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TablE of Contents

2 Introduction

3 An Ecological Footprint: EARTH’s Commitment

5 Carbon Neutral: A Global Tendency

6 The Path toward Carbon Neutrality

7 What Does Carbon Neutrality Involve?

8 Methodology

8 Determining the Sources of CO2 Emissions

9 EARTH’s CO2 Emissions

10 Calculating the Accumulation of Carbon



11 Carbon Stored at EARTH

13 Mitigation and Energy Efficiency

15 Total Carbon Fixation and Storage Capacity at the Guácimo


Campus

16 EARTH’s Commitment
EARTH University recognizes that its daily activities
generate carbon emissions and is committed to
taking measures to reduce these emissions, as well
as capturing CO2 from the atmosphere to offset
Introduction the institution’s contribution to global warming.

By becoming carbon neutral, EARTH is making a


public commitment to environmental protection
and also offering a sustainable solutions to
problems confronting the entire planet.

Mitigation efforts aimed at reducing GHG and


slowing the impacts of climate change (CC),

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wherever they are carried out, are a global priority.
EARTH University’s initiative responds to this
imperative.

The climate change discussion has become such an In order to achieve carbon neutrality, EARTH had
important global issue that on April 17, 2007, the to undertake three tasks: 1) identify the sources of
United Nations Security Council included the theme carbon emissions and measure the output using
in its priority agenda. The international debate has scientifically rigorous methods; 2) determine the
focused on the impacts of climate change and the University’s carbon storage capacity; and 3) design
potential conflicts resulting from these impacts, projects with the goal of reducing, or compensating
including access to energy, water, food, and other for, CO2 emissions.
scarce resources; mass migrations; and border
disputes. The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize By systematically implementing these three steps,
to former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the the University has been able to not only balance its
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) GHG emissions through the capture of atmospheric
Being a carbon
is another illustration that the climate change carbon, but in fact has determined that the
neutral institution
discussion has taken center stage. University has a positive balance with respect to
implies recognizing
emissions and carbon capture. EARTH currently
the global impact Much of the international community has come to emits 1,168 tons of CO2 annually, while it has the
that CO2 emissions appreciate that the stability of nations, the alleviation annual capacity to capture 16,845 tons.
have on the of poverty and the very survival of the planet will be
planet’s climate, directly impacted by climate change. The institutional response to the crisis of global
quantifying the warming is an effort that unites the entire
institution’s In the last few years, this phenomenon has become university community and draws on the experience
carbon emissions more pronounced due to the intensive and growing of an institution that, since its inception, has made
and taking steps use of fossil fuels by many industries, as well as a environmental sustainability a priority.
to reduce these reduction in the atmosphere’s regenerative capacity
emissions as well to remove carbon dioxide as a result of deforestation
as capturing CO2 and other actions of the human population.
and ultimately
striking a balance Increasingly we have come to realize that all human
between CO2 activities, including those carried out by educational
emissions and institutions such as EARTH University, generate
mitigation. greenhouse gasses (GHG).

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An Ecological Footprint: the humid tropics, sustainable agriculture and agri-
business education. It is recognized specifically for
EARTH’s Commitment its contribution to the development of sustainable
agriculture techniques, practices related to the
wise and creative use of the natural resources of
the humid tropics, and above all, for its holistic
educational program focused on training young
leaders to become change agents and to having a
positive impact on society.

