Reach carbon neutrality by 2025.
In November 2013, UC President Napolitano announced the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all campus activities, buildings and vehicles by 2025. UC Davis is also working to achieve net-zero GHG emissions from our commuting and business air travel activities by 2050. To reach this ambitious goal, UC Davis will need to continue:
- improving our building energy use intensities through energy efficiency and conservation projects, green building construction and operations,
- reducing emissions from our campus vehicle fleet and other GHG sources like research gases and refrigerants, and
- investing in renewable energy.
Since 2007, UC Davis has been decreasing GHG emissions through a combination of different efforts. How have we been able to reduce emissions? UC Davis has:
- invested in energy efficiency, saving more than $15.5 million in operating expenses since 2009 – on average, Davis campus buildings use 28 percent less energy today than eight years ago
- started a Smart Lighting Initiative that partners our California Lighting Technology Center with campus operations to use academic research and market technologies to reduce lighting energy consumption by 60 percent
- installed the largest solar photovoltaic array of any university in North America – this on-site 16.3 MWdc single-track system is helping produce 15.4 percent of the campus electricity needs
- participated with other UC campuses in an 80 MWac off-site solar project under construction in California; the campus share of that green power will offset another 23.5 percent of annual campus electricity use
And how do we make our growth have less impact? We build green – the campus has nearly 915,000 square feet of LEED® certified™ built space, about 7 percent of total square footage. Our Graduate School of Management and Conference Center, first-of-its-kind in the world winery, brewery and food processing building, and Tercero residence halls are examples of our 7 LEED Platinum® buildings.
Over the next 18 months, ESS will prepare an update to the existing campus Climate Action Plan, in partnership with many campus stakeholders, and our office will also work with the campus student Carbon Neutrality Fellows and the faculty Climate Action Champion on engaging our campus community in the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative.
What do you think?
How can UC Davis reach net zero GHG emissions? How should we target our investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other paths to reduce emissions? How can we build in resilience and adaptation to our changing climate while continuing to take action to reduce emissions?
Davis campus operational (scope 1 & 2) GHG emissions, measured in
metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e).
The UC Davis Large Solar Power Plant, July 2015 — production from the
16.3 MW array is now supplying the campus.
Tercero Student Housing, a LEED Platinum® complex. UC Davis is demonstrating
that green building can deliver environmental and teaching benefits.