Chevrolet has announced a green house gas reduction initiative, which entails buying carbon credits from various colleges and universities in the United States.
Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. and Valencia College in Orlando, Fla. are the first two schools to participate in the program. The schools will earn carbon credits for upgrades to their campuses that reduce green house gas emissions, which Chevrolet will then buy.
Chevrolet says the program marks the first time college campuses can use carbon performance methodologies to make money via green house gas reductions.
“Historically, campuses purchased other organizations’ carbon credits to help achieve carbon neutrality,” Eban Goodstein, director of Bard College’s Center for Environmental Policy in New York, said in a statement. “Now they are earning revenues for the carbon reductions achieved right on their own sites, where the long-term clean energy benefits lie for their community.”
The program is part of Chevrolet’s goal set in 2010 to prevent up to 8 million metric tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere.
The money Chevrolet provides from the carbon credits will go towards additional energy efficiency retrofits at Valencia College, while Ball State will earn the money from installing the world’s largest geothermal energy system at a U.S. college.
Robert Koester, professor of architecture and chair of the Ball State University Council on the Environment, says most schools would not be able to reduce their carbon emissions without funding like what has been provided by Chevrolet.
“Without such third-party financing of this type, most colleges and universities would not be able to capitalize on the more significant investments needed to bring down their carbon load on the atmosphere.”