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As a demonstration of its commitment to productive
and environmental sustainability, EARTH seeks
to learn about, use wisely, and protect the
EARTH is an international, institution, established environment; to detain destructive activities and to
in 1990 and dedicated to education, outreach and seek a balance between social development and
research. The University’s mission is to prepare the use of natural resources, including biodiversity,
leaders with ethical values to contribute to the in order to address current and future challenges.
sustainable development of the humid tropics and
to construct a prosperous and just society. Reflecting the institutional commitment to the
sustainable use of energy, a number of initiatives
Since its inception, the University has set out to have been undertaken, including:
change agricultural paradigms and practice new ways
to protect biodiversity by making environmentally • improving existing installations and designing
responsible practices part of its operations as well new building to minimize energy consumption;
as its curriculum.
• research and pilot projects related to biofuels;
EARTH’s establishment reflects a profound conviction
that the environmental and social threats confronting • the generation of biogas as a fuel and
our societies and the future of our planet can best electricity source;
be addressed through education that highlights
not only technical scientific and knowledge, but • efficient illumination; and
also essential human values, leadership and a
commitment to service. • the use of electric vehicles to reduce
dependence on fossil fuels for transportation.
EARTH’s challenge is to form leaders who are
prepared to guide the region toward needed This commitment to environmental sensibility
changes through an educational program focused motivated the University to create the “Efficient
on sustainable agriculture, scientific training, Use of Resources Program”. This program aims to
community development, ethics and biodiversity develop an environmental awareness among the
conservation. institution’s students, staff and community and
encourages the adoption of practical strategies to
From a global point of view, the University is help reduce negative impacts of the University’s
becoming a reference center for themes related to daily operations.

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4.
Bandera Azul Ecológica
(Ecological Blue Flag)
Bandera Azul is a Costa Rican Government initiative
that seeks to promote the organization of local
committees in coastal areas, communities, and
educational centers to promote development that
is compatible with natural resource protection,
improved hygienic/sanitary conditions and
public health. The EARTH community has been
awarded three stars (the highest honor) for two
consecutive years in recognition of its efficient use
of resources.

The global agenda is currently emphasizing


This initiative has four components, which environmental themes. Costa Rica, which is a
incorporate research, planning, implementation, and prominent participant in these discussions, has
evaluation. The four components are: announced its intention to become a carbon neutral
country. EARTH applauds this initiative, and is
1. committed to working alongside other national
Integrated Waste Management and international institutions to accomplish this
The objective is to ensure that waste produced ambitious goal.
by the University is handled appropriately using
innovative technologies in an attempt to protect the
environment.

2.
Efficient Energy Use and Energy Management
Program
Focused on increasing the institution’s eco-
efficiency, initiatives like the “Efficient Energy Use
and Management Plan” have helped to reduce the
University’s dependence on external energy sources
while improving conservation. For example, during
2006, energy consumption was reduced by almost 1
percent over the previous year, despite the fact that
campus infrastructure increased by almost 2 percent
(an additional 1,150 square meters).

3.
Water Resource Management
Through this program, the University strives to use
and manage water wisely. One example of this effort
is the use of decontamination ponds for treating
agricultural waste water.

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Through the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, the Kyoto
Protocol in 1997, and the Johannesburg Summit
Carbon Neutral: (Rio+10) in 2002, the international community
A Global Tendency established a number of actions to be carried out
with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions, while also
working to capture more carbon through reforestation
and environmental protection programs.

In early 2007, Costa Rica announced its plan to


become the first country in the world to be carbon
neutral. This will require an important effort to create
and modify legislation, but also to provide incentives

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to businesses in order to encourage them to support
the initiative. The Costa Rican Government hopes to
motivate other countries to meet the same goal.
The United Nations Framework Convention on
Every day, more organizations and businesses
Climate Change attributes climate change directly
implement programs aimed at reducing their carbon
and indirectly to human activity that alters the
dioxide emissions. At the same time, some centers
planet’s atmospheric composition and adds to the
of higher learning are also trying to become “green”
natural climatic variability that has been observed
institutions. In this context, EARTH seeks to become
over comparable time periods.
a model for other universities and organizations
around the world that want to become carbon
It is clear that climatic variations have existed in
neutral.
the past and will continue to occur due to a variety
of natural phenomenon such as fractional changes
in solar radiation, volcanic eruptions, and natural
variations in the climate system. However, the
accelerated rate of change over the past 50-60 years
is resulting in a loss of equilibrium.

