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MU Submits Climate Action Plan

January 13th, 2011

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— Two years ago, University of Missouri Chancellor Brady Deaton signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which is an agreement among more than 650 colleges and universities to eventually become climate neutral. In 2010, MU officials submitted a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory, which showed the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that MU emits annually. Today, the University of Missouri met its next commitment of the agreement by submitting a climate action plan. The report is available on the ACUP website: http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/.

In the first phase of the climate action plan, MU officials will work to reduce carbon emissions 20 percent by 2015. This goal is based on 2008 emissions data. MU’s plan addresses areas defined by the Presidents’ Climate Commitment, including energy, transportation, education, research and financing along with other areas of sustainability — water, site selection, waste management, purchasing, building design and construction, and food. 

“The university is committed to becoming climate neutral; we have set a rolling date to achieve that goal,” said Steve Burdic, MU sustainability coordinator. “As of July 2010, the campus has achieved close to an 8 percent reduction in carbon emissions from our 2008 baseline. It is important that we keep our plan flexible, so that we are able to take advantage of new technologies as they emerge each year. We will review progress at the conclusion of every calendar year and provide a status report to the campus.”

Targets are based on the following assumptions:

  • Coal use and emissions will decrease with increased use of biomass, natural gas and renewable energy as availability and funds allow.
  • Building energy requirements will increase due to renovations and new construction as well as hotter summers and cooler winters.
  • Overall energy and emissions will decrease due to a multi-year project to upgrade underground utility infrastructure to improve distribution efficiency.
  • Energy use will decrease due to multiple conservation measures, including: upgrading mechanical ventilation systems and controls, implementing new lighting technology, installing occupancy sensors, educating building users and installing more Mizzou Dashboards, which are real-time energy usage calculators posted in public areas in buildings.

“Like the MU Campus Master Plan, the Climate Action Plan is a working tool used to stimulate dialogue and interaction among the many campus groups that might have an interest in the development of the campus as it relates to MU’s environmental, economic and social footprint,” said Gary Ward, MU associate vice chancellor-facilities.

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