has shown.

The inventory identified and quantified the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions from university operations and the university community. Campus Planning and Facilities Management (CPFM) contracted with Good Company, a climate action planning consultant firm, to conduct the inventory.

The inventory establishes a greenhouse gas emissions baseline for benchmarking internally and with other institutions, according to Dr. Steven Kraal, senior associate vice president for CPFM.

Emissions under the direct control of the university were calculated for 2006 at 295,422 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.  Emissions per campus member were calculated at 4.5 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

Kraal said the inventory will guide future greenhouse gas inventories at the university and is a necessary first step in developing an action plan.

"While the university has taken major steps to shrink our carbon footprint by producing energy more efficiently and reducing energy demand, this inventory spotlights areas where we can have the greatest impact on reducing emissions in the future," he said.

Good Company staff will present findings of the inventory to numerous departments and organizations on campus from March 9-11. On March 10, students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend the following Town Hall meetings and presentations:

  • 8:30-10 a.m. J. J. Pickle Research Campus Town Hall Meeting, Building 15 Conference Room
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Union Building Town Hall Meeting, Santa Rita Room
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. Thompson Conference Center, Room 2.120
  • 4-5 p.m. University Teaching Center, Room 4.134
  • 6:30-8 p.m. George I. Sánchez Building Town Hall Meeting (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and University Avenue, across from ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center)

The inventory is available online, and reader comments are invited.