Southern Oregon University and two other state universities have sold more than $1 million dollars of carbon credits through the voluntary carbon offset market. The credits were produced through carbon-reducing activities and the funds will help finance and further carbon neutrality work on the campuses.
Joining SOU in the sale are the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign and Ball State University in Indiana. The carbon credits were sold to BP Target Neutral, a carbon management initiative involving both carbon reduction and offsetting services, which are provided to businesses and BP customers. The sale was facilitated by Second Nature, a Boston-based nonprofit that supports colleges and universities in developing and marketing carbon offsets as a way to accelerate their progress towards campus carbon neutrality through its Carbon Credit and Purchasing Program (C2P2). All three universities are signatories to Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Commitments. As part of their commitment, the three universities have set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Selling carbon credits is a new experience for universities, but it’s one of the many ways SOU is leading and innovating to address climate change,” says Roxane Beigel-Coryell, SOU’s sustainability and recycling coordinator. “Selling carbon credits from energy efficiencies achieved in the LEED Gold Raider Village project opens a new source of funding for SOU to continue to reduce our carbon footprint.”
SOU began selling carbon credits in 2015 and setting the funds aside for future campus projects that will result in measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Based on SOU’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory for FY14, the university is on track to meet its interim carbon reduction goals for FY15.
“Second Nature is committed to help schools in the Climate Leadership Network scale climate action and accelerate innovative solutions,” says Tim Carter, president of Second Nature. “C2P2 is a great example of how collective action among the institutions creates new opportunities for progress.”
You can view SOU’s greenhouse gas inventories and Climate Action Plan on their website.