According to the IPCC, a scientific forum established


Becoming Carbon Neutral in 3 Steps
In general, the process for achieving carbon
by the United Nations Framework in 1988 in order neutrality requires three basic steps:
to gather together thousands of climate experts
from around the world, the planet’s temperature has Measure
increased 0.6ºC during the past 100 years, and they carbon through
Reduce
expect this increase to reach 1.4-5.8ºC during this a scientifically
carbon emissions
century. rigorous process
by establishing and
implementing new
These changes will have a significant impact on the programs
global environment. Human society will confront new
risks and challenges. Communities and ecosystems
will have to adapt to future climatic regimes. The Fix
stabilization of the atmospheric concentration of carbon through
GHG emissions will require enormous effort. reforestation

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Of these six gases, CO2 is one of the most
important due to its quantity and because, as long
The Path toward Carbon as it exists in the atmosphere within a certain
Neutrality range, it contributes to Earth having a temperature
that supports life. However, an excess of CO2 in
the atmosphere accentuates the phenomenon
known as the Greenhouse Effect which results
in a reduction in the emission of heat into outer
space, thus provoking an increase in atmospheric
temperature. The atmospheric concentration of CO2
has increased from 280ppm (parts per million) in
pre-industrial times, to 379ppm in 2005. According

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to scientific consensus, this increase is contributing
to the warming of the planet.

The existing global consensus regarding the How do Carbon Credits Work?
mitigation of climate change effects and the
Carbon credits, or green credits, are one of the
stabilization of GHG emissions consists of two international mechanisms that allow for the
strategies: reduction of emissions and carbon mitigation of emissions that contaminate the
capture. It is understood that accomplishing these environment, and is one of the three mechanisms
goals will require radical changes in the way energy proposed by the Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of
is used, as well as finding alternative ways to emissions that cause climate change.
produce it.
They are credits that companies or countries
committed to reducing emissions can buy in order
Numerous incentives exist to encourage the to finance the industries, institutions or individuals
mitigation of climate change effects. One of the that are reducing or capturing emissions that
most well-known is the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. The contribute to the greenhouse effect.
Protocol is an international agreement that aims to
The activities that are carried out in order to
reduce the emission of the six gases that are the main
reduce or offset the emission of greenhouse
causes of global warming. The agreement called for gases are implemented based on the buying and
a reduction from 1990 levels by approximately five selling of emission reduction or compensation
percent by 2012. certificates. These certificates are issued in order
to compensate specific projects that effectively
Gases that Contribute reduce or capture these gasses.
to Global Warming:
In this way, those who contaminate pay those
who invest in, or carry out activities that do
Carbon Dioxide CO2 not contaminate. To generate carbon credits, a
Methane CH4 business must present a plan to reduce or capture
emissions.
Nitrous Oxide N2O
Hydrofluorocarbons HFC EARTH has the capacity to neutralize its own
Perfluorocarbons PFC emissions as well as surplus capacity that it
could conceivably sell on the international carbon
Sulfur Hexfluorocarbons SF6 market.

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What Does Carbon Neutrality What are Bio-fuels?

Involve?
Bio-fuels are produced using mostly
vegetable biomass. One subgroup are
liquid bio-fuels that can be used in internal
combustion engines. There are currently
two kinds of bio-fuels: biodiesel, which is
a product of oil made from soy, sunflower,
corn, oil palm and other oils, or by using
burned cooking oil made from vegetable
oils and animal fat; and bioethanol, which

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is made from sugarcane, corn and other
sources.

