Submit Your Ideas


PCC and Emissions Sources

The slide above is my quick introduction to the Presidents’ Climate Commitment and our Climate Action Planning at Unity College.  Patrick already introduced you to the Climate Action Plan, so I won’t revisit that, but I do want to emphasize a couple of points.  Our Climate Action Plan and the mitigation strategies we identify have to work for Unity College.  We can’t determine meaningful mitigation strategies if we don’t know where our emissions come from, and in what quantities.  The charts above describe how we define different emissions sources (under 3 “Scopes”), and shows where Unity’s emissions came from over the 2007-2008 year.

We know our greatest emissions come from heating our 26 buildings (thats nearly 150,000 square-feet of built space), and from getting around in our commuter vehicles, campus fleet, and commercial airplanes.  Noticeably absent from the chart above are our emissions from electricity production and solid waste.  We used roughly 1,000,000 kWh of electricity last year which would have contributed nearly 450 additional tons of carbon dioxide equivalent if we hadn’t purchased RECs to support renewable energy production in ME.  Landfill waste from Unity College would have added an additional 10 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent to our profile if it had been included.

So . . . now that you know who the culprits are, I NEED YOUR IDEAS!  I’m touring campus with two questions:

  1. What actions can we take as an institution to reduce our emissions in these areas?
  2. What actions can you take as an individual to reduce our emissions?

Leave comments below, or email your ideas to


5 thoughts on “Submit Your Ideas

  1. I don’t see why we cant get all of our soda from Maine Root. They carry 6 different flavors and different seasonal flavors. and use glass bottles which are less deadly to the environment than plastic. and they are local. They are a big hit at the sac where I work and they cost the same as a regular soda bottle, they are just a bit smaller, But really who cares in the long run about a few ounces?

  2. Well one idea would be to start with admissions.. lets not have students come to this school who wont sign a commitment to making Unity College carbon neutral, or a least some sort of sustainablity commitment. This would weed out people who will not help our cause. We wanna be serious, lets get serious.

    This would keep out the people who dont compost and who complain about local foods and the limitations that would certainly occur from an all local menu.This would help keep out the people who throw away recyclables.
    Oh but wait, money, we couldnt sacrifice any sort of profit that is made by letting people who dont really care into this school.
    Ahh but besides that:

    1. Create a rewards system for car poolers, walkers and bike riders (get a ticket everytime you do the above (with some sort of witness or verification, maybe a booth outside and the student affairs secretary/workstudy sit there) and win a basket at the end of the week.. or get a free coffee..that would be like student appreciation week,all the time hmm?)

    2. Create a rewards system specifically for instructors. Give recognition to instructors who incorporate sustainablity into their classroom. Not neccesarily content, but limiting driving and doing labs in the wood lot instead, conducting class outside when possible, encouraging electronic work, and so on..

    3. REAL LOCAL FOODS. Get involved with a farm that can do a winter CSA for a giant school. Or have contracts with several farms, but all farms, not cape cod or giffards or lays with maine potatoes.. food from farms. real food from real farms.

    4. Have indivdual rewards systems for dorms and student affairs. No frivelous wasting and spending on van rides to bowling or bangor mall, have deans cup and student affairs events be ON CAMPUS, we came to live in a small town for a reason. I understand you wanna get out Unity, then get out.

    5. DONT BE BIO FOOLED. Crops are for food not fuel. So, a much more strict use of vans. I really cant think of a economical solution for those grand ole vans. Please please please no biofuel.

    I know, Im crabby and disillusioned. I think the change towards carbon neutrality has to come from within the student population. We need a higher sustainablity standard for our students. Reward people for acting sustainably. Stop using those damn vans. Then theres heating…

    well hmm

    1. Crankiness aside, there are some great ideas here, Amanda. I’m especially interested in your transportation incentives. I’d like to discuss staffing and student involvement on these with you sometime.

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