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MU Submits Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

January 15th, 2010

Story Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­— The University of Missouri submitted its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory today, one year after MU Chancellor Brady Deaton signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement among more than 650 signatory colleges and universities to reach climate neutrality. The full report is available on the ACUP website at

“Greenhouse gas emissions might be the most important environmental problem we face today,” said Steve Burdic, MU sustainability coordinator. “This report helped us to identify the major sources of greenhouse gas, such as what we are using to generate our power and people’s habits, so we know where to concentrate our efforts to reduce it. We have to change the infrastructure and educate the public so that we can utilize a better, environmentally friendly fuel source and reduce the amount of energy that we use on an annual basis.” 

Compiled by the MU Sustainability Office staff, the inventory was conducted using the Clean Air, Cool Planet spreadsheet calculator recommended by the ACUPCC. Burns & McDonnell environmental engineering unit, an independent consulting firm, verified the inventory.

In accordance with the ACUPCC reporting guidelines, greenhouse gas emissions are reported by converting the information into a measurement of carbon dioxide. For example, by measuring the amount of coal, gasoline and other chemicals either burned or exposed to the atmosphere, MU staff members were able to convert that information into the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air. Typically, the amount of carbon dioxide released is in the form of “metric tons.”

The emissions report is broken down into three categories:

Scope 1: Direct Energy Emissions (Emissions include on-campus power generation, the university fleet, refrigerants and chemicals, and agriculture.)

                        Direct Energy Emissions FY09 in MTeCO2                         320,220.7 metric tons
                        (MTeCO2 = metric ton carbon dioxide equivalent)

Scope 2: Indirect Energy Emissions (Emissions include purchased electricity. Currently MU only purchases electricity when it is more economical to do so. Purchased natural gas is included in scope 1 emissions.)

Indirect Energy Emissions in MTeCO2                                            102,719.2 metric tons

Scope 3: Other Indirect Emissions (Emissions include commuting data for students, faculty and staff, university-financed travel, study abroad, solid waste, wastewater, and Scope 2 Transmission & Distribution losses.)

Other Indirect Emissions in MTeCO2                                               62,992 metric tons

Data Summary

Item                                                                                        FY2009

Total Metric tons Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (MTeCO2)        485,932

MTeCO2 per student                                                               16.1

MTeCO2  per sq. ft.                                                                 29.5


“As a student, gathering information for the report, I believe the university is moving in the right direction,” said Patrick Margherio, MU sustainability intern. “MU leaders have committed the campus to environmental sustainability, and that is an important first step. Over the next year, we’ll be seeking more input for the climate action plan. Already, many people on campus are eager to be a part of the process.”

“These actions are the next step toward eliminating coal use on our campus,” Deaton said. “This will not happen overnight, but we must take action now. The next step is to complete our climate action plan, which we have started working on and is due next year. We want the entire campus community to be involved in the process through communicating ways individuals can change their behaviors, as well as how administrators can change the infrastructure. “