The main difference between biofuels


and fossil fuels is that when fossil fuels
The concept of mitigation is based on the reduction are burned, they release carbon that has
been stored for millions of years into the
of the impact or attenuation of potential threats atmosphere. This results in a net increase
caused by a particular event. With respect to climate in atmospheric CO2. By contrast, although
change, mitigation involves reducing future carbon burning biofuels also releases CO2, it
emissions and capturing carbon in the atmosphere does not increase net emissions since
the carbon contained in biofuels was
through the process of photosynthesis. only recently stored by plants through the
atmospheric carbon cycle.
The basic idea behind being a carbon neutral
institution is recognizing the global impact that CO2 The use of biofuels as a source of
renewable energy can contribute to a
has on climate, quantifying emissions, and then reduced consumption of fossil fuels. It
taking steps to reduce and/or capture CO2 in order is important to note that replacing fossil
to offset emissions. fuels with biofuels obtained through
sustainably produced biomass can further
reduce the net release of CO2 into the
Emissions can be calculated using internationally
atmosphere.
recognized methods such as those established by
the Kyoto Protocol. Once this calculation is made, Within this framework, capturing CO2
actions can be planned and carried out to reduce through reforestation activities or the use
of biofuels are ways to mitigate climate
and to offset emissions.
change. Reforestation increases the
planet’s capacity to absorb atmospheric
CO2, while using biofuels reduces the
emission of greenhouse gases.

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EARTH-La Flor (Liberia, Guanacaste); and at
the EARTH University Foundation (Atlanta,
Methodology Georgia, USA).

Each unit submitted information detailing


its equipment and activities that produce
greenhouse gases.

Table 2

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Sources of CO2 Emissions at EARTH

• Institutional vehicles

To implement this initiative of carbon neutrality, • Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) used in the
EARTH used a methodology to determine the cafeteria to prepare meals, in the laundry
quantity of carbon being emitted as well as the facilities, and in the Food Processing
sources of carbon in its vegetation (including natural Laboratory
and plantation forests and crops). The following
section explains this methodology • Machinery and large equipment such as
back hoes, tractors, the aerial tractors used
Determining the CO2 Production to transport bananas, and boilers
Sources
• Small equipment such as sprayers, weed-
In order to contribute to the reduction of atmospheric eaters, saws, and electrical generators
GHG, EARTH took the initiative to inventory its
sources of CO2 emissions that are directly related to • Energy consumed on campus installations
its academic, productive and administrative work. (the portion of the electricity consumed that is
generated by thermal plants and supplied by
1. Emissions and Sources the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE))

First, the University identified all of its carbon • Air travel from Costa Rica to various
emissions sources. It found that most CO2 is produced destinations
by burning fuels. Next, it conducted an inventory
in each unit at EARTH’s main campus (Guácimo),
including farms and administrative operations; at
Table 1
Inventory of Greenhouse Gases at EARTH
Emission Source Type of Fuel
Burning Fuels Gasoline, diesel, LPG
Electricity Production Diesel, bunker
Other Activities Jet fuel used for airplane travel

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EARTH’s CO2 Emissions

Calculating the tons of CO2 emitted takes into


account the hours of annual operation, as well
as the annual quantity of fuel consumed in the
operation of vehicles, equipment and machinery.
Consumption rates were monitored throughout
2006 and submitted by each administrative unit.
The following table summarizes the quantity of
CO2 emissions for each source.

