What is UCI’s Reduction Plan?
The UCI Climate Action Plan strategy laid out in a pyramid diagram.
Low Carbon Growth
To plan for low carbon growth in the future, UCI is implementing different strategies to advance building and energy systems. The Green Buildings program aims to construct planned facilities at LEED silver or gold levels, adding to its current 20 platinum and 10 gold USGBC LEED-certified buildings. The university will also optimize Co-gen and distributed generation by implementing microgrid projects for efficiency, energy storage, and integration of renewable energy.
The image depicts Plaza Verde, which is a new advanced housing complex on campus with a LEED Platinum rating.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a section in the USGBC (US Green Building Council) that certifies buildings and renovations on different levels. The certification uses a points system based on factors like energy efficiency and water usage.
To reduce energy demand, UC Irvine will implement deep energy efficiency programs and work on sustainable behavior. The campus fleet will be targeted for reducing energy consumption, in both stationary and mobile entities. The university will also target laboratories, using the Smart Labs and Green Labs programs. Smart labs is a deep energy efficiency program that targets energy use. Additionally, Green Labs is a certification program that promotes sustainable behavior and further promotes energy reduction.
The image depicts Energy Efficiency and Conservation Green Labs Program.
Low Carbon Energy
In order to reduce GHG emissions, the school will also aim to replace as many sources as possible with clean energy. UCI plans to improve upon its renewable energy infrastructure and invest in other methods of carbon-free energy like biomethane. To increase onsite solar renewable energy, UCI will implement second phase parking structure solar arrays. To further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 10% of natural gas use will be replaced with biomethane beginning in 2025. For the transportation fleet, the campus will implement fuel switching for half of existing fleet operations and convert 20 diesel busses to EV.
The image depicts the UC Five Points Solar PAA.
In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 , UCI will procure carbon offsets to offset Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Carbon offsets are the ‘currency’ for offsetting in reductions of metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MT CO2e). One carbon offset is equivalent to one MT CO2e. Offsets vary widely in price and typically come from five different project types: methane reduction, industrial gas reduction, energy efficiency, sequestration, or renewable energy. Procured offsets are a temporary solution and will align with UCI’s mission.
The image depicts an urban forestry carbon offsets project.
Interested in talking to your class about carbon offsets? Download this presentation from Brenna Biggs, the 2019-2020 CNI Carbon Offsets fellow.
Where is UCI on the Path to Climate Neutrality?
The portfolio of carbon emissions for the UC system, separating between the different strategic points such as green buildings and energy efficiency.