A Critical Review on Carbon Footprint of Universities

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M. Krishna Prasad, D. Rama Bhupal Reddy, K. Jyothi


The major reasons for global climate change are anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions, a burning issue that international organizations and various countries are trying to solve.This change in climate impacts the ecosystem and society in various circumstances such as there is a risk of heat related illness and deaths. Manmade industries, institutions, factories, automobiles, deforestation, etc. are the major contributors to GHGs. Undereducational institutions,universities play a major role in “creating knowledge, integrating sustainability in education and research programs, and the promotion of environmental issues to the society”. However the other side, universities are also contributing carbon and ecological footprint which creates a disturbance to the environment due to their activities in and out of campus. Universities are the places where the density of population, equipment, resource usage, and waste generation are more, which adds impact to state and country emissions. This white paper provides a critical review on carbon footprint (CF), methodologies like life cycle assessment (LCA), top-down, bottom-up approaches and various calculatorsused to estimate CF, comparison of CF of various universities throughout the world and identifying the major contributors whose impact is more in universities. In addition,CF reduction strategies,which assist as a compendium for individuals, universities, or organizations who are interested to know and measure their CF and provide a baseline to future.

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