Modeling and Analysis for Environmental Sustainability
Author: Clemen, Robert T.
Source: Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
Number of pages: 5
In July of 2007, Duke President Richard Brodhead signed the American Universities Presidents’ Climate Commitment. By doing so, Brodhead committed Duke to help reduce greenhouse gases by setting a target date for becoming carbon neutral (no net emissions of carbon from fossil fuels) and to develop a plan to get there. The deadline for completing the plan is January, 2009.
When it comes to CO2 emissions, one of the biggest problems that Duke has is its coal pile. Situated in the heart of west campus, the coal pile provides fuel to produce steam to heat many of the university buildings. The steam plant runs at capacity during the heating season, producing 1,000,000 MMBTU (million BTU) per year. The plant produces so much CO2 that, when taken together with other emissions, Duke has one of the largest carbon footprints among universities in the United States. Achieving carbon neutrality for Duke’s heating needs will require the university to take several steps.
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