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University City Reports GHG Emissions


UCity Comm by SectorUniversity City, a suburb of St. Louis, published a greenhouse gas inventory in 2009. University City studied community emissions and emissions from government operations for the baseline year of 2005. The latter are a subset of the former, but municipalities break them out separately because they have direct control over their own emissions, while they can only influence community emissions indirectly. Many municipalities also want to demonstrate leadership on the issue.

The report’s headline total does not include ghg emissions from the energy used to purify and supply University City with potable water. The report, however, does provide an estimate of those ghg emissions, and I see no valid reason to exclude them, so I have included them in my totals and in the graphic at left.

Total University City community emissions were 520,816 metric tons of CO2e. According to the report, this represented about 15.84 metric tons of CO2e per capita. This is below average compared to other municipalities.

UCity Comm by SourceThe first graph shows community emissions by sector. The residential sector was largest, accounting for almost half, followed by the transportation and commercial sectors.

The report does not have an overall summary of community emissions by source, but it provides information that can be used to construct one. The second chart at right shows the results. As we have found in many municipalities, consumption of electricity was the largest source of ghg emissions.

The report delves into the ghg savings resulting from University City’s composting and recycling programs. These programs prevented emissions of 14,926 and 2,428 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, respectively. While significant, combined they represent about 3% of University City’s total community emissions. Composting and recycling programs are not primarily designed as ghg reduction strategies, they provide other benefits.

UCity Govt by SectorThe third graph shows emissions from University City government operations in 2010. Government buildings accounted for the most emissions, followed by streetlights. The large percentage of emissions represented by streetlights is unusual – much more energy was being consumed than in other municipalities. As a result, University City undertook a reevaluation of their streetlighting policies.

Oddly, the University City community ghg emissions look more like Maplewood’s than any other municipality. There is a similar feel to those two communities, and emissions in both are dominated by the residential sector.

Thanks to Lois Sechrist who alerted me to the University City inventory. If anybody else knows of any other inventories I’ve missed, please let me know by commenting on this post.


Heneberry, Joe. 2010-2011 Baseline Greenhouse Emissions Inventory and Forecast, City of University City, MO. University City Home Page » Boards and Commissions » Green Practices Commission » University City Greenhouse Gas Inventory. http://apps.ucitymo.org/WebLink8/DocView.aspx?id=42630&page=4&dbid=0.

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