Offset emissions that cannot be avoided, reduced, or replaced
Utilize carbon offsets
Carbon offsets benefit the global environment when organizations either create projects that capture emissions or invest in projects that increase the world’s supply of renewable energy. Purchasing offsets can help developing economies grow around the world. MSU has used offsets in the past as part of its involvement with the former Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). Through participating in the CCX, MSU helped shape offset protocol and definitions, as well as identifying opportunities to receive offsets through donations and gifts. Although the Chicago Climate Exchange is no longer active, MSU may continue to use offsets to address remaining emissions within the system.
Educate the community on MSU’s energy system and continue behavior change for energy conservation
Energy education should also continue in order to help the MSU community understand and participate in working toward the goals of the Energy Transition Plan. Campus behavior studies in 2008 showed that students had little understanding of MSU’s energy infrastructure or its impacts. Building reports confirm that many faculty and staff still do not practice energy conservation behaviors. Education alone will not produce the changes needed; however, it is a critical component to the cultural change needed to make the Energy Transition Plan work.
Since 2008, the EcoRep Program has worked with department representatives across campus to educate staff, faculty and students and promote behavior change. In addition, the Energy Educator Program was created to focus on helping people understand how they impact the energy systems in their buildings. Both programs have helped reduce energy use in buildings. Strengthening existing programs and creating new ones will continue to educate the campus on energy conservation behaviors and promote behavior change.