UNH Releases Greenhouse
Gas Inventory Report
Technique Becomes A Model for Other Northeast Colleges
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
Oct. 28, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire’s
Office of Sustainability Programs has released its Greenhouse Gas
Inventory Report quantifying greenhouse gas emissions for the university
and providing recommendations for future reductions.
Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor,
nitrous oxide, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons, trap heat from
the sun and warm the Earth. Some greenhouse gases are produced
naturally, but others are produced by human activities, particularly
the burning of fossil fuels.
The greenhouse gas inventory was developed by the Office of Sustainability
Programs and the non-profit group Clean Air-Cool Planet to clarify
sources of emissions and guide short- and long-term reduction
policies including education and research.
The “emission estimator technique,” developed by
the UNH Climate Education Working Group, is the first of its kind
the nation. The technique has adapted international protocols to
the unique scale and character of a university community. This
technique has since been developed into a toolkit for estimating
emissions used by more than 20 colleges in the Northeast, including
University of Vermont, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Holyoke College, Harvard
According to Office of Sustainability Programs Director Tom Kelly, “This
inventory is part of our university commitment to making UNH a
climate protection campus -- a public university that integrates
the ethics, science, technology and policies of greenhouse gas
emissions reductions into its community identity and practices.”
UNH President Ann Weaver Hart adds, “We are also striving
to make UNH a model climate protection community by demonstrating
that financial and environmental responsibility are not mutually
These values are corroborated by the USNH Board of Trustees approval
of a combined heating and power (CHP) facility, currently underway
and scheduled for operation in 2005. The CHP will provide both
heat and electricity to the university.
The report projects that the CHP will result in a 40 percent
decline in UNH’s emissions while saving the university $35
million over the next 20 years. This level of emissions reductions
move UNH beyond internationally agreed upon reduction targets,
including those established by the New England Governors and
Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Action Plan.
The new emission levels will be achieved with existing technology
deployed through a financially sound business model, “abolishing
the myth that sustainability pits public and environmental health
against economic productivity and competitiveness,” Kelly
says. “The CHP facility represents the single most efficient
way to reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions and serves as a
central example of the university’s commitment to sustainability
in general and climate protection in particular.”
UNH will continue to pursue additional avenues for overall emissions
reduction outlined in the enclosed report as it strives together
towards a sustainable future.
The 1990-2003 Green Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Report
exemplifies UNH’s commitment to this call to action, and
is an important step toward synthesizing current understanding
of human impacts
on the environment, promoting research on greenhouse gas emissions
and tracking progress over time.
For a copy of the report in PDF format, go to the Web site http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/climate_ed/greenhouse-gas-invnt/1990-2003_UNH_GHG_Report.pdf.
For more information, contact Tom Kelly, director UNH Office
of Sustainability Programs, at (603) 862-4088.