Measuring Our Carbon Footprint

Photo of dollar bills, wood chips, and paper shown on a wooden table.

The University’s carbon footprint is determined annually by the Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) team of the Green Campus Enterprise. Students in the enterprise, begun in 2008, use a CA-CP carbon calculator to develop the inventory, following the reporting guidelines of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The students refine their data-collection methods every year. The carbon inventory includes electricity and fuel used by our buildings, and the motor fleet, air travel, rental car travel, personal travel, refrigerants, and chemicals.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

50 percent of Michigan Tech's electricity is wind-powered—saving $3.6 million over the life of our current contract.

Other things Michigan Tech does:

  • Maintain and enhance current energy-conservation efforts.
  • Find alternate ways to heat new facilities. For example, the Great Lakes Research Center is heated primarily from waste heat from the heating plant boilers.
  • Install additional occupancy sensors; add variable frequency drives to fans and pumps; and upgrade air compressors to more efficient units.
  • Long-term initiatives include phased implementation of the energy-conservation plan, developed by the Energy Advisory Group, to utilize biomass cogeneration; retrofit lab HVAC systems; and employ additional lighting control, enhanced computer controls, and other measures.