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USU Plans To Release Report Detailing Carbon Footprint Reduction Strategies This Week

Nathan Blaylock
Changing the energy portfolios used on USU's satellite campuses could reduce the campus's carbon footprint by as much as 12%.

As part of Utah State University's carbon neutrality goals, a report with recommendations for reducing carbon emissions is anticipated to be released this week.

“The university made a goal back in 2007 saying that we wanted to become carbon neutral by 2050. Last year the faculty senate asked the university to do do more and to do it faster. Specifically the faculty senate said 10% per year until we’re getting down to zero,” said Alexi Lamm, the sustainability coordinator at Utah State University.

To help meet their goal of carbon neutrality, USU’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee released a draft report of their recommendations in December. The recommendations varied, but one of the most impactful changes USU could make to reduce its carbon footprint is altering how it gets its energy.

“The really big impact is looking at our statewide campuses. Most of our statewide campuses, except Price, are on Rocky Mountain Power. They have a couple of renewable energy portfolio options. We’re looking at Rate 34 in particular, which would let us go 100% renewable on all of those statewide campuses on Rocky Mountain Power,” Lamm said.

If Rate 34 is unavailable, an alternative could be to pursue Rate 32, a portfolio that would provide 50% renewable energy to USU’s satellite campuses. Switching to Rate 34 would substantially alter USU’s carbon footprint.

“It would be big in terms of carbon reduction, 12% just by switching to a different energy portfolio for those campuses,” Lamm said.

The final report should be released this week. After the report is released, it will be reviewed for feasibility.