CO2 Emissions

Source Quantity of Fuel Tons of


(Liters) CO2

2. The Formulas
EARTH (Guácimo)
Vehicles 121.613 324
The following formulas were used to calculate
Equipment and Machinery 89.707 237
EARTH’s total emissions:
Table 3 LPG 73.614 139
Method for Calculating CO2 Emissions at EARTH According to the Source Generation of Electricity 49.372 132
Air Travel (miles) 1.069.335 175
Source Method for Calculating CO2
Agricultural Systems 414
LPG used in the cafeteria, laundry Each gram of LPG produces 3,015 grams of CO2 Total Tons of CO2 10.115 1.421
and Food Processing Laboratory
EARTH La Flor
Vehicles 31.560 26
- Vehicles Formula derived from the Fundación Ecología
y Desarrollo and Fundación Natura web page: Equipment and Machinery 1.248 79
- Variety of equipment and large http://www.ceroco2.org Generation of Electricity 102 3
machinery: back hoe; tractors; aerial
tram to transport banana; boilers Air Travel (miles) 0,02
Total Tons of C 108
- Small equipment such as sprayers,
weed-eaters, saws, and electrical EARTH University
generators Foundation (Atlanta, USA)
Air Travel (miles) 115.200 31
Energy consumption by campus Electricity is produced by the Costa Rican
installations (thermally generated Electricity Institute (ICE). According to ICE’s data, Generation of Electricity 3.237 9
energy supplied by the Costa Rican in 2006, 6.33% (representing 153.07 million liters Total Tons of CO2 40
Electricity Institute (ICE)) of fuel) of the Costa Rica’s energy was produced
by thermal generation. To supply electricity to TOTAL 1.568
EARTH, 49,372 liters of fuel was used.
The final results of the emissions inventory, and
the CO2 calculations for operations, equipment and
Air travel from Costa Rica to various Formula from CarbonNeutral® for air travel
vehicles at EARTH’s Guácimo and La-Flor campuses
destinations derived from: and the EARTH University Foundation in Atlanta show
http://www.carbonneutral.com/cncalculators/ that institutional activities produce a total of 1,568
flightcalculator.asp#
CarbonNeutral_Flights_Calculator tons of CO2.

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Then, the Biomas Extension Factor (BEF) was
applied to the content of C. The BEF was calculated
to be 1.6 based on a 60% additional content of
branches and foliage (the literature states that
this factor should be between 60% and 90%) and
the total was multiplied by the area of each forest
unit.

2.
Capacity to Capture Carbon

In this case, the capacity to capture carbon is the


annual rate of carbon fixation in each of the forest
units. The Mean Annual Growth Volume (MAGV)
was calculated using on-site measurements, and
this was used to calculate the carbon content (as
Calculating the Amount of Stored Carbon described above).

1. Based on these calculations, the capacity to


Carbon Content in the Biomass capture carbon of each type of forest is: primary
natural forests = 1 ton of C per hectare per year
The first step to determine the amount of carbon stored (1.0tC/ha/year); immature secondary natural forest
in the biomass of primary and secondary natural forests, = 3.0tC/ha/year; mature secondary natural forest =
as well as forest plantations on EARTH’s property, was 2.0tC/ha/year; mature forest plantations = 3.0tC/
to calculate the volume of harvestable timber. To do ha/year; and immature forest plantations = 5.0tC/
this, the basal area (the sum of the transversal areas, ha/year.
which is the area of the trunk at 1.30m of height, of
all the trees in one hectare) was determined for each
area of forest. Then, the average height of all the 3.
trees in each hectare was calculated. The product of Carbon in the Soil
the basal area (BA) multiplied by the height (H) and
by a coefficient (the relationship between the real and For the purpose of this inventory, we studied the
apparent volume of a tree) is the volume of harvestable carbon in soils from 0-30cm of depth and used data
timber. about the different systems from EARTH’s Carbon
Fixation Project. We made projections about other
Vol = BA x H x 0,5 systems for which no data was available.

The next step was to calculate the carbon content, 4.


which is the product of the volume multiplied by the Agricultural Systems
percentage of dry material (considered to be 50%) and
by the amount of carbon (C) in the dry material (which, Data from the Carbon Fixation Project was used to
according to the IPCC is 50%). calculate the amount of carbon in the aerial biomass
and soil of banana, oil palm, and silvopastoral
Content of C = Vol x 0.5 x 0.5 systems. With respect to heart of palm, data from
the literature about the Atlantic region was used.

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Carbon Stored by EARTH

The calculation of carbon fixed by the University’s tons of carbon in their aerial biomass and 31,500
forest cover took into account areas of natural forest tons in the soil. The annual aerial fixation capacity
(primary, secondary and riverine), plantations, and (not including soil storage) of these systems is
relevant crop and livestock production systems. 1,246 tons, which is equivalent to 4,573 tons of
CO2 annually.
EARTH’s forested areas cover 1,612 hectares. The
total amount of carbon fixed by this vegetation is All together, the agricultural and forestry
110,580 tons in aerial biomass and 112,840 tons systems at EARTH’s Guácimo campus have an
in soils to a depth of 30cm. The forest cover has annual aerial fixation capacity (not including
an annual aerial fixation capacity (not including soil storage) of 4,448 tons of carbon, which is
soil storage) of 3,344 tons of carbon, which is equivalent to 16,845 tons of CO2 annually.
equivalent to 12,272 tons of CO2 annually.

