COLUMBIA — The university aims to reduce campus carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2016, MU master planner Linda Eastley said Wednesday.
A new wood-burning boiler at the MU Power Plant and solar panels on a new building at the plant will help decrease emissions this year, according to the 2012 Campus Master Plan. A wind turbine will also be installed on campus by this fall.
The 30 percent reduction goal is based on campus emissions measurements from 2008. As of July, MU had reduced carbon emissions by about 9 percent from that year, according to the second annual Climate Action Plan. Eastley presented the two plans at an open forum Wednesday.
The climate plan outlines several sustainability goals for the next five years, including:
- Composting more waste using MU facilities, which are currently under construction, with a long-term goal of not putting any campus waste into landfills.
- Moving forward with plans for a sustainable community garden near Curtis Hall, east of the Sears greenhouse.
- Increasing the percentage of locally-procured food from 14 percent to 20 percent.
- Continuing to work on improving mass transit to fit students' needs.
Renewable energy projects — including the wood-burning boiler, solar panels and the wind turbine — will all be in place this fall, according to the climate plan.
The turbine will be installed at the southeast corner of Stadium Boulevard and Champions Drive. Eventually, it will power the Beef Barn located there. The Beef Barn serves as shop space and a storage facility for the university.
The small-scale wind and solar power projects are mostly demonstrative and will allow faculty and students to give input on how renewable energy should be used on campus in the future, Gary Ward, associate vice chancellor of facilities, said at Wednesday's forum.
"Both wind power and solar power are something we're very interested in, but it's not quite where it needs to be," he said.
Starting this year, MU plans to measure its progress using a sustainability tracking system called STARS.
The Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System is a relatively new point-based system used by many colleges and universities, Eastley said. Campuses can share their sustainability statistics with other schools using the system.
"You have the opportunity to benchmark yourself against your peers, which is valuable," Eastley said.
The university plans to use LEED principles for several new building projects, which certifies that the projects are energy efficient and sustainably constructed. Proposed LEED-certified projects include the University Hospital ER expansion and Patient Care Tower, the Animal Resource Center and renovations of Gwynn Hall and Wolpers and Johnston residence halls.
MU is also trying to obtain certain LEED certifications on a campus-wide basis, including certifications for water-efficient landscaping, on-site renewable energy and environmental tobacco smoke control.
Progress in recent years
This year's climate plan also shows several sustainability efforts that have made progress in recent years:
- MU's recycling rate increased by 5 percent in the past year.
Campus water use per student is down 57 percent from 1990 to 2011, from 28,000 gallons per student to 12,000 gallons per student.
- MU reduced the number of student commuter permits issued by 6 percent, from 5,462 permits in 2007 to 5,156 permits in 2011, despite an increase in enrollment.
- Greenhouse gas emissions decreased from 40 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per 1,000 square feet in 1990 to 29 metric tons per 1,000 square feet in 2008.
The first MU Climate Action Plan was published in January 2011 after Chancellor Brady Deaton signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2009. The plan is updated every year, when goals are set for the next five years.