UC Davis' recent tally of greenhouse gas emissions from all campus property is a step closer to being an official part of the California Climate Action Registry.
An independent third party looked at how UC Davis went about adding up its greenhouse gas emissions and declared that the university did it right. The certified report now is under review by the California Climate Action Registry; a spokeswoman said approval could come next week.
The tally, for the calendar year 2005, shows total greenhouse gas emissions of 228,893 metric tons of carbon dioxide from mobile and stationary sources. UC Davis is one of nearly 250 public and private enterprises in the state that have joined the voluntary registry.
UC Davis, with its data in the registry, will have an official baseline number for greenhouse gas emissions. That means that the university could determine with accuracy whether such emissions go up or down from year to year.
The goal, of course, is to bring them down, and thus help the environment.
"The registry is important to show our commitment to being a part of the solution to this societal issue," said Jill Blackwelder, associate vice chancellor for UC Davis Safety Services and chair of the campus's Sustainability Advisory Committee.
"Our faculty will be integral through research in developing technical solutions and incorporating best practices into the curriculum, and our staff will implement new processes and practices."
Staff already put in a great deal of effort in contributing and compiling the 2005 greenhouse gas emissions data. Records came from every part of campus, for every source of carbon dioxide, including cars, trucks, buses and emergency generators.
The greenhouse gas emissions team also reviewed electricity and natural gas records, converting kilowatts and therms into estimated carbon dioxide emissions. This was no small task, considering the main campus has nearly 1,200 buildings, and approximately 80 emergency generators, 716 cars and trucks, and 52 buses. The team also tallied emissions for off-campus property, like the medical center in Sacramento and the Bodega Marine Laboratory.
Blackwelder expressed confidence that the academic and staff ranks will come up with solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"Our students will live in the future we create by these actions," she said.
Barring any issues with the UC Davis report, the California Climate Action Registry expects to add the university’s data to the registry’s online site next week. Look for the data at www.climateregistry.org. In the Resources section, click on “Learn More” under Public Reports. Once there, click on “Enter the California Climate Action Registry Database Now.” Search for “University of California, Davis” data for 2005.