Oregon University System Climate Action Plan

The Oregon University System (OUS) represents over half of all state owned facilities in the state of Oregon. Recognizing the large impact that the seven universities make on the environment, OUS has made a commitment to sustainably designing, building, operating, maintaining, and renovating their campuses. For over six years, OUS has continuously worked on sustainability initiatives in support of the Governor’s aggressive goals to mitigate the impacts of global warming through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education has asked that the system develop a coordinated plan to address this issue, and the physical planning effort is largely addressed through the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Climate Action Plan. The system’s seven university presidents are signatories to the ACUPCC, agreeing to develop a climate action plan with target dates and metrics to achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible. 

The OUS selected McKinstry to assist them with creating an action plan to inventory the emissions of their existing facilities and evaluate carbon mitigation strategies today and for the future. McKinstry performed a review of existing facility data and utility data analyses to understand energy efficiency measures that have taken place and to understand the current energy performance of the OUS facilities. McKinstry performed energy audits of a sample of different campus facility types – from dormitories to central plants to understand current facility performance and develop energy conservation strategies. From these initial audits we created a framework to extrapolate the data on a campus wide basis, and a university system wide basis to identify potential climate mitigation scenarios. We have identified Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by which the universities can measure their energy and carbon performance. Based on our analysis of OUS owned facilities we have created a master plan for the OUS to mitigate its carbon emissions in the most environmentally impactful and cost effective manner.                                                                                  

Project Team:

Owner – Oregon University Systems

Engineer – McKinstry

Education, Energy, Consulting, Oregon


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