The University of Georgia Costa Rica 2014-2015 Sustainability Report UGA Costa Rica 2014 - 2015 Sustainability Report - Page 21

Costa Rica is a leading country in this area of environmental concern, declaring a goal of being carbon neutral by 2021. In 2010, UGA Costa Rica set a goal to achieve carbon neutral status by 2015. of the campus. They arranged sources of emission into three groups by scope. Scope 1 encompasses emissions directly funded by campus, such as the fuel used by vehicles and methane gas released by livestock. Scope 2 includes emissions linked to energy use and purchasing. Scope 3 consists of emissions that are indirectly related to campus operations, such as transportation and solid and liquid waste. Emissions are offset via composting, recycling, the reforestation project, and the two biodigesters on campus. In order to determine if UGACR has achieved its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2015, we have repeated their study for the calendar year of 2014. Important limitations of and assumptions used in this carbon footprint analysis must be addressed before analyzing the results. Many governmental bodies, such as the EPA and the IPCC, use different estimations for carbon emissions. To account for such variation, 77.99 Tonnes of carbon dioxide are offset annually by the Carbon Offset Program considering the 25 percent mortality rate. the carbon neutrality study uses averages between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) measurements when appropriate. Currently, there is no method of exact biogas monitoring on the two biodigesters, with industry averages used rather than site-specific values. Placing water input meters and biogas output meters would improve the accuracy of emissions calculations from the biodigesters. Emptying the biodigesters’ gas reservoirs and measuring the time needed to re-fill the bags would also improve estimations, but this would significantly disrupt the flow of gas used by the kitchen. Plans are currently being developed to calculate the output of the biodigesters without having to empty the bags. 34,054 Trees have been planted since the start of the Carbon Offset Program in 2008. 2014 – 2015 Sustainability Report 21