As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, Luther is obligated to measure its campus carbon footprint. This footprint is produced via direct emissions of greenhouse gases associated with combustion of fossil fuels for heating and transportation, indirect emissions associated with electricity purchases and finally other emissions related to solid waste, refrigerants, land use management, air travel, etc.
In the summers of 2007 and 2008, a student researcher worked closely with Luther’s director of facilities services to inventory all of Luther’s greenhouse gas emissions beginning with the 2002-03 academic year. The Clean Air-Cool Planet Carbon Calculator was used to conduct this study. Luther updates its carbon footprint annually. All data is available online.
Through May 31, 2015, Luther has reduced its carbon footprint 44.5 percent from its peak in the 2003-04 academic year—30 percent through investments in energy efficiency and nearly 15 percent via investments in wind and solar power.
With the installation of another 809 kilowatts (kW) of solar photovoltaic panels in Fall 2015, Luther expects to achieve its goal of cutting its carbon footprint in half by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year.