Reporting System

Climate Action Plan for University of South Florida

Submitted on May 14, 2010; last updated on May 14, 2010

Climate Action Plan Details

Climate Action Plan USF Climate Action Plan
May 11, 2010
No information provided.

Emissions Targets

Climate Neutrality Target
If you have any qualifying statements with regard to the climate neutrality target date, please include them here, and/or if you have chosen "TBD" and not specified a neutrality date, please enter the reason and explain the process for establishing a target date in the future.

Given uncertainties in developing renewable energy technologies, such as the burgeoning photovoltaics industry, as well as expected continued budget cuts by the State of Florida, it would be unwise to include complete reduction (elimination) of carbon dioxide in our model. As a result, we anticipate the need to use RECs and CRTs. It is unclear at this time in what ways and to what extent such offsets will be phased into the model.

Interim Milestone Emission-Reduction Target Target Date Baseline
10% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2015 relative to baseline emissions in 2009
20% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2025 relative to baseline emissions in 2009
50% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2040 relative to baseline emissions in 2009
80% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2050 relative to baseline emissions in 2009
Nonstandard Emissions Targets
Please enter below any targets that do not fit into the above format.

By the year 2050, the University of South Florida will emit 80 percent less carbon dioxide than it did in 2007-2008 (our GHG baseline fiscal year). On the way to meeting this goal, USF has three critical benchmarks: 10% reduction by 2015, 20% reduction by 2025, and 50% reduction by 2040. Beyond 2050, and with the aid of offsets (representing purchased RECs [renewable energy certificates], carbon offsets [CRTs, or carbon reduction tons], and increased carbon sequestration through the expansion of a long-term Greenway project on campus), USF will be “climate neutral” by 2070.


Please describe your institution's greenhouse gas mitigation strategies.

To reach our goal and benchmarks along the way, USF will emphasize certain strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over time. These strategies are aligned with specific scopes of greenhouse gas emissions to better leverage and focus institutional strengths and to set periodic (five-year) priorities for resource allocations. Between 2010 and 2015, for example, to mitigate Scope 1 emissions we will concentrate on strategies that promote and enhance efficiency for energy produced and used on-campus. We will also address, though with proportionally less emphasis, increasing fleet fuel efficiency (such as through the use of biodiesel and solar cells to improve MPG or MPkWh) and additional xeriscaping (to reduce water use and to mitigate the use of fertilizers). Through 2015, we expect most of our reductions in emissions to come from energy/carbon efficiency. Afterward, we plan to increase emphasis on fuel efficiency, particularly as new technologies are developed and become more cost effective. Similar scenarios are outlined to deal with Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions. The specific strategies we will use are outlined in sections 5-9 of the Climate Action Plan and are organized around the broad themes of the designed and built environments, transportation, energy, and consumption (which include purchasing, waste management, food service, and recycling).

Please describe your institution's plans to make sustainability a part of the curriculum for all students.

To make climate neutrality and sustainability part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students, we have created a School of Global Sustainability, an inclusive and holistic academic unit, based on integrated interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and teaching. The School’s strength derives from the committed involvement of faculty representing natural and social sciences, engineering, business, the humanities, arts, and health. The school is anchored in its E-campus Master of Arts program in Global Sustainability, but the vitality of the school is generated by performances, collaborations, courses, discussions, shared ideas, research, explorations, and engagements from all USF affiliated faculty and students. The School is managed by an Executive Director and staffed by affiliated scholars, some from the University of South Florida System and some from other universities as well as business, industry, government, and the non-profit sector from throughout the world. The initial degree program, in Global Sustainability, focuses on water. Other concentrations—including those dealing with food security and health, the designed and built environments, transportation, gender and ethnicity, global citizenry, climate change, coastal wetlands, the history of sustainable communities, the role of the arts in megacities, and the functioning of civic responsibility are planned for the future.

Please describe your institution's plans to expand research efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality.

The new School of Global Sustainability, in partnership with existing centers and institutes at USF including the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, the Clean Energy Research Center, the Power Center for Utility Explorations, and the Center for Urban Transportation Research, will expand research related to the achievement of climate neutrality.

Please describe your institution's plans to expand community outreach efforts toward the achievement of climate neutrality.

The new Office of Sustainability will continue to expand community outreach related to the achievement of climate neutrality and climate literacy. The mission of the Office of Sustainability is to coordinate and build partnerships for university-wide initiatives that advance the University of South Florida's strategic goal of creating a sustainable campus environment. To accomplish this mission, the Office actively supports faculty, staff, students, alumni, and neighborhood partners in their efforts to transform the University of South Florida into a 'Green University', where decisions—structural and routine—consider both individual and collective impacts to our campus, community, economy, and environment. As citizen-scholar activists, we share a sustainability ethic that promotes conserving resources, reducing waste, recycling and reusing materials, finding new sources of clean energy, increasing energy efficiency, and diminishing life-cycle impacts and our consumption of greenhouse gas producing materials. We engage in this ethic of stewardship to guide the development and implementation of programs, policies, and other courses of action in the operation and management of the University of South Florida as well as its institutional teaching, research, and service commitments.