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Published: Friday 13 September, 2013

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One key tool in this venture: Hog waste.Duke expects to pay farmers to capture methane and other harmful gases found in hog waste. In doing so, the university will offset some of its carbon footprint the amount of greenhouse gases it emits through its energy use.The initiative also calls for sweeping changes to the way the university uses energy, on a more aggressive timeline than most universities are tackling.I think its a very ambitious plan, said William Chameides, dean of Dukes Nicholas School of the Environment and cochairman of the campus committee that created the 119page document. State and several other North Carolina institutions have made similar declarations. But most, like UNCCH, for example, want to reach the goal by 2050.Duke officials say they believe the 2024 target, which coincides with the universitys 100th anniversary, is attainable.To meet the goal, the university must neutralize the 300,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases the campus emits each year through its energy use.Much of that energy is consumed by transportation air travel by faculty and staff, cars driven by students and workers, and the campus buses that shuttle people around.But a great deal of the energy is out of the schools control. The university buys its electricity from Duke Energy, so as long as the power company uses carbonintensive sources like coal, the universitys carbon footprint will remain high, Chameides said.Its very unlikely that the campus, in the next decades, will be able to go off the grid, he said. If Duke Energy doesnt decarbonize its electricity, it will be much harder for us.Chameides and a Duke Energy spokesman each indicated that the power company is making strides toward cleaner energy sources.Another challenge: prompting a shift in the way people view mass transit. The plan calls for reducing the portion of commut down expedition parka ers who drive to campus alone from about 77 percent now to 45 percent by 2050, while raising the percentage of those who take buses or parkandride shuttles from 3 percent to 19 percent over the same period.The plan will bring change across c down expedition parka ampus. New buildings will be built to higher energy standards, while current ones will be retrofitted with more envir down expedition parka onmentally friendly insulation and lighting and lowflow toilets.Another anticipated shift: More video conferences, less air travel.I cant tell you how often I travel across the country for a fourhour meeting, Chameides said. Its just crazy. Its silly.While the price of implementing the plan an estimated $100 million or more is hefty, one of the largest chunks, a $20 million steam plant conversion, is already complete. And the marketplace for environmentally friendly technology is expected to change a great deal over the next 10 to 15 years, experts say.Were certainly not looking at spending it all at once, said Michael Schoenfeld, Dukes vice president for public affairs and governmental relations. The economics of this will constantly be changing.. down expedition parka

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