Talks & Lectures
22 Mar 2022
Virtual Event

Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series: Peer Reviewed Offsets for University Carbon Neutrality Goals

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

Alex French


This talk will review Clarkson's progress towards their 2025 carbon neutrality goal. The presentation will separately discuss progress and future strategies for scope 1 (on campus emissions from HVAC, fleet vehicles, etc), scope 2 (emissions associated with electricity), and scope 3 emissions (commuting, travel, etc). Scope 3 emissions will receive the most attention in this presentation. Clarkson is working with the Second Nature Offset Network to develop a peer reviewed carbon offset project that is being carried out through student experiential education opportunities. Clarkson has partnered with a local land trust to establish a permanent conservation easement on private land. A carbon benefit is generated based on "avoided conversion." Students are involved in forest inventory work as well as protocol development. This same hands-on process for generating carbon offsets can be done with other climate mitigation activities (e.g. refrigerant management, urban forestry, etc.) using the peer review process developed by Second Nature's Offset Network in order to address scope 3 emissions for institutions of higher education.


Alex French is the Assistant Director of Sustainability at Clarkson University where he received an M.S. in Environmental Policy with a research focus on forest carbon. At Clarkson he works on implementing and tracking both social and environmental sustainability initiatives as defined by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Alex serves on the Board of Directors for the Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A) Collaborative which focuses on habitat connectivity through the A2A region. He has work experience in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Mexico. He lives in Potsdam, NY with two young sons and enjoys hunting, exploring the Adirondacks, and gardening.

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