The University of Minnesota has hit a major climate target a year early, scoring a Big Ten win in the campaign to slow global warming.
The Twin Cities campus cut its greenhouse gas emissions 51% from 2008 levels last year, a year earlier than its goal of a 50% reduction by 2021. That puts the campus at No. 2 in the Big Ten for carbon cuts, according to Boston-based Second Nature, a nonprofit that works with colleges and universities on climate action and tracks their progress.
Most of the U's emissions drop came from the low hanging fruit in carbon reduction: energy efficiency and electricity generation. The single largest contributor was transforming the former Old Main Heating Plant on the East Bank into a much more efficient facility that generates both electricity and steam used to heat and cool buildings.That move got the U closer to the goal line, slashing the campus carbon footprint by about 10%, Stennes said.