Carbon Reduction Challenge

team at triad.

UB undergraduate students Daniel Moses, Sean O’Neill, and Todd Glosser at Triad Recycling and Energy, their partner company for the 2019 Carbon Reduction Challenge.

The Carbon Reduction Challenge (GLY479/579), co-taught each spring by Dr. Elizabeth K. Thomas, assistant professor in Geology and Ryan McPherson, UB Chief Sustainability Officer, is an interdisciplinary seminar-style science course that relies on subject matter experts from across the UB campus and beyond, encouraging lively discussion of both current events and past developments relevant to our energy and climate future. The main student activity is the semester-long "Carbon Reduction Challenge” project, which is carried out by teams of 2 to 3 students in collaboration with local businesses and organizations. The project involves designing, pitching, and implementing creative strategies to avoid carbon emissions and, where possible, identify benefits to all three legs of the triple bottom line: People-Planet-Profit.

Spring 2021 Class

The Spring 2021 cohort of students assessed the greenhouse gas impact of five organizations: the City of Buffalo, GreenSheen, Linde, National Grid and the University at Buffalo.

Watch their reports below.

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How to Participate

Students: Consider taking this class, GLY479/579, offered every spring semester. Undergraduate and graduate students from all majors welcome. Sign up today at the link below.

Information for Partnering Businesses

Climate destabilization poses both real and existential threats. Yet science shows that carbon emissions reductions will reduce these threats. There is also economic, social, and ecological value in emissions reductions. New York State has passed one of the strongest regulatory frameworks in the country, mandating that businesses and individuals decarbonize. 

UB’s “Carbon Reduction Challenge” course focuses on a project in which teams of 2 to 3 students support a business or organization (“the client”) in their effort to decarbonize.

**Students will present the results of their project in public forums, and final posters will be posted online. We will work with clients to ensure that we do not publicly share confidential information.

Congress man Higgins.

Students from the 2019 Carbon Reduction Challenge course presenting their project results to Congressman Brian Higgins and the UB Community