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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Study Shows University Reduces Carbon Footprint Over 5-Year Period

Carbon footprint went down by 6.8 percent from 2011-12 through 2015-16, according to study.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 6-1-2017

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Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Environmental Committee has completed a study that shows the University reduced its carbon footprint by 6.8 percent over a five-year period (from the academic year 2011-2012 through 2015-2016).

A carbon footprint is an accounting of all the greenhouse gases resulting from University activities in one year, principally from the use of electricity, the combustion of natural gas to heat buildings and for hot water, and tailpipe emissions from cars and buses for commuting to and from campus.

The Environmental Committee attributed the reduced carbon footprint to two principal causes.

The first was through the Public Buildings Enhanced Energy Efficiency Program administered by the State of Minnesota and brought to campus by former Minnesota State Mankato Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management Ron Fields in 2012-2013.

By increasing the efficiency of the University’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, the Public Buildings Enhanced Energy Efficiency Program reduced the University’s carbon footprint by 4% and electricity and natural gas costs by $220,000 a year, at an initial net cost of $13,000.

The second major cause of the decrease, according to the Environmental Committee, was a greater number of students either walking to campus instead of driving or not commuting at all.

Joining Fields in administering the study were Louis Schwartzkopf and Gary Urban from the Environmental Committee. The complete study is available online.

For more information about the study, contact Schwartzkopf at or 507-387-4811.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Environmental Committee was organized during the 2008 fall semester at the direction of University President Richard Davenport. The Environmental Committee is unique in that its membership is composed of employees from each of the University’s bargaining units along with Minnesota State Student Association representatives and engaged students. Information on Environmental Committee initiatives are available online at

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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