Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Last year Boston University emitted nearly 130,000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent from burning fossil fuels on campus to heat and cool our buildings, and from the fossil fuels burned by others to generate the electricity and steam we need. This represents a 21% reduction since FY 2006.
We’ve cut our emissions in three ways:
- Significantly, the electrical grid in the Northeast has become greener as electrical generation moves from coal to gas and renewable energy grows as a percentage of production.
- We have converted to cleaner burning fuels for heating and cooling our buildings. In FY 2006 24% of our energy was generated by burning heating oil, now only 3% is.
- Most importantly, we’ve reduced our Energy Consumption by 5%.
Cleaner Burning Fuels
Converting from oil to gas has played an important role in reducing the University’s carbon footprint.
Understanding and managing Boston University’s impact on climate change is a critical component of the University’s sustainability program. In 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its fifth assessment in a series on the science and evidence regarding climate change. The message was apparent:
“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, and the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”
While the University has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 21% since FY 2006, there’s still plenty of work to be done as we make progress toward our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020. To meet this goal, the University will focus on reducing energy consumption primarily by improving Building Automation Systems.
Climate Action Plan – 25% reduction by 2020
The Facilities Management & Planning team that has developed the University’s climate change mitigation plan is focused on energy efficiency planning and implementation. See the Energy page for more on our energy efficiency improvements.
FM&P Climate and Energy Team
Preparing for Climate Change
In February 2013, Mayor Menino announced Climate Ready Boston, an initiative to prepare the City for the effects of climate change. Boston University is building on the work of the City to prepare the campus for climate change. The coming decades will be a period of increasing risk. Now is the time for us to plan and prepare for rising seas, stronger winds and higher temperatures. We have assembled a multidisciplinary group to study the Universities vulnerabilities and develop sustainable strategies that address both climate change mitigation and resilience.