In some situations, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is not feasible: think air travel. Where current solutions do not exist or eliminating a critical business function would cause monumental hardship, UB will work to build localized carbon offset programs that reduce an equivalent amount of carbon emission (e.g., planting trees and weatherization projects for communities in need). UB plans to obtain enough carbon offsets to fill the gap thus obtaining carbon neutrality by 2030.
Phase I (2020): Establish a working group to provide university recommendations on creation of a certified local carbon offset program focused on campus and/or regional impact that will partner with non-governmental organizations, faculty, students and community
Phase II (2023): Develop a menu of options for carbon offset purchases to be used across the campus by 2023
Phase III (2024): Begin implementation of offset program in pilot program phase
Phase IV (2025): Commence purchasing of carbon offsets by the campus community through the program to fill existing campus gap (if needed) to achieve overall GHG reduction to 50%
Phase V (2030): Complete purchasing of carbon offsets by the campus community through the program to fill existing campus gap to achieve 100% GHG reduction and thus obtain net climate neutrality
Tactics and strategies will be developed under the Carbon Offset Network from Second Nature.
One tool to advance this work is a free web-based platform called UCapture. The UB Carbon Offset Committee investigated this technology over the past months and decided to partner with this program because it empowers the entire UB community- faculty, staff, students, and alumni, to learn about carbon offsets and their role in climate action.
The Spring 2021 class of Sustainable Practices Seminar had two teams of students work with the Carbon Pricing and Carbon Offset committees of UB's Climate Action Plan. This is their final presentations to those committees.
Captain: William McDonnell, associate vice provost for Academic Planning
Susan Clark, Assistant Professor, Environment and Sustainability
Olga Crombie, Associate Director of Faculty-Led Programs, Study Abroad
Don Erb, Director of Sustainable Operations Integration, Student Life
Mara Huber, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research - Experiential Learning Network
Ryan McPherson, Chief Sustainability Officer, UB Sustainability
Derek Nichols, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, UB Sustainability