Campus Recreation Furthers UM’s Commitment to Sustainability by Becoming Carbon Neutral

December 07, 2017

MISSOULA – Campus Recreation at the University of Montana will become carbon neutral in 2018 after purchasing 440 metric tons of carbon offsets and 870,000 kilowatt-hours in renewable energy certificates.

The certified Green-e carbon offsets, purchased from Sterling Planet, will allow the department to cancel out nearly 1 million pounds of carbon dioxide. The purchase will offset the equivalent of annual carbon dioxide emissions from 49,492 gallons of gasoline consumed or 14,720 incandescent lamps switched to CFL light bulbs, as well as annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1.1 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle or 153 tons of waste sent to a landfill.

In addition to the carbon offsets, the renewable energy certificates, which guarantee that an equal amount of renewable wind energy is delivered to the nation’s electric grid, will offset the equivalent of 1.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide – or carbon dioxide emissions from 72,856 gallons of gasoline consumed or 21,669 incandescent lamps switched to CFLs, plus annual greenhouse gas emissions from 1.6 million miles driven by an average passenger car or 226 tons of waste sent to a landfill.

Combined, the purchases will avoid releasing the equivalent of nearly 2.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide. 

“Sustainability is one of Campus Recreation’s core values,” said Director Steve Thompson. “Going carbon neutral is our way of converting those values into direct action, not only for our current students, faculty and staff, but for future generations as well.”

The department’s purchases represent the latest example of UM’s ongoing efforts to achieve environmental and social sustainability in its operations, classrooms and facilities. Earlier this month, the UM Office of Sustainability announced it earned a bronze rating in the national Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. The University’s score of 41.99 put it just 2.2 points shy of attaining a silver rating.

For more information on the Campus Recreation purchases, call Thompson at 406-243-5269, email stephen.thompson@mso.umt.edu or visit http://www.umt.edu/crec/about/facilities/sustainability.php. For more information on UM sustainability efforts, visit http://www.umt.edu/sustainability/.

Contact: Steve Thompson, director, UM Campus Recreation, 406-243-5269, stephen.thompson@mso.umt.edu.