The University’s crop and livestock production


systems cover 450 hectares and can contain 2,200
Table 5
Carbon Stored on the Campus of EARTH University (Guácimo)

Area BA Alt Vol Vol Total C C Total C in the System Annual Annual
ha m2/ ha m m3/ha est m3 tons with BEF Soil Total Fixation Fixation
(1,6) Capacity Capacity
(t/ha/yr) (tons)

Forestry Resources of EARTH University

Institutional Project 260 20 25 250 65.000 16.250 26.000 18.200 44.200 4,0 1,040
Rotterdam 1 90 18 25 225 20.250 5.063 8.100 6.300 14.400 3,0 270*
Rotterdam 2 200 4 8 16 3.200 800 1.280 14.000 15.280 4,0 800*
Proforce Plots (Reforestation Project) 40 20 20 200 8.000 2.000 3.200 2.800 6.000 2,0 80
Immature Secondary Forest 30 15 18 135 4.050 1.013 1.620 2.100 3.720 3,5 105
Mature Secondary Forest 50 20 20 200 10.000 2.500 4.000 3.500 7.500 2,0 100
Primary Forest 650 18 25 225 146.250 36.563 58.500 45.500 104.000 1,0 650
Cacao Reserve 40 18 25 225 9.000 2.250 3.600 2.800 6.400 2,0 80
Riverine Forest 50 15 12 90 4.500 1.125 1.800 3.500 5.300 1,0 50
Trees in Fields 200 2 25 25 5.000 1.250 2.000 14.000 16.000 0,5 100
Live Fences 30 km 800 200 320 320 2,1 63
Landfills 2 20 20 200 400 100 160 140 300 2,0 4
Forest Cover 1.612 276.450 69.113 110.580 112.840 223.420 2,3 3.344
Agricultural Resources
Agricultural Systems 450 2.200 2.200 31.500 33.700 0 1.246
Heart of Palm 52 312 0 3.640 3.640 2,0 104
Banana 278 1.668 0 19.460 19.460 4,0 1.112
Plantain (area currently in natural regeneration) 40 0 0 2.800 2.800 0,0 0
Livestock 70 0 0 4.900 4.900 0,0 0
Oil Palm 10 220 0 700 700 3,0 30
Total 2.062 71.312,5 112.780 144.340 257.120 2,3 4.590

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Table 6
Total Carbon Fixation and Storage Capacity in the Guácimo Campus

Annual capacity to fix CO2 16.845 tons

EARTH University’s annual emissions 1.568 t CO2/year

Annual amount of fixed CO2 exceeding neutrality 15.277 t CO2/year

Annual amount of storage capacity (forest systems only) available to sell on the international carbon market 8.713 t CO2/yea

Total carbon stored on campus tons 257.120 tons

Carbon stored in forest system aerial biomass 110.580 tons

Carbon stored in forest system soils 112.840 tons

Carbon stored in agricultural and livestock system biomass 2.200 tons

Carbon stored in agricultural and livestock system soil 31.500 tons

The total amount of carbon stored in the


aerial biomass and soil of the forest,
agricultural and livestock systems is
257,120 tons (112,780 tons in aerial biomass
and 144,340 tons in the soil). This amount
is not being taken into account as part of
the carbon neutral initiative. We consider
this stored carbon to be an asset that could
potentially be used in future projects.

For our current initiative, we are only taking


into account the annual fixation capacity of
the natural and plantation forestry systems
(1 ton of carbon fixed by this biomass
equals 3.67 tons of CO2 removed from the
atmosphere).

