St. Lawrence University will be unable to reach climate
neutrality (zero-net greenhouse gas emissions) without using offsets. This spreadsheet uses 2011 greenhouse gas
emissions data to estimate the number of metric tons of offsets the University
would need to purchase or generate each year to reach zero emissions. This spreadsheet also provides a ‘back of the
envelope' calculation of the number and cost of using energy efficiency retrofits
of North Country homes as an offset.
Campus Committee for
Sustainability and Climate Neutrality
October 25, 2011, 3:30-4:45pm
Student Center Room
Present: Kathleen Buckley; Nick De Filippis; Louise
Gava; Neil Law; Matthias Nevins; Jon Rosales; Dan Seaman; Rick Scott; Annie Znamierowski
Pepsi Refresh Project(Nick)-General concept; think of idea,
submit idea and get people to vote for idea.
With enough votes the idea moves to final voting with ideas with the most
votes getting funding. Four different
categories (Arts/Music, Education, Communities, Pepsi Challenge) we'd likely
enter under the Education category.
Also, four funding sizes (multiple awards in each); $5K, $10K, $25K and
$50K. Each person gets five votes per
day, votes that have higher pull can be purchased.
1. Another funding source, even if it's not complete funding
2. Votes needed to win-forces us to build community awareness of project
Hydration station (install another like the one
in the SC)
Selling water bottles
Water saving fixtures (show heads, waterless
Ideas around local food
Questions for Committee Self-Review
Neil explained that committee reports are not being filled
out and filed with faculty council at the end of the academic year. Faculty council is worried about the lack of
information and committees having to reinvent the wheel each time the people on
the committee change. Big picture
questions are: does the committee need to exist and is the charge accurate?
Section one: report on past committee
activities, Louise will fill out based on Conservation Council's activity
Section two: review of committee charge and
authority, talked through as group and Jon will officially submit
Considered and decided against asking to add
more staff to committee: grants (too small and already focused on
sustainability), major gifts (traveling and short staffed this semester)
Climate Change Summit
Request for ideas from committee, especially speakers. Summit will be an annual event (moving to
fall semester, September) focusing on climate change, funded by Mellon money,
involving all four colleges. Potential university based training
for environmental leadership (student focused) in spring. Is there a way to integrate CAP and our
committee work into summit activities?
Evan Goodstein - train people to be leaders in
climate movement, do workshop to build momentum in student body
Faculty from all 4 colleges working on county's
Climate Action Plan-maybe have them do a presentation or panel
Contemporary Issues Forum-focused on Climate
Jon feels there is a gap in the CAP with regard to the University's feelings on
offsets. He notes we'll have to buy some
offsets (2,500 metric tons at last count) and thinks the committee should
provide guidance on how to prioritize.
Perhaps we can generate offsets on campus
Louise provided three very different ideas from
Green Mountain College-created a local offset
program, partnering with the Central Vermont Public Utility and their ‘cow
power program.' Offsets are generated by
methane capture at local CAFO dairies and the offsets are verified and retired
by AgRefresh-the utility selected and ‘ate the cost' of third party
verification. The project was selected
by the college to phase our RECs and have a site that was generating offsets
that was easy for students to visit.
Colgate University-partnered with Patagonia Sur
LLC to generate forest based carbon offsets by planting 225,000 native tree
species to expand the existing 65,000 acre nature reserve. This partnership also allows for on-site
research by students/professors, exclusive use of the eco-tourism club by
alumni and additional offsets for University events (reunion) and University
College of William
and Mary-offset fund where 100% of money goes into on-campus energy
efficiency projects. Target is
students/faculty/staff/alumni who might otherwise offset their travel, home-life
with another vendor, but with this option can give back to the University.
Jon added that we can also buy offsets on the
open market starting in 2013 when California comes online to trade carbon
Questions we need to answer:
Do we favor on campus or local offsets? Why?
How much are we going to offset? Just what we know is unavoidable or more?
When do we start, now, in the future, buy
offsets for back years?
What do we do about the uncertainty of CO2 and
forests, sometimes the error in how much a forest uptakes is greater than
Biomass boiler; purchasing a local product
(theoretically), doesn't have to end at SLU, could be a district heating plant
as Ogdensburg is considering
Weatherization of local homes (Louise has looked
into this and will share next meeting); some political hurdles even though it
is good PR and economic development
Habitat for Humanity working on energy projects
in our own theme houses or the local community-liability issues?
Next Wednesday, remembrance and tree planting for Dr.
Wangari Muta Maathai (at ESL, both for timber and wildlife)
Emerald Ash Borer-does SLU have a plan for the 202 Ash trees
we have on campus, the borer was located just south of the county line and also
in Canada. Very expensive to cut trees
once they die and Neil reports it is 100% mortality rate
November 8, 2011, 3:30-5pm
Student Center Room
Louise report on updated GHG data and
Continue offset conversation?
Nick-update on Pepsi Refresh Grant Proposal process
All-ideas for Pepsi Refresh Project
Louise-Committee self-review, section one; unavoidable offset
re-calculation and example of offsets with weatherization of local homes
Jon-Committee self-review, section two and submit
The Campus Committee on Sustainability and Climate Neutrality will consider means to move the University toward environmental sustainability and review the University's progress toward this goal and the goal of climate neutrality. Specifically the committee will review and approve revisions to the Climate Action Plan (CAP) and successive Work Plans for the implementation of the CAP.