Administration and Finance Focus
 
 

April 2009
April 2010
SPOTLIGHT
RecycleMania Video

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CALENDAR

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NOTES AND NEWS

Copy Center
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Shredding Available for UH Employees

Print here, not there: How to be cost efficient and more effective in the office.

Department of Public Safety
The RAD Program Gets New Suits

UHDPS Donates to ColorCycle

Dining
Denise Clarke nominated to attend the Women’s Foodservice Forum Annual Leadership Development Conference

Now Offering Box Lunch - 8.50

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Finance

Transaction Processing Instructions on the Web

New Fees for National Travel Systems (NTS)

Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Statistics

UH Office Equipment Freecycle

Green UH
Green Hints - Get Some Fresh Air

CLASP Program Promotes Sustainability on Campus  

UH Partners With Urban Harvest

UH Releases Official Carbon Footprint

Human Resources

Training Offerings

Parking and Transportation

NEXTBUS Launches to Enhance UH Shuttle
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UH Central Plant Monthly Tours

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New Quarterly Newsletter Regarding Facilities Management

Policies and Procedures
SAMs in Campus Review
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If you have comments or would like to submit an article to future newsletters, contact Alpa Vaghani at avaghani@central.uh.edu by the 20th of each month.
 

                                                                                                               

UH Releases Official Carbon Footprint

The University of Houston has recently released its official carbon footprint, serving as both an education piece to the campus community, as well as an incentive and starting point for initiating a plan for carbon reduction.

The carbon footprint’s release was commissioned by UH’s Sustainability Task Force. The Task Force is composed of certain faculty, staff, students and administrators who are committed to improving sustainability on campus.

The calculator used for the report is the Clean Air-Cool Planet Carbon Calculator, which is endorsed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The calculator was specifically designed for colleges and universities so that these institutions could effectively compare the same information.

Data for the footprint was calculated with the coordination of student volunteers and operations staff at the university under the oversight of Dr. Barry Lefer, Assistant Professor in the department of Earth and Atmospheric Science, and member of the Sustainability Task Force.

This was an undertaking that required the collection of a large amount of data, research and data entry by students. "Working on the carbon footprint calculation was a great experience, said Barbara Schmeitz, a student who worked on the project. “It was very interesting to see how the different operations and aspects of daily campus life affect this footprint. Our university is making good strides towards lowering the carbon footprint but there is always room for improvement so that future generations can enjoy and experience life like we do now."

The inherent transparency in sharing this information, and the resulting educational awareness for the campus, should provide a key starting point to the implementation of greater environmental friendly measures.

“If we are going to be effective in sustainability and making sure that people become more invested in sustainability and climate change, they have to know what’s going on right now first,” said Jonas Chin, Program Coordinator for University Services.

Within the report, CO2 emissions were calculated for categories such as faculty and staff commuting, student commuting, air travel, solid waste, waste water, and paper purchasing.

This data should prove to increase awareness regarding the amount of energy, water and gasoline which are used each year, and the need for conservation.

“First of all, we’re committed. Second of all, we want people to know what they’re breathing, and third of all, we want to come up with a carbon reduction master plan,” said Chin.

After much research, numbers were generated to illustrate UH’s current statistics, such as over 121 million miles traveled last year and 5.5 million gallons of gas used by student cars alone. The university also used over 320 million gallons of water last year – demonstrating the need for greater conservation in these areas.

“The university intends to calculate and review its carbon footprint on an annual basis. Our footprint tells us which areas or functions of the university are emitting the most greenhouse gases,” explained Emily Messa, Assistant Vice President for University Services and head of the Green UH Initiative. “By understanding our footprint, we understand the climate impact of UH and which areas need to be improved. The carbon footprint is one piece of the university’s comprehensive sustainability plan and one metric that we use to measure improvements.”

In addition to its availability on the web, UH’s carbon footprint will also be presented at the Earth Day Carnival on April 22nd. UH hopes to stimulate interest in these issues and increase involvement in combined efforts to resolve them.

To view the University of Houston’s carbon footprint, visit http://www.uh.edu/af/greenUH/news/CarbonFootprintReport.pdf

For more information about Green UH, visit http://www.uh.edu/af/greenUH.