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Carbon Neutral Operations - Background
In 2007, the provincial government passed Bill 44 setting a 33% reduction target for provincial greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2020, and an 80% reduction target by 2050 (2007 baseline year). Bill 44 also included a commitment for public sector to lead by example in becoming Carbon Neutral by 2010. Enabling legislation was passed in 2008 with the Greenhouse Gas Reductions Target Act (GGRTA). To achieve carbon neutrality each year, public sector organizations pay into a fund to offset their emissions. Purchase of certified offsets projects is managed by the Climate Investment Branch.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Management
Facilities Services coordinated the preparation of the first greenhouse gas emissions (2007) baseline inventory, and continues to manage the inventory and reporting of the university's greenhouse gas emissions. To comply with the legislation, the reporting scope is limited to the direct and indirect consumption of fossil fuel use in university operations, i.e. natural gas and oil used in heating and air-conditioning of buildings, electricity used in lighting, power and air-conditioning spaces, and gasoline and diesel used by fleet vehicles. Emissions from office paper consumption are also reported.
The university has adopted the provincial greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and is currently on track to meeting the 33% reduction goals, with a year over year reduction in total emissions, This success has been made possible by investing in energy retrofit projects and continuous optimization of building systems by the Energy Management team, as well as through working with the community through behavioral change programs.