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This plan calls for sustained efforts to motivate
people to be energy efficient and includes
Mitigation and Energy Efficiency developing and implementing informational and
educational campaigns. At the same time, the
University has made significant investments
in technology to increase the institution’s
energy efficiency. Over the past 7 years
the University has reduced by five percent
the energy consumed for illumination
by participating in the Central America
Project to adopt efficient illumination
technologies.

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In recognition of its work to increase energy
efficiency, EARTH received the National Energy
Prize (in the “Buildings” category) in 2001.
In confronting the crisis of global climate change,
EARTH University is taking action, not only to Similarly, the University has implemented research
capture CO2, but also to reduce the production of CO2 projects and extensive activities on alternative
by becoming more energy efficient. energy, such as biogas and the incorporation of
solar panels and collectors for illumination and
In this context, the University has developed and heating water.
is implementing a plan to raise awareness, adopt
technological innovations and conduct research In order to increase awareness among the EARTH
leading to greater energy efficiency. community about the impact of emissions on
climate change, in June 2007 one hybrid and three
The plan includes: electric vehicles were added to the institutional
transportation fleet. One of these vehicles,
• increasing awareness within the university which seats 14 passengers, provides internal
community; transportation on the University campus.

• improving energy efficiency (equipment and The other electric vehicles are used by the internal
installations); messenger service and to transport handicapped
visitors, and a small two-passenger pick-up truck
• researching and implementing alternative energy
sources; and

• reducing energy consumption.

This plan involves strengthening policies and actions


with respect to the efficient use of resources,
which the University has focused on since its
establishment.

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that is used for maintenance.

The hybrid, a Toyota Prius, one of the first in the


country, is used for on- and off-campus trips.

Other activities that help to mitigate the release


of greenhouse gases are reforestation and forest
conservation. The forested areas on EARTH’s
Guácimo campus cover 1,610 hectares, and include
natural forest (primary, secondary, and riverine)
reserves, reforested areas, and live fences. All
together, the trees on the University’s campus fix
3,202 tons of carbon annually.

These initiatives are all part of EARTH’s effort to


reduce the institution’s contribution to global warming
and reflect just one aspect of the University’s overall
social and environmental commitment.

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Total Carbon Fixation and Storage Capacity at the Guácimo Campus

1,568
tons
16,845
tons

of carbon dioxide of carbon dioxide


annually annually

Emission Fixation
15,277 tons
positive offset in the
amount of carbon
dioxide fixed annually

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In practice, this research will allow the University to
track the CO2 emissions of each unit, thereby being
EARTH’s Commitment able to better monitor the institution’s emissions.
The University hopes to share this experience and
methodology with other organizations that are
interested in carrying out studies of this type. As
with many of its initiatives, EARTH hopes that this
effort will motivate other organizations and that
its students will promote similar efforts in their
workplaces and communities after they graduate.

Over the past 20 years, EARTH University has fixed

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6,634 tons of carbon annually, which is equivalent
to capturing 24,346 tons of CO2 per year. This
amount of CO2 capture is valued at US $66,340.

Since its creation, the University has carried out


numerous initiatives in an effort to reduce the
impact of its operations on the environment, while
working proactively to protect biodiversity and use
natural resources wisely.

In this search for ways to help protect the


environment, and in response to worldwide concern
about the effects of climate change and global
warming, the University decided to analyze its CO2
emissions and compare this data with the impact of
its actions to mitigate and capture carbon.

Although this is a work in progress (there is


much research yet to be done), the University has
calculated that it has the capacity to fix 16,845 tons
of CO2 annually, while emitting 1,568 tons annually,
leaving a positive offset of 15,277 tons.

The study also determined the equivalent market


price of EARTH University’s carbon storage capacity.
In this way, the University can offer to sell carbon
credits to sectors that emit in CO2 an effort to
support mitigation.

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EARTH University

Tel: (506) 713-0000

Fax (506) 713-0001

P.O. Box 4442-1000

San José, Costa Rica

http:// www.earth.ac.cr