Carbon ’footprint’ project to be legacy of Class of ’08

4:21 p.m., April 23, 2008--The Class of 2008 has endorsed a new commitment to sustainability on campus by choosing to support a study of greenhouse gas emissions that was announced by UD President Patrick Harker on April 10.

From Feb. 18-29, more than 1,300 UD seniors cast votes for one of six possible gifts to be left to the University, and more than one-third voted for “green” improvements to the campus. After reviewing many green project initiatives, the Senior Class Gift Committee chose to support the carbon "footprint" study.

John Byrne, a member of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and director of UD's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, will lead the study.

After conducting an inventory of UD's carbon footprint, the project will work on devising strategies to reduce greenhouse gases, which are key pollutants linked to increasing global temperatures.

The project will establish a baseline of current emissions, which can be used to project future greenhouse gas emission rates. Strategies will then be devised to reduce emissions and specific plans will be identified for in key areas.

The Class of '08 has set a goal of raising $50,000 from 100 percent of the senior class to help fund the carbon footprint project. UD's Alumni Association Outreach Committee, inspired by the students' commitment to go green, will donate $5,000 toward the carbon footprint project once the class achieves 25 percent participation.

Students who make a gift by Friday, May 2, can have their names and those of people they would like to honor listed in the Commencement program.

Contributions to the Senior Class Gift can be made online at [].

The decision to support environmental improvements to the campus comes a year after the Class of 2007 raised $62,000, exceeding its original goal of $50,000 by 24 percent, to establish the Class of 2007 Recycling Fund to support and enhance current recycling efforts on campus.

The Recycling Fund has been used in three different ways. The first is that three areas on campus, where recycling receptacles previously existed, have been paved to make the receptacles more user friendly. The second is that paper-recycling receptacles have been placed and are being tested in select residence halls to determine which is the most effective and once the testing has been completed, additional receptacles will be installed. And the last way the gift is being used is to support a Web presence that allows new and current UD students to find out about the recycling facilities on campus.

Article by Adam Thomas