Staff Works to Reduce Excelsior’s Carbon Footprint

Many climate activists  stress the importance of local action to address wide-scale climate  disruption. Concerned staff members at Excelsior College believe Higher  Education also plays an important role. The “Green Committee” is  currently working to reduce the distance learning institution’s carbon  footprint through a variety of awareness and action initiatives,  including conducting an energy audit.

“It is an integral part of  our college’s leadership role in higher education to reduce our  long-term energy costs,” said Peter Barnett, a member of the College’s  “Green Committee.”
The Excelsior College’s  first Carbon / Energy Audit is the first of its kind at the college and  will focus on every unit of the institution. The initiative will review  the amount of energy Excelsior College expends through its operations of  its Albany-based campus, Washington D.C. Center and in the delivery of  its offerings to more than 38,000 currently enrolled students worldwide.
The audit inventory  includes staff commuting and air travel miles, building and operations  electric and fossil fuel use, as well as detailing the college’s waste,  paper disposal and landfill contribution. The  data will account for a direct and indirect Greenhouse Gas emissions  benchmark, providing Excelsior College with what is commonly called  today, its “carbon footprint.”
Carbon is the binding  agent found in most energy resources. It has been called the “duct tape  of life” and its binding with other atmospheric gases has allowed for  the delicate trapping of sunlight to protect life on Earth against the  extreme cold of space.
However, a significant  excessive concentration of carbon has been pumped into the atmosphere  over the last few centuries, attributed largely to the burning of fossil  fuels. This has resulted in a significant increase of CO2 (Carbon)  binding with other atmospheric gases which appear to be disrupting the  delicate balance of greenhouse gases.
“The public has begun to  see the feared consequence of this global warming with the melting of  our polar ice, the rising sea levels, the drying of our life-sustaining  coral reefs, and the seeming increase of catastrophic eruptions of  extreme weather events,” said Barnett.
After data from the Green Committee’s audit  is complete, energy use impact can be determined and next steps. In the  meantime, the committee will continue to look for ways to reduce carbon footprints and save energy.