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Duke U Pledges Carbon Neutrality

Duke University's board of trusties endorsed a plan this month to make the school carbon neutral by 2024.

The plan, a joint effort between students and faculty, fulfills part of Duke President Richard H. Brodhead's 2007 agreement with the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment (a group that provides a framework and support to help organizations take action to lessen the effects of global warming).

"We are committed to being a leader in best practices in responding to climate change. There are many uncertainties in this field, so we will continue to assesses our progress and change our plan as needed as we go forward, but it's time to get moving toward this important goal," Brodhead said in a prepared statement.

Provisions of the plan include replacing 10 campus buses with 60-foot hybrid vehicles and deploying resources for methane capture and waste technologies.

Other Provisions Include:

  • Converting the east and west steam plants to natural gas by 2010 and 2012, respectively;
  • Discontinuing the use of coal;
  • Promoting greenhouse gas commitments in Durham;
  • Developing a committee to incorporate sustainability into recruitment and orientation materials;
  • Creating an air travel policy and guidelines for employees;
  • Increasing the use of teleconferencing facilities and Web meetings cut back on air travel; and
  • Researching and deploying the alternative energies of biogas, solar pv, and solar/thermal.

Duke University serves approximately 13,000 students and employs 8,521 full- and part-time staff.

About the Author

Dan Thompson is a freelance writer based in Brea, CA. He can be reached here.

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