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Hanley Sustainability Institute

University of Dayton carbon neutrality study a finalist for global AASHE award

By Mark Gokavi

A graduate assistant-led research paper on the cost of carbon neutrality at the University of Dayton has been named a finalist for a campus sustainability research award by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The paper was co-authored by former GA Ryan Shea along with Hanley Sustainability Institute executive director Ben McCall, UD energy efficiency and renewable energy manager Matthew Worsham, engineering professor Andrew Chiasson and ex-UD engineering professor Kelly Kissock.

The research, “A life-cycle cost analysis of transitioning to a fully-electrified, renewably powered, and carbon-neutral campus at the University of Dayton” said that UD’s conversion would increase costs by just 2.4 percent over a 30-year period. The paper was published in the journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments and an update to the study was discussed in a presentation during the recent 2020 Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education (GCSHE).

"It's a great honor to be one of the four finalists for AASHE's sustainability award for published research on campus operations," McCall said. "This recognition of our work shows how powerful it can be when graduate students, faculty and facilities personnel team up to tackle sustainability challenges. I hope there will be many more such impactful collaborations at UD as we work to meet our commitment to becoming a carbon neutral campus."

AASHE’s annual awards honor sustainability achievements, research advancements and student leadership by raising the visibility of high-impact sustainability projects and pioneering research. UD has earned a Gold rating in AASHE’s reporting system for sustainability.

AASHE will announce the winner of the 2020 Campus Sustainability Research Award during a free live online ceremony from noon until 1:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Registration is required.

More than 400 applications from around the globe were considered for the 40 finalists in several categories. Also in the published research in operations category along with UD’s entry are: Transportation Plan for Furman University; Understanding facility management decision making for energy efficiency efforts for buildings at a higher education institution co-authored by scholars from the University of Washington and the Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia); and U.S. Sustainable Food Market Generation Z Consumer Segments co-authored by scholars from Iowa State University, Washington State University and Yunnan University (China).

For more sustainability news and information, visit HSI’s news blog, the Hanley Sustainability Institute website and the sustainability program website. To sign up for HSI’s Sustainability Spotlight newsletter, register here.

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