Creating Carbon Offsets for Faculty and Athletic Travel to Help Santa Clara Achieve Carbon Neutralit...
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Introduction Carbon offsets, a method unused for SCU travel, offers potential in helping Santa Clara reach its goal to become carbon neutral by 2015. PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Creating Carbon Offsets for Faculty and Athletic Travel to Help Santa Clara Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2015. ENVS 95 Carlton Gossett, Athan Hsiao, Blake Leamy, Sean Mohr, Lawrence Tse. Introduction

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Introduction Carbon offsets, a method unused for SCU travel, offers potential in helping Santa Clara reach its goal to become carbon neutral by 2015.

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Introduction carbon offsets a method unused for scu travel offers potential in helping santa clara reach its goal to become carbon neutral by 2015

Creating Carbon Offsets for Faculty and Athletic Travel to Help Santa Clara Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2015

ENVS 95

Carlton Gossett, Athan Hsiao, Blake Leamy, Sean Mohr, Lawrence Tse

Introduction

Carbon offsets, a method unused for SCU travel, offers potential in helping Santa Clara reach its goal to become carbon neutral by 2015.

We investigated the feasibility of using carbon offsets to eliminate the emissions caused by student athlete and English department travel. More specifically, we constructed 3 proposals with varying aspects such as price, type of offsets, profit vs. non-profit. We tailored a program to fit SCU’s needs. We researched proposals in which sports and faculty travel are offset based on the sum of miles traveled. We believe that this administrative approach will allow for more fluid, future investment in carbon offsets.

Conclusion and Recommendation

We propose three different options:

1. Atmosfair with Carbonica

2. Carbonfund with Carbonica

3. Terrapass with Carbonica

All three companies will be used to offset air travel while Carbonica will be used to offset ground travel.

  • Why Atmosfair?

  • German non-profit

  • Offers a variety of offsets (solar in India, wind in Nicaragua)

  • Energy efficiency over green energy

  • Comprehensive calculator

  • Setback: no road travel offsets

  • Why TerraPass?

  • San Francisco based (emphasizes a local business)

  • Decentralized setup: separate branches for different offets

  • Methane and energy emphasis

  • Green energy production

  • Open to public criticism and opinion

  • Takes a business approach to offsets

  • Atmosfair provides the best services that reap the most social and environmental benefits. Their comprehensive calculator is especially useful for international travel compared to domestic travel. However, their high price discourages application towards NCAA travel. Faculty travel typically generates less carbon emissions although flying international makes the idea of using Atmosfair to offset faculty very appealing.

  • Carbonfund offers a modest and straightforward method for offsetting travel emissions. Its lower prices compensate for its generic methods of carbon offsetting.

  • Terrapass is by far the cheapest company out of the proposed three. Even though their calculator is not as accurate as the others, they offer a flat cost per ton of CO2, allowing the use of external calculators. Because of this feature, Terrapass will be by far the easiest company to use in terms of administration. Additionally, if Santa Clara was to try and offset all aspects of carbon emissions on campus, the CEO said there was potential for a long term contract.

  • Carbonica has been recurrent through all three proposals not only because of their unique ground travel calculators, but also because of its extra feature of carbon credit trading. If the school was to adopt this idea, it would make the goal of becoming carbon neutral much more manageable by combining direct offsets with business interaction.

Research Question: Can carbon offsets provide an effective solution to offsetting SCU travel?

This project aims to research the amount of carbon given off by airplanes, buses, and vans used by student athletes and faculty members as they travel nationally and internationally. We based our study off of these two cohorts so that they act as example for future offset opportunities. After conducting research we find that the offset companies we provide will effectively work for our goal of carbon neutrality. In order to accurately utilize these carbon calculators, for our purpose in this project, we must first determine the exact amount of carbon given off. In order to do this we must calculate the distances traveled by both student athletes (club and NCAA) and the English Department. Then we must determine the number of people traveling and the means by which they travel.

  • Why Carbonica?

  • United Kingdom non-profit based with focus on individuals and businesses.

  • Emphasis on reforestation and energy efficiency

  • Passively encourages businesses to become environmentally friendly

  • Setback: Carbon calculator is not as good as other companies’

  • Why Carbonfund?

  • Non-profit in Silver Spring Maryland

  • Offets via renewable energy, methane, reforestation, and energy efficiency

  • Calculations solely derived from distance traveled (allows some ease in calculation)

  • Methodology

  • Determine which cohort (sports teams, English department) to present to the University to offset

  • Find out how many miles each cohort traveled per season/year

  • Research carbon offset companies

  • Choose 4 offset companies to present

  • Apply the miles we found per cohort to the offset companies carbon calculators

  • Do a cost analysis of each cohort

  • Present our findings to the University

We chose to use Athletes because they travel

the most among students on campus. We chose

the English Department because they have one of

the largest faculties accounting for 10% of the 461

person faculty. They represent a good base to judge

the emissions of the rest of the University.

*This is just a small excerpt of the data we have compiled.

A special thanks to our Research Director Sherry

Booth. We could not have done this without her.


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