Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.50
Liaison Derek Nichols
Submission Date May 17, 2022

STARS v2.2

University at Buffalo
IN-50: Innovation D

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Derek Nichols
Sustainability Engagement Coordinator
UB Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
The University at Buffalo's 10 in 10: 10 Strategies to get us to Carbon Neutrality by 2030

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

UB’s 10 in 10 is a roadmap of 10 innovative, engaging and digestible steps we are taking to increase climate action throughout the university and put us on a path to net zero emissions by 2030. These ten initiatives represent a synthesis of ideas expressed by a diverse array of stakeholders through a robust campus engagement process. They also form a framework for our implementation efforts with each of the ten categories corresponding to a working group that is advancing action within the area.

The award winning strategy leverages unique visual icons, storytelling and simplification as a vehicle to increase connection, understanding and digestibility with the often obtuse and hard to comprehend world of carbon emission reduction.

The ten strategies are as follows:

Put a Price on Pollution
Carbon pricing is a system that requires polluters to pay when they emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. By phasing in carbon pricing at UB, we make ourselves accountable, operationally and financially, for the adverse impact we have every day to our climate. There’s nothing like economic incentive to motivate change.

Not All Electricity is Created Equal
Today, electricity is generated from cleaner and renewable energy sources like hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar. Because these sources are naturally replenished and produce little to no emissions when converted to electricity, they work to decrease the adverse effects of climate change. .

Electrify Our Ride
With a fleet of nearly 500 vehicles, UB is heavily dependent on our wheels. Electric vehicles are safer, reliable, economically competitive and can be fueled by clean energy sources. Electrifying our campus fleet is critical to making a dent in our carbon footprint while increasing campus safety through automation. By 2025, new mobility purchases will be fueled by clean and renewable electricity, thus phasing out the use of fossil fuel.

Keep It Cozy and Green
Keeping us warm in the winter and cool in the summer doesn’t come free. Traditional heating and cooling systems leave huge carbon footprints and are notoriously inefficient. Adapting our buildings with zero-carbon alternatives, like efficient heat pumps fueled by clean energy, will help us reduce the amount of fossil fuel emissions we burn to stay comfortable.

Waste Not
EPA estimates that 75% of the waste stream is reusable, yet we recycle about 30% of it. Diverting waste from landfills and incinerators benefits not only the climate, but the bottom line. Looking closely at what we buy, use, throw away, and send our waste, allows for dramatic carbon savings. Rethinking, reusing, recycling, composting. It all makes a difference. UB will achieve net zero waste across all material streams by 2030.

Flip the Switch
It’s easy to take for granted how much energy a single building consumes. From electricity to heating, air conditioning and water usage. Most of us are comfortable with simple actions, like turning off the lights, but we can achieve even bigger gains from other behaviors and key conservation strategies. UB will strive to reduce building energy use by 30% through behavior-based and technological conservation measures.

Commute Responsibly
Transportation is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions at UB. Programs such as bike sharing, electric vehicle charging stations and car pooling are embraced by our campus community. But there’s more we can do to encourage trading individual cars for greener alternatives. UB will develop zero carbon commuting pathways for the campus community.

Taking Stock of Our Food System
Food – growing, farming, processing, transporting and disposing of it– places an enormous carbon burden on the climate. Understanding our diets and making simple changes – like eating less meat – can have a big impact. UB will study and quantify the carbon impact of our food systems, and set goals to reduce food-related carbon emissions by half in 2030.

Investing Locally to Provide Flexibility
Sometimes, eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is not feasible: think air travel. Where current solutions do not exist, or eliminating a critical business function would cause monumental hardship, UB will work to build localized carbon offset programs that reduce an equivalent amount of carbon emission. UB plans to obtain enough carbon offsets to fill the gap thus obtaining carbon neutrality by 2030.

Measuring and Making It Happen
Climate change has occurred over many years and can often only be seen in microscopic clues. Measuring this change and finding innovative solutions to affect it will require organizational commitment, scientific expertise, and a culture of tenacity. Fortunately, we have that here at UB. UB plans to use the intelligence of its researchers to find cutting edge ways to analyze, measure and improve the impact of our actions.

These 10 initiatives represent a synthesis of ideas expressed by a diverse array of stakeholders through a robust two-year campus engagement process, which included students, faculty, staff and the community. They also form a framework for UB’s implementation efforts, with each of the 10 categories corresponding to a working group led by a senior leader CAPtain who advances action within the area.

This innovative approach was a very conscious strategyto enable the campus community to take complex information and view it in a clearer, more simplified manner. The dashboards and other tools also demonstrate how the university is holding itself accountable toward achieving its goals.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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