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UMD Sustainability Report Marks Significant Climate Action Progress

November 29, 2018
Contacts: 

Andrew Muir, 301-405-7068

BiowallCOLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland recently released its Sustainability Progress Report, highlighting an array of sustainability achievements from the past year. 

Major accomplishments featured in the report include: 

  • The university’s reduction of campus greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent since 2005. By investing in renewable energy and regional projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the university reduced its net carbon footprint by 70,000 metric tons between 2016 and 2017.
  • UMD’s decrease of greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel. Through the Carbon Neutral Air Initiative, the university invested in verified carbon offset projects that captured methane from regional landfills. UMD also invested in projects that continually take carbon out of the atmosphere by planting trees in our watershed with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
  • The UMD Solar Decathlon Team reACT first place win in the U.S. for their entry at the U.S. Department of Energy’s international competition.
  • UMD’s role as the research lead for the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a network of 18 research universities working to leverage their collective expertise to help accelerate local climate action.
  • The Department of Transportation Services’ launch of the Smart Commute program that encourages the use of sustainable transportation.
  • Financing from the Maryland Clean Energy Center to support Facilities Management’s $21.5 million energy efficiency project.
  • The installation of a permanent indoor biowall in McKeldin Library, which was funded through a grant from the University Sustainability Fund. 

“The university continues to make progress in its sustainability efforts and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and environmental impacts,” said Scott Lupin, director, Office of Sustainability.” We continue to do this through extensive collaboration, broad outreach efforts and by building consensus-based strategies.” 

In October, the university celebrated its recent sustainability achievements with the release of the 2018 SustainableUMD Magazine. The next significant Climate Action Plan milestone will be to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2020.  

In addition to highlighting campus actions and achievements, the Sustainability Progress Report provides the University Sustainability Council and the campus community with data that allows for future planning around sustainability issues. 

The full Sustainability Progress Report can be viewed at https://sustainability.umd.edu/progress/progress-report.