NC State is working to reduce emissions associated with university operations. The university has committed to reach climate neutrality by 2050. From fiscal year 2008 to 2022, emissions have declined 23.2%.
2008: NC State’s climate neutrality goal was adopted following the university’s signing of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (now administered by Second Nature). This national pledge challenges campuses to recognize their climate impact and work to reduce campus emissions.
2009: The UNC System Sustainability Policy was adopted, including goal of carbon neutral as soon as practicable and climate neutral by 2050
2010: NC State develops Climate Action Plan and conducts baseline greenhouse gas inventory for fiscal year 2008
2013: Inventory completed for fiscal year 2013
2017: Inventory completed for fiscal year 2017
2022: Inventories completed for fiscal years 2022 and 2021
2023: Inventory completed for fiscal year 2022
Many NC State sustainability efforts improve efficiency on campus while simultaneously reducing climate impact — particularly in the areas of energy management, recycling and composting, alternative transportation and grounds management. NC State outlined its emissions-reducing strategy in a 2010 Climate Action Plan:
- Avoid emissions-intensive activities
- Reduce emissions by increasing efficiency of campus operations
- Replace high-emission energy sources with reliable, cost-effective low-emission energy sources
- Offset emissions that cannot be eliminated
The campus community can contribute and further reduce NC State’s climate impact by:
- Reducing campus energy and water use
- Choosing alternative modes of transportation
- Minimizing air and vehicle travel
- Properly sorting waste to divert from landfills
NC State conducts a greenhouse gas inventory to understand campus impact on emissions and climate. The inventory measures the university’s carbon footprint and helps identify areas where NC State can minimize its climate impact by improving sustainability and efficiency.
NC State’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory focuses on the footprint of the Raleigh campus. The inventory uses a fiscal year time scope. The geographic scope includes all precincts of the Raleigh campus, including Lake Wheeler and Reedy Creek. The inventory is limited to owned space and excludes leased space.
NC State’s greenhouse gasses are measured in three scopes:
- Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by NC State
- Scope 2: Emissions from electricity purchased by NC State
- Scope 3: Other emissions associated with university activities
Like the majority of higher education institutions with climate commitments, NC State inputs its data into SIMAP®, which is a carbon accounting platform offered by the University of New Hampshire. SIMAP uses latest emission factors to translate data provided by NC State into metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2e). NC State began using SIMAP in 2017, resulting in more comprehensive and reliable reporting than previous internal processes used in fiscal years 2008, 2010 and 2013. Data from fiscal year 2017 and onward is included in the emissions dashboard for comparative purposes.
Latest Emissions Report
Results from NC State’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory are available below from fiscal years 2017 and 2020-2022.
Other University Resources
NC State offers numerous resources related to climate mitigation and resilience.
- Climate News from NC State
- Coastal Resilience and Sustainability Initiative
- Southeast Climate Science Center
- Climate Adaptation through Agriculture and Soil Management
- NC Sea Grant
- Climate-Related Courses
- Climate Change and Society (master’s degree)
- Climate Adaptation (graduate certificate)
- KIETS Climate Leaders Program
- Global Change Fellows
- State Climate Office of North Carolina
- Center for Environmental Farming Systems
- North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies
- K-12 Climate Change and Wildlife Curriculum