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As a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) is dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  A climate action plan based on an annual inventory of emissions will guide the institution in achieving its long term goal of climate neutrality.  The results of UMA’s 2008  inventory, illustrated below, will be updated as additional data become available.

In order to assess the institution’s total impact on global warming, potential greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, were converted to metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCDE) by software from Clean Air Cool Planet.  Institutional emissions data were obtained from UMA’s administrative services department which uses the Energy Watchdog software program to manage energy-related data. 

Total Emissions in Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide Equivalents

chart showing changes in UMA's greenhouse gas emissions from 2004 to 2008

Between 2004 and 2007, UMA’s greenhouse gas emissions increased from 3255 MTCDE to 3773 MTCDE.  For the four year period, heating of facilities is the largest emission source.  Renovation of several buildings and fewer heating degree days reduced this figure in 2008 to 2917 MTCDE.  Indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity were reduced starting in 2003 when UMA contracted with Constellation New Energy, Inc., to purchase 30% renewable electricity for qualifying metered facilities. 

Emissions generated by the college fleet are included in the transportation category; however, this category is likely to be UMA’s major source of emissions and the most critical issue to overcome in achieving climate neutrality.  UMA does not have residential facilities, and students commute to classes at various locations.   It is anticipated that commuting data for students, faculty, and staff will be added to the college fleet data in the 2009 inventory.