Energy Week is a carbon neutral event! What does that mean?

Carbon neutrality refers to a net zero carbon footprint. Net zero carbon emissions are achieved through balancing the amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.


What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide made in order to compensate or offset an emission made elsewhere. Specifically, one carbon offset means compensating for emitting one tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by preventing a tonne of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere elsewhere on Earth.


How does this tie into the work at Duke’s Carbon Offsets Initiative (DCOI)?

In order for Duke University to meet its goal of climate neutrality by 2024, approximately 185,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent-emissions per year will need to be offset, starting in 2024. DCOI currently manages two projects that generate carbon offsets. DCOI has been working with Google and Duke Energy on the Innovative Swine Waste Management project since May 2011. The Initiative has already piloted a home energy efficiency retrofit project targeted towards Duke employees, and is working on a new program that will be available to all employees who are interested in increasing the energy efficiency of their home or apartment. DCOI has also developed an urban tree planting project, where they partner with local schools and cities to plant trees along streets.


So how does this affect me?

The factors considered for the carbon emissions for Energy Week are: the number of attendees (like you!), where the attendees are coming from (if not local, the duration of their visit), food provided at each event, and building use for each event.