The Carbon Roadshow
The Carbon Roadshow is a Green-Fee-funded project that educates campus about the greenhouse-gas footprint of The University of Texas at Austin and enhances understanding of carbon accounting processes. The Carbon Roadshow builds support for reducing campus’s carbon footprint through a partnership between the CSD, the Office of Sustainability, and the Energy & Water Conservation Program.
Calculating Your Carbon Footprint
The Carbon Roadshow provides guidance for UT departments who would like to calculate their own greenhouse gas emissions with a series of technical documentation:
To calculate emissions stemming from your department's electricy, water, and wastewater use, please see a supporting documentation here.
For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to calculate your footprint using an Excel workbook, please see the assistance document here.
An example carbon calculator workbook developed for the School of Architecture is available here.
A blank workbook including the base resources needed for an inventory can be downloaded here.
Carbon Roadshow Blog
Read The Carbon Roadshow blog here.
The CSD partnered with the MBA+ Leadership Program to investigate the potential for action on reducing greenhouse gases on campus. MBA students analyzed the carbon savings from a number of consumption practices, including bathroom waste, composting, paper printing, and the gamification of energy conservation.
In the Spring of 2016, the Roadshow focused on building relationships with student sustainability activists as well as with the larger university community. Activities included profiling student sustainability groups and launching a campus-wide greenhouse gas and climate change awareness survey. The Roadshow gave presentations regarding the university's carbon footprint to three groups on campus and reached hundreds of students through in-person and online engagement.
Summer 2016 And Beyond
The final project of the Carbon Roadshow entailed a full accounting of The School of Architecture’s greenhouse gas footprint. In the calculation of the School of Architecture's footprint, we developed a method that could be used by other departments and schools across campus. We are currently looking for a partner outside of the School of Architecture to test this method.
Greenhouse Gases and The University of Texas
The University of Texas at Austin has a long history of energy production and research, but has also established a commitment to sustainability. Then-univeristy-president William Powers instituted a Sustainability Steering Committee and implemented a Natural Resource Conservation Plan that called for a twenty percent reduction in energy use from 2009 to 2020. According to the Energy and Water Conservation Program, campus is on target to reach this goal early, and the highly efficient campus power plant has reduced its greenhouse gas output to 1970’s levels.
Importance of Research
Moving technical inventories and reports into action requires messaging, consensus-building, and collaboration. The technical analysis from the MBA+ team combined with the student engagement will set the tone for cooperation across campus to target greenhouse gas emissions stemming from the day-to-day operation of the university. In addition, the establishment of a process for internal department audits will allow this work to continue into the future through the participation of different sectors within the institution.