Carthage College Carbon Offset Plan
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Climate change is an increasingly pressing issue nationwide. Many sources agree that climate change is due to the increasing levels in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. According to the EPA, “carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted through human activities.” GHG’s are a global issue and the reduction of them is necessary to improve the environment. Many colleges have started climate initiatives and carbon offset programs to further help the reduction process. There are 24 NCAA Division III sports offered at Carthage College and one-third of the student body are student athletes. Being committed to a sport, students must attend sporting events and use the athletic facilities for practices and competition. By doing so, carbon is emitted via vehicle or plane when traveling to destinations. Carbon is also emitted from the electricity usage to power all of the athletic buildings. Since carbon emissions can’t necessarily be reduced at the source i.e. the plane, vehicle or facilities, offsets are created to invest money in projects that will efficiently reduce carbon emissions somewhere else. The purpose of the study is to determine a carbon offset program for the Carthage College athletic department that will benefit the school and the environment. The following three questions will be examined: How can the Carthage College athletic department efficiently become carbon neutral?, How much carbon could be offset from implementing such a program?, How can Carthage benefit from an environmental program like this? To implement a carbon offset program, the extent of Carthage’s carbon footprint for the athletic department was determined. Three different carbon offset options were looked at in this study. A cost benefit analysis was completed on each of the options and price points determined.