Ball State University is collaborating with the Chevrolet Carbon Reduction Initiative (CRI), Climate Neutral Business Network, Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and Steftelsen Det Norske Veritas in researching and piloting a new methodology whereby colleges and universities can access the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) to drive carbon reduction more deeply; to reach more quickly their American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment climate neutrality.

Chevrolet established the CRI to promote clean energy projects throughout the country. Realizing that there was not a useful means for colleges and universities to access the VCM they turned to the collaborators noted above to examine the needs of the Higher Education sector and develop the tools that would enable participation by that sector in the VCM.

Ball State University is the first university to step forward to engage in the needed research and to pilot the implementation of the qualifying methodology; whereby universities performing in the upper national percentile of clean energy and energy efficiency projects can qualify for the support from Chevrolet and then extend their carbon market participation beyond that initial investment.

Under the university’s contract with BEF, Ball State is publishing a running log of its experience, discoveries and recommendations regarding the use of the VCS to drive carbon reduction more deeply. The first version of that research report is available for download here.

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Project Database documentation can be found here.

14 October 2016:

Ball State University (BSU) Interim President Terry King in consultation with his Sustainability Working Group has formally endorsed a change to the university’s Climate Neutral Commitment date; moving the neutrality target from 2050 to 2030.

Ball State University was one of the founding signatories to the ACUPCC and more recently signed the new Climate Leadership Commitment which includes both the Carbon Commitment and Resilience Commitment.

This change of target date results, in part, from the university’s installation of a district-scale geothermal (closed-loop, ground-source) heat-pump-chiller heating and cooling system.

This change is supported further by the BSU piloting of a new methodology funded by Chevrolet and conducted in collaboration with Climate Neutral Business Network, AASHE and ten other participating institutions. Use of this methodology is now supported by the Second Nature (SN) Carbon Credit Purchasing Program (C2P2) by which continuing carbon reduction credits are transacted on the Voluntary Carbon Market as a means of funding the steps needed to achieve the accelerated carbon reduction goal.

With this (new) source of “carbon capital” Ball State University can move more quickly toward full implementation of the nine tiers of its Climate Action Plan.

  1. Transparent Monitoring and Reporting
  2. Energy Conservation: Geothermal District H&C
  3. Energy Conservation: Information Technology
  4. Energy Conservation: Transportation
  5. Energy Conservation: Buildings
  6. Energy Conservation: Policies
  7. Electrical: On-Site Solar-Photovoltaic (PV) Production
  8. Electrical: Off-Site Wind-Energy Production
  9. Electrical: Off-Site PV Production

Once the climate neutral carbon reduction target is achieved, the university will cease participation in the Voluntary Carbon Market so as to retire against the climate (at that time and for subsequent years) its net zero carbon emissions.