Carbon offsetting in higher education

Carbon offsetting in higher education

As the effects of climate change continue to be felt globally with increasing severity, there is an increased desire among private sector actors to do something about the looming catastrophe.

One part of the solution is voluntary carbon offsetting - the mechanism of transferring money from polluters to green projects that are removing CO2 from the atmosphere, or preventing it from getting there in the first place. The market for voluntary carbon offsets has transferred over $150m to green projects to date in the US, according to our estimates.

American universities are increasingly looking at the voluntary carbon market to offset their emissions, driven by environmentally-conscious students and staff demanding more from their educational institutions.

In this report, we explore what universities are doing to offset their emissions - who is leading the way in terms of offsetting the most credits, the projects they are choosing to offset with, and, in a few cases, the projects universities have set up to offset their emissions (and to allow others to offset).

Our data comes from publicly-disclosed information available on carbon offsetting registry websites. It also only focuses on US universities offsetting emissions in the US. If data for your university is missing, please get in touch and we’ll be able to add you to our database.

Institutions of higher education have a tremendous responsibility to educate future generations. By taking tangible steps to reach carbon neutrality, they are providing a roadmap for others to
do the same. If you’d like to learn more about the data and information in our report, please reach out to

Anton Root
Head of Research

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