Sometimes, it may not be entirely feasible to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, such as in the case of air travel. However, UB has developed localized carbon offset programs aimed at reducing an equivalent amount of carbon emissions, enabling UB to attain carbon neutrality by 2030 by implementing adequate carbon offsets.
Tactics and strategies continue to be developed under the Offset Network framework from Second Nature.
The Investing Locally to Provide Flexibility committee developed a criteria for the development and procurement of carbon offsets in the future. This criteria has four key determinants:
The University at Buffalo has a vision and mission for the community which includes the three traditional pillars of the public higher education mission — research, education, and service — as interdependent endeavors that continually enrich and inform each other. To encourage these pillars being instilled in projects, they must include the following:
Each project must create an engaging environment that puts environmental education, climate justice and research potential at the forefront. Each project must consider the following:
In order to be properly measured in sequestration, offsets must adhere to the PAVER model and be verified or accredited by a third-party source/peer review. This is to ensure that the offsets are real and would not have occurred as business as usual and to avoid schemes. Therefore, the offsets must adhere to the following standards:
To be cost effective for the University, offsets should range from $1-25 per credit. They should also offer additional investments into the community.
Please fill out the survey below to submit your thoughts on carbon offsets.
In order to solicit a locally based set of ideas to improve the campus and surrounding community, as well as further UB’s climate neutrality goals, the ILPF committee developed an RFI for individuals to pitch their carbon offset ideas to the university. This RFI will ensure that projects have environmental, community and educational benefits. Projects of all scales will be considered that have varying carbon reduction potentials. These ideas will be accepted on a rolling basis and be catalogued to be utilized at a later date when funding becomes available.
The University at Buffalo’s carbon offset committee is tasked with exploring, assessing and developing protocol on the use of carbon offsets to lower our greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets will be used as a temporary bridging strategy for emissions where sustainable technology is not available (like air travel) or where no matter how sustainable our practices get, there will always be emissions (like in our food system).
Even though these offsets are provisional, our procurement and development of them should continue to take into account equity, price, our local region, and our academic mission.
The committee has identified three pathways to pursue carbon offsets:
· A certified market purchase aligning with key criteria and UB values
· Investing in a localized offset program with community partners
· A campus/university experiential offset initiative
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.
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.
In Spring 2023, the committee identified three pathways to pursue carbon offsets: