At TU, we use energy for electricity, heating and cooling. In FY 2014, Towson’s greenhouse gas emissions were 84,619 metric tons, or the equivalent of energy use from 7,712 homes. As Towson continues to grow, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations will continue to be a challenge.
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
In order to understand our impact and to measure progress, TU has commissioned studies on our greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations since 2007. The latest greenhouse gas inventory reports emissions from FY 2012 to FY 2014. Contact the Office of Sustainability to learn more about Towson's greenhouse gas emissions.
President’s Climate Commitment
TU signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. Our pledge is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent per full time enrollment by 2020, by 30 percent per FTE by 2030, and reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The President’s Climate Commitment also specifies that universities integrate sustainability into their curriculum, research, and community engagement. TU's ACUPCC committee is comprised of faculty, staff and students who meet monthly to plan and implement sustainability initiatives.
Better Buildings Challenge
In 2014, TU joined the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Challenge, committing to reduce the energy consumption of campus buildings 20% by 2020. As part of the challenge, the university will share best practices with other higher education institutions and use insights learned from fellow participants to inform campus energy reduction strategies and projects.
Climate Action Plan
TU’s Climate Action Plan summarizes the history of climate action at Towson and describes strategies to help the university increase sustainability education and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The most recent version of the Climate Action Plan, completed in 2013, outline 63 strategies the university should take to become carbon neutral.
• Towson University completed an $8 million Energy Services Company (ESCO) contract in August 2012. The project enabled the installation of 14,000 new lighting fixtures, 20,000 retrofit fixtures and 9,600 occupancy sensors in 35 of the university's 46 buildings. The project is expected to reduce the campus's energy costs by approximately $1 million a year.
• As part of the $8 million ESCO, the university installed daylight sensors on the main floor of the Cook Library, reducing the consumption of energy for lighting during daylight hours.
• In late 2010, the lighting fixtures on the east canopy of the Enrollment Services building were replaced with high-efficiency LED fixtures. The new lighting consumes 70% less energy than the previous fixtures.
• Electric SmartMetering systems have been installed in almost all campus buildings providing accurate, real time monitoring of electrical usage and demand.
• The campus fleet contains five electric vehicles which help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with university transportation.
• The university has two LEED Gold certified buildings—The College of Liberal Arts and West Village Commons. The University is committed to design, build and operate all future buildings and additions to at least Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver standard.
• The Campus Utility Plant Addition, completed in 2009, has expanded the production and distribution of heating, cooling and electricity on campus. The efficiencies gained from buildings being connected to the plant are expected to reduce the university’s cooling power consumption significantly.
• Towson University has engaged the services of a Curtailment Services Provider (CSP) to enroll in demand side management programs with the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) regional transmission organization. These programs provide cost incentives, usually based on wholesale market rates, for voluntary electrical load reduction during periods of high electrical demand in the regional area. For the University, these load reductions are usually gained through cutting back on chilled water generation, turning off non-essential equipment and lighting during peak demand hours.
• In 2011, Towson University received an estimated 8 percent of its purchased electricity from renewable sources. Of this 8 percent, approximately 6 percent was purchased as part of Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and the other 2 percent was achieved through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
Office of Sustainability
General Services Building, Room 132D (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.