Climate Change

Developing University of California’s Carbon Offset Procurement Strategy

The University of California (UC) system has committed to reducing its net GHGs to 1990 levels by 2020 (all scopes), and to zero by 2025 under its Carbon Neutrality Initiative (scopes 1 & 2). UC campuses are reducing their emissions by implementing climate action plans that encompass strategies including a shift to 100% carbon-free electricity, building efficiency, building electrification, clean vehicles, biomethane, and other measures such as those that align with the University’s zero waste goal and Global Food Initiative. UC campuses also anticipate needing to procure offsets to get all the way to zero emissions after implementing all other feasible emissions reduction strategies.

  • Barbara Haya
    Research Fellow, CIEE
  • Camille Kirk
    Director and Campus Sustainability Planner, Office of Sustainability, UC Davis
  • Eric Eberhardt
    Director of Energy Services, UC Office of the President
  • Cynthia Clark
    Renewable Energy Manager, UC Office of the President
  • Micah Elias
    Graduate Student Researcher, Energy & Resources Group, UC Berkeley
  • Mason King
    Graduate Student Researcher, Civil & Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley
  • Harry Lam
    Post-Grad Intern, Civil & Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley

The purpose of this project is to develop UC’s strategy for procuring offsets that are high quality, support scalable climate solutions, and fulfill the University’s research, education, and public service missions.

This project has two parts:

We are exploring ways that we can reduce emissions and generate carbon offsets by investing in our own research, staff, and students. To this end, in March 2019, we released a Request for Ideas for UC-initiated carbon offset projects to the entire UC community. In response to this solicitation, we received over eighty ideas for university-initiated projects that reduce emissions or sequester carbon, and grow out of the research, work, ideas, and collaborations of members of the UC community.

We are researching the quality of offsets available on the voluntary offset market in search of project types and individual projects that are high quality and also have co-benefits.

Please let us know if you’re interested in being involved in this effort or know of high quality offset projects on the voluntary market – you can email Barbara Haya.