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Determining The Greenhouse Gas Impact Of University Sponsored Air Travel

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Sustainable Education and the Environment

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.437.1 - 14.437.12



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Paper Authors


Roger Beardsley Central Washington University

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Roger Beardsley is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Wa. His interests include many of the renewable energy technologies. This paper reports on research performed as a member of CWU's Climate Commitment committee.

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Stephen Morton Central Washington University

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Stephen Morton is a senior undergraduate student in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA. He has been working with the CWU Climate Commitment committee helping to establish procedures for determining the Greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the university. He has also served as 2008 president of the CWU student section of ASME.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Determining the Greenhouse Gas Impact of University Sponsored Air Travel


The American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has been signed by over 600 campus presidents in all 50 states, committing their campuses to move toward a climate-neutral footprint. In order to achieve this goal, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions must be monitored to ensure compliance and to verify reductions. While some of the GHG data categories may be relatively easy to document, monitoring individual air travel events in the required detail is impractical on a campus wide basis. The method described in this paper blends published statistical data with available campus information to determine campus GHG emissions due to air travel.

What is ACUPCC?

In summer of 2007, Dr. Jerilynn S. McIntyre, President of Central Washington University (CWU), became a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment1. The basic intent of the climate commitment is an agreement to work toward a climate-neutral campus by a future target date, reducing greenhouse gas emissions effects to zero. In achieving this goal, universities are leading the way in determining practical ways to reduce the GHG effects, and along the way are training future professionals who may implement these changes in industry and society.

The ACUPCC commitment consists of three basic parts: 1) Develop an action plan to bring the campus to climate neutrality, 2) Immediately initiate two or more actions toward that goal while developing the plan, 3) Make the action plan, GHG inventory document, and progress reports publicly available, including reporting to the American Association for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)2. In order to mark the progress toward campus climate-neutrality it is crucial to develop and regularly update the GHG inventory document. This inventory document tracks progress toward the goal of net zero GHG emissions. It can also help predict the impact of various changes along the way.

The Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) Campus Carbon Calculator

In evaluating the GHG impact, ACUPCC endorses the Clean Air Cool Planet (CA-CP) Campus Carbon Calculator, available from the CA-CP website3. This Excel spreadsheet application has been developed specifically for typical college and university campus situations so that undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of backgrounds can learn to use it quickly. At CWU most of the data gathering and reporting is performed by students from programs throughout the university, both undergraduate and graduate, guided by a steering committee of staff and faculty from throughout the university.

Beardsley, R., & Morton, S. (2009, June), Determining The Greenhouse Gas Impact Of University Sponsored Air Travel Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4920

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