University reduces carbon footprint

University reduces carbon footprint

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A study of Minnesota State University, Mankato shows a decrease in their carbon footprint in the last seven years.

“What we’ve seen over that seven-year period, 2011-2012 and 2017-2018 is a 15.6 percent decrease in the carbon footprint,” said former Physics professor Louis Schwarzkopf, one of the main brains behind the study.

A carbon footprint is the account of greenhouse gases emitted from University activities, like electricity usage, burning of natural gas for heat and tailpipe emissions cars of buses.

He credits the reduced footprint on campus to three causes:

The first through the Public Buildings Enhanced Energy Efficiency Program that improved their heating, ventilation and air systems.

The next through the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program where lights were changed campus-wide from fluorescent to LED light bulbs.

The $8 million cost for the program is paid for by the savings of $400,000 annually from electric and heating costs.

The campus is also looking into the future.

“Also in that plan, we want to take a serious look at solar. We are looking at some significant building and repair projects that will help bring down our energy use," said the campus’s Facilities Management Vice President Paul Corcoran.

Schwarzkopf hopes their example can encourage other Universities to follow.

“Universities play a leading role because they educate the young people of the future. So they have to set a good example by reducing their carbon footprint," added Schwarzkopf.

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