Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Saint Michael's Carbon Footprint

As people of faith, we are convinced that "the earth is the Lord's and all it holds" (Ps 24:1).  Our Creator has given us the gift of creation: the air we breathe, the water that sustains life, the fruits of the land that nourish us, and the entire web of life without which human life cannot flourish.  All of this God created and found "very good."  We believe our response to global climate change should be a sign of our respect for God's creation.
~Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and  the Common Good,
from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

At Saint Michael's, we take the threat of climate change very seriously.  Due to human activities, most notably the burning of fossil fuels, the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased significantly over the past 250 years (and is at a higher level than any reached in over 650,000 years).  Therefore, part of our efforts involves keeping track of how the campus contributes to climate change, with a focus on our carbon emissions.

The Office of Sustainability has conducted a greenhouse gas inventory ( of our emissions from 2003-2011 (and will be updating each year as data becomes available).  The good news, we've reduced our CO2 emissions by 13.4%!

This is significant especially when you consider we've added 5 new buildings to campus over this period, increasing square footage by 136,049 feet!  To learn more about the college's carbon footprint and how we have managed to maintain an overall downward trend:

If you want to learn more about Climate Change, don't forget to attend the Bill McKibben lecture next Wednesday night January 30th at 7:00 pm in McCarthy.  This is for the believers and especially the non-believers.