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UMD Achieves Carbon Emissions Goal

November 12, 2013

Andrew Muir 301-405-7068

Sustainable UMDCollege Park, Md. – The University of Maryland achieved its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing carbon emissions 15 percent by 2012, according to the new Campus Sustainability Progress Report.

The university measures and publicly reports on its sustainability performance annually. The campus reduced its carbon footprint by:

  • Achieving a 76 percent recycling rate through efforts to divert waste from landfills by recycling and composting.
  • Reducing the number of student, staff and faculty commuter parking permits by 10 percent between 2011 and 2012.
  • Saving more than 9,600,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity through energy conservation projects and adding 11,500 kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable electricity.
  • Consuming 5 percent less potable water in 2012 than 2011 and 12 percent less than five years ago.

"The university has made important strides to achieve the initial goals of the Climate Action Plan. This was accomplished through tremendous collaboration between many campus groups who have shown great commitment," said Scott Lupin, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Not only were important targets met but a number of campus-wide work groups were convened to support key decisions:

  • The University Sustainability Council heard recommendations in April 2013 from a Sustainable Building and Energy Sources Work Group that was chaired by the assistant vice president for facilities management. The group reexamined strategies in the Climate Action Plan and developed a plan for keeping UMD on track to reduce carbon emissions from power and operations.
  • Two other work groups—Sustainable Water Use and Watershed Protection, and Education for Sustainability—also began meeting during the 2012-2013 academic year and will report to the University Sustainability Council in 2013-2014.

"Resource constraints and climate instability pose significant risks, but by aggressively tackling these challenges and taking a leadership role, the university can create enormous opportunity," said Russell Furr, director of environmental safety and chair of the Sustainable Water Use and Watershed Protection Workgroup.

In addition to highlighting campus actions and achievements, the Progress Report provides the University Sustainability Council and the campus community with data that allows for future planning around sustainability issues.

The University of Maryland Office of Sustainability supports and advances environmental performance, economic prosperity and social equality through sustainable policies, practices and curricula for the campus community.

The full report is available here.


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