Green building earns benefits through carbon credit sales

 

In two years, the operation of Douglas Hall as a green building has reduced UIC’s carbon footprint enough to qualify for a sale of carbon credits to Chevrolet, which will retire the credits, making the environmental benefit permanent.

Douglas Hall was remodeled and certified as meeting LEED gold standards in 2012. From July 2012 to June 2014, it has prevented the release of 770 metric tons in carbon dioxide, said Cindy Klein-Banai, associate chancellor for sustainability.

Chevrolet and UIC may continue the arrangement over 10 years, adding up to potential revenue of $35,000 to $40,000 for UIC, Klein-Banai said. The funds will support the Office of Sustainability’s internship program.

Although the sale to Chevrolet concerns only Douglas Hall, UIC has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in many other areas, including energy-saving retrofits at three Science and Engineering buildings, the Engineering Research Facility and others, Klein-Banai said.

“We continue getting more people to walk, bike, use public transit and carpool to campus. And keeping materials out of the landfill by recycling and food waste composting reduces methane emissions, which is a powerful greenhouse gas — 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide,” she said.