The Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative
Duke University established The Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative (DCOI) to help meet the University’s carbon neutrality commitment. The DCOI’s mission is to develop local, state, and regional carbon offset projects that yield significant benefits beyond greenhouse gas emission reductions. Benefits the DCOI looks for in projects are additional environmental and public health protection, job creation opportunities, energy savings, and habitat protection.
In addition to building a bank of offsets to meet Duke’s 2024 neutrality commitment, the DCOI is responsible for:
- Where it is not possible to avoid or reduce emissions, supplying offsets to members of the internal Duke community who wish to offset their individual, departmental or special event emissions;
- Investigating emerging offset opportunities in North Carolina, the southeastern U.S., and other places across the U.S. and around the world where there is a clear nexus to the University’s activities; and
- Acting as a resource for others outside of Duke interested in pursuing offsets projects, thereby serving to facilitate and catalyze high integrity offset projects.
Please explore our website to learn more about the DCOI, carbon offsets, and the many ways the DCOI can help you or your group participate in offset projects, understand how to reduce your own greenhouse gas emissions footprint, and purchase offsets where it is not possible to avoid emissions.
In May 2011, the University’s first full-scale offsets project went operational. The project, located at the Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkin County, North Carolina, is an innovative waste-to-energy project that collects methane generated by hog waste and burns it to support the operations of the innovative system and create electricity for use on the farm. The destruction of the methane—a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide—creates GHG offsets, and the renewable energy generated by the system creates renewable energy credits (RECs). The system itself qualifies as an innovative animal waste management system, which means it meets stringent environmental performance requirements. The requirements were passed as part of the 2007 NC Swine Farm Environmental Performance Standards Act. For more information click here.
The project was developed through a partnership between Duke University and Duke Energy and with funding from a Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative between the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and the NC Lagoon Conversion Program.
In September, Duke University entered into an agreement with Google, Inc., by which Google will provide financial support to the project in return for a commensurate share of the offsets over a five-year term. For more information, click here.
View the following video about the collaboration between Duke University and Google, Inc.: