About

The Carbon Offset Fund is a student- run program that allows members of the William & Mary community to compensate for their personal carbon emissions by donating to projects that reduce energy use on campus. The Fund is a part of the Committee on Sustainability’s Science and Technology advisory subcommittee.

The Committee on Sustainability and Facilities Management identify potential energy efficiency improvements around campus. The objective of this program is to provide funding for projects with longer payback periods that might not be possible otherwise and to raise awareness of climate change and energy use on campus. Using information about the cost of project implementation and the project’s lifetime energy savings, we have calculated the price of equivalent CO2 reductions.

How We Calculate Offsets

The College’s Committee on Sustainability and Facilities Management have identified potential energy efficiency improvements around campus. Using information about the cost of project implementation and the project’s lifetime energy savings, we have calculated the CO2 equivalent reductions per dollar per year for relevant energy projects.

Ground Transportation:

Bus = 0.300kg CO2/mile x $0.058 = $0.018/mile
Amtrak = 0.191 kg CO2/mile x $0.058 = $0.012/mile
Car = 0.444 kg CO2/mile x $0.058 = $0.027/mile

Air Transportation:

Short (3000 miles) = 0.175 kg CO2/mile x $0.058/kg CO2 = $0.011/mile

Project Calculations:

Total cost = $22,144
Annual energy use reduction = 67,510 kWh/year
Lifespan = 10 years
Total energy use reduction = 675,100 kWh
CO2 emissions per kWh = 0.57 kg CO2/kWh
Total emissions reduction = 675,100 kWh x 0.57 kg CO2/kWh = 384,807 kg CO2
Cost per unit CO2 reduction = $22,144/384,807 kg CO2 = $0.058/kg CO2

Activity calculations adapted from:

Christopher M. Jones and Daniel M. Kammen, Quantifying Carbon Footprint Reduction Opportunities for U.S. and Communities. Supporting Materials. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2011, 45 (9), pp 4088–4095.