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Towson campus reduces greenhouse gas emissions

Towson University can celebrate Earth Day by announcing a 4.8 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on campus between fiscal years 2008 and 2011.

West Village Commons

The sustainable design of the LEED Gold-certified West Village Commons helps Towson keep its emissions down.

According to a report the university submitted to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment earlier this year, TU emitted 112,361 metric tons of greenhouse gases in FY 2011, the energy use equivalent of 5,783 homes. This decrease in greenhouse gas emissions comes despite a 10 percent increase in enrollment and a 5 percent increase in building square feet.

The campus has seen reductions in every major emission source, except purchased electricity. Greenhouse gas emissions decreased from consumption of heating fuels, student and employee commuting, solid waste and employee air travel.

“The fact that greenhouse gas emissions have decreased despite increases in enrollment and building square feet is a credit to our energy managers, transportation managers and the Go Green Initiative,” says Clara Fang, TU’s sustainability manager.

“However, Towson will continue to work to meet the aims of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The university has the population of a small city, and the sustainability practices we engage in have a large impact both here and now and in the future. Sustainability isn’t just about operations; it is about using the campus as a learning laboratory to teach students the skills they need to solve real problems.”

Learn more about Towson’s sustainability initiatives at www.towson.edu/gogreen.