Greenhouse Gas Inventories

II. Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Luther College has calculated its carbon footprint for each year from 2003 through 2009 using the Clean Air, Cool Planet Carbon Calculator. All data is publicly available online through the ACUPCC website. Initial carbon footprint calculations were completed by environmental studies students as part of a class project. Subsequent, more detailed calculations have been completed by student workers under the supervision of Richard Tenneson, Luther’s director of facilities. All calculations are referenced to budgets as a way to ensure accuracy in results. 

The following table shows Luther’s total greenhouse gas emissions from 2003 through 2009. These calculations come from the latest version (6.4) of the Clean Air, Cool Planet Carbon Calculator using custom fuel mix data provided by our electrical utility, Alliant Energy.

Year Total Emissions (metric tons eCO2)
2003 20,091
2004 21,384
2005 19,718
2006 18,271
2007 17,631
2008 18,288
2009 16,858

From a peak of 21,384 metric tons in 2004, Luther has achieved a 21 percent reduction in total emissions to a low of 16,858 metric tons in fiscal year 2009. Figure 1 shows total emissions by source for the past seven years.

Figure 1:  Total Emissions by Source  2003-2009

Figure 1: Total Emissions by Source 2003-2009


I. Introduction

II. Greenhouse Gas Inventories
In order to make a Climate Action Plan, Luther had to take stock of its carbon footprint. That process, and the results are outlined here.

III. Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies
Outlined in this document are Luther's plans for reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent by the year 2015 and plans for the campus' carbon neutrality goal.

IV. Education
Education is a key element in promoting sustainability on campus and throughout the world. By integrating these themes into the curriculum, co-curriculum, and research Luther will further its impact in the world of sustainability.

V. Research
Sustainability education can be furthered through the promotion of student and faculty research in areas related to sustainability.

VI. Outreach
Sustainable learning is not happening only on campus. Luther's efforts to promote sustainable thoughts and actions throughout the community is an important aspect of the Climate Action Plan.