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Progress Toward UMD Carbon Neutrality

Dear University of Maryland community,

Over the past decade, due to the inspired commitment of faculty, students, and staff, our campus has reduced carbon emissions by 27 percent, even as we grew by 11 percent. 

We also integrated sustainability more deeply into our educational and research activities. Our campus created the Sustainability Studies minor (now the most popular minor on campus),​substantially increased recycling on campus, and ​develop​ed​ new energy technolog​ies​.

The Climate Action plan of 2014 took steps to (1) reduce energy consumption, (2) purchase only electricity generated renewably, and (3) make all new buildings carbon neutral.

Now, we are launching Campus Climate Action 2.0, a comprehensive effort to reduce within the next three years our campus’ carbon footprint to one half of its 2005 level.  Achieving this milestone will help ensure our progress towards the ultimate goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

This updated plan will (1) offset carbon emissions from air travel by purchasing carbon offsets, (2) offer incentives to encourage carpooling or use of public transit, and (3) change purchasing practices to reduce the carbon footprint of the products we use.

Our campus has also joined the “We Are Still In Coalition," ​given the U.S. government's intent ​to withdraw from or re-negotiate the ​Paris climate accord.​

Thank you to Carlo Colella, VP for Administration and Finance, and his team for leading the climate action plans. And thank you to everyone on campus for your continued commitment to the goal of a carbon-neutral University.


Wallace D. Loh