UNH Launches New Tool to Track Campus Carbon and Nitrogen Footprints


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire has launched the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP), a comprehensive tool that offers campuses a simple and affordable online platform for calculating, reporting, and tracking their carbon and nitrogen footprints.

The UNH Sustainability Institute (UNHSI) developed the first iteration of SIMAP in 2001. Called the Campus Carbon Calculator, it addressed UNH’s need to track and report its carbon footprint. Released to the public in 2004, thousands of institutions in the U.S. and abroad now use the tool to track their greenhouse gas emissions. SIMAP is the first tool to bring together two environmental impacts: greenhouse gas pollution and nitrogen pollution. Because the institutional nitrogen footprint causes local impacts to water and air quality, reducing a campus nitrogen footprint will have local benefits, while reducing the campus carbon footprint has global impacts.

“Campus investments in sustainability can have significant impact but they are also time intensive to back up with data,” said Jennifer Andrews, program director at UNHSI. “As the person responsible for managing and reporting this data at UNH, I know just how much time and energy can be spent. I’m thrilled that after nearly two decades of research and collaboration we’re launching SIMAP.”

In developing SIMAP, UNH collaborated with the University of Virginia to include the nitrogen footprint calculator there with support from the EPA; Second Nature, the nonprofit facilitating the Climate Leadership Network, which comprises more than 600 colleges and universities in every state and the District of Columbia who have committed to take action on climate; and with Sightlines LLC.

“The technology behind SIMAP has been developed over the better part of a decade,” said Marc Sedam, associate vice provost of innovation and new ventures. “The structure we created that provides value to the research community and for the technology itself is a solid example of the creativity universities need to apply to solve real-world problems. UNH has long been a leader in sustainability and this tool is a great example of how nonprofits and universities can work together to create a business model that benefits everyone.”

Higher education institutions interested in learning more about the tool can visit https://sustainableunh.unh.edu/calculator. A free training webinar will be held Thursday, Nov. 30 from 1-2 p.m.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.