What is carbon neutrality?

Carbon neutrality is just like it sounds – making carbon emissions neutral, or equal to zero. For a large organization like UCSB, this means balancing the campus’s carbon emissions and reductions so that they have no carbon-related impact on the environment. 

Why is UCSB going carbon neutral? 

In fall of 2015, Chancellor Henry Yang signed the UC-wide pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2025. When UCSB uses energy from fossil fuels, the UCSB campus contributes to global carbon emissions and climate change. As fossil fuel energy use continues, so too do the impacts of climate change, both around the world and close to home. That is why UCSB is working towards being part of the solution to climate change through carbon neutrality, improving environmental health, and investing in the future resiliency of UCSB’s campus  and the surrounding communities. UCSB can be one of the world’s first large-scale, public universities to reach carbon neutrality, setting an example for other global universities to follow in its footsteps.    

How is UCSB getting to carbon neutrality?

Achieving carbon neutrality can be accomplished in many ways such as reducing energy demand, increasing energy efficient technologies, using more renewable energy, purchasing carbon offsets, or combinations of all the above.

UCSB is working towards carbon neutrality with achievements in energy efficiency, green building practices, and sustainability education. But in order to reach this ground-breaking goal, UCSB must continue to build on its success and make strong commitments to integrating carbon neutrality into the long-term strategy of the campus. 

This is where Carbon Zero comes in…

Who is Carbon Zero and what are they doing? 

Carbon Zero is a team of graduate students from UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management working in conjunction with the Institute of Energy Efficiency  to evaluate additional emission reductions options at UCSB, explore financial options for capital-intensive energy saving projects on campus, and develop an engagement strategy to generate more momentum and support for carbon neutrality efforts among the UCSB administration and student body.