GHG emissions from transportation arise from burning fossil fuel primarily for cars, trucks, buses, and commercial aircraft. Transportation generated over 44% of UMBC’s GHG emissions, making it the second leading contributor to the university’s GHG emissions.
In FY 2018, UMBC generated an estimated 31,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTeCO2) from transportation sources. The largest contributor to these GHG emissions at 68% was commuting by faculty, staff, and students. Air travel contributed another 30%. The university fleet contributed less than 3% of transportation’s GHG emissions.
Over the last ten years, UMBC has reduced eCO2 contributions from transportation by 6% primarily through a reduction in sanctioned air travel, expansion of UMBC’s transit system, and upgrades to cleaner, higher-efficiency cars, buses, and other vehicles. Additional measures focused on bicycling, car and ride-sharing, and EV charging stations.
Achieving further reductions in GHG emissions from transportation are possible by focusing on increasing the efficiency of vehicles, changing how and when we travel and purchasing carbon offsets for unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions.
While the 177 gas- and diesel-powered vehicles within the university fleet contribute less than three percent of transportation’s GHG emissions, its composition, use, and practices are completely in the control of the university. UMBC’s plan for carbon neutrality is to move forward with these readily implementable strategies.
- Reduce the number of miles traveled.
- Lease or purchase more energy-efficient vehicles and dispose of old vehicles that they are replacing.
- Reduce or eliminate vehicle idling.
- Purchase carbon offsets.
Nearly 12.4 million miles of air travel in FY 2018 were completed by faculty, staff, and students in the conduct of their business or management of programs. While fuel efficiency of commercial fleets and future potential for reduced emissions from planes are not within UMBC’s control, UMBC’s plan for carbon neutrality is to eliminate the impact of university-related air travel on carbon emissions with these planned strategies.
- Replace air travel with virtual meetings to reduce the number of trips.
- Replace air travel with lower-emitting travel alternatives.
- Explore the feasibility of a flight surcharge to purchase carbon offsets.
In FY 2018, UMBC’s 12,090 commuters contributed nearly 21,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTeCO2) traveling to and from campus, mostly in single occupancy gas- and diesel-powered vehicles. UMBC’s plan for achieving future carbon neutrality targets these measures to eliminate commuting’s contribution to emissions.
- Promote commuting alternatives to reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles.
- Provide sustainable mobility options for residential students.
- Incentivize use of fuel-efficient personal vehicles.
- Reduce the number of required trips per week by faculty, staff, and students.
- Purchase carbon offsets.