Western slashes greenhouse gas emissions
November 7, 2013
Investments in energy savings initiatives are paying off for the university and the planet, as Western cut its carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions by 11.5 per cent over the past three years.
Since quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions began in 2010, the campus has continued to grow. The development of new buildings across campus means mitigating greenhouse gas emissions is increasingly difficult.
The success is a result of the combined efforts of key personnel in Facilities Management staff under the stewardship of Jamie Whitty, Mechanical and Energy manager, and Mary Quintana-Lopez, Energy and Water Projects compliance Coordinator.
Beginning in 2010, Facilities Management invested in insulation upgrades to reduce steam system heat loss. The project included improving the thermal resistance or ‘R-Value’ along sections of the line and installing removable service covers on valves. Other projects included replacing older equipment with energy-efficient units, a hot water conservation program, controls upgrades and a steam trap audit and replacement program.
Between 1999-2009, Western’s GHG emissions increased by 20 per cent and, without any significant action, that figure was projected to hold or grow. Considering past trends, Facilities Management staff estimates Western has avoided almost 20,000 tons of carbon emissions going into the atmosphere in just three years. On the carbon market, that figure represents $333,000.
“These results have encouraged us to continue implementing more projects that will showcase Western’s leadership in carbon emissions reduction while also improving our facilities, and saving money,” Whitty said. “We have surpassed even our own expectations and we’ll continue the good work to see more reductions in years to come.”