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ERIC Number: EJ800451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Developing Ecological Footprint Scenarios on University Campuses: A Case Study of the University of Toronto at Mississauga
Conway, Tenley M.; Dalton, Chelsea; Loo, Jennifer; Benakoun, Laura
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v9 n1 p4-20 2008
Purpose: The ecological footprint represents a simple way to assess the amount of materials consumed and waste produced by a given entity. The approach has been applied to countries, towns, households, and more recently university campuses. One of the challenges of using the ecological footprint at a university is the difficulty of determining how large the footprint should be. The authors have developed a calculator specific to the needs of a university campus, and applied it to the University of Toronto at Mississauga (UTM). Rather than focus on the overall size, the purpose of this paper is to instead create several scenarios to help communicate the relative impacts of alternative actions. Design/methodology/approach: An ecological footprint calculator appropriate to the campus was developed and applied to UTM. Three scenarios were then created on-campus electricity generation versus electricity purchased from the grid, current commuting patterns versus those expected if a student bus pass is adopted, and use of virgin office paper versus recycled office paper. Findings: The results of the calculator suggest that energy consumption represents the largest component of UTM's footprint, followed by commuting to campus. Practical implications: The relative benefits of on-campus electricity generation, increasing public transit use, and the adoption of recycled paper are all highlighted through the scenario calculations. Originality/value: This paper presents a way to avoid the difficulty of determining how large a university's footprint should be through the use of an alternative scenario method, which provides an easy way to communicate the impacts of consumption decisions to a campus' community. (Contains 1 figure, 5 tables, and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)