Boise State University Greenhouse Gas Inventory
2004-2008 Executive Summary
Boise State University’s per capita carbon footprint, as measured by this greenhouse gas inventory, is one of the smallest of all the universities in the country at 2.3 MT CO2(e) per person/year. This result is due to several factors.
First, relative to the number of students we serve, our physical plant is small. Some analyses indicate that conditioned space is the single best correlate to carbon footprint. Second, we enjoy a relatively mild climate with the harshest conditions (summertime) coming when we have the least demand for buildings and services. Finally, the university continues to modernize and improve campus infrastructure and the efficiencies realized through those activities result in lower energy consumption and, therefore, lower carbon emissions.
The bad news is that, as an absolute number, the university’s overall carbon footprint is growing at a rate of 3% per year over the past 5 years. While that growth is commensurate with the growth in our university, our first priority should be to reduce the rate of increase.
As a campus community we should take pride in the fact that our “carbon intensity” is so low, but we can’t rest on past success. In the coming months, we will be developing a long-term plan for the campus that puts us on the path toward total climate neutrality.