UW Commencement (photo courtesty of UW)
University of Washington Commencement (photo: UW)

The end of spring means graduation and many opportunities to shine a light on our graduates’ accomplishments. In appreciation of their contributions to the College of the Environment and in celebration of their achievements, the College has purchased and retired 400 carbon allowances for the more than 400 graduates in the Class of 2014.  Recognizing our students as the next generation of leaders in environmental science and decision-making, we believe this is a contribution that showcases our collective commitment to the sustainability and well-being of our society and our planet.

Based on the recommendation of our new Student Advisory Council and experts who work in the field, the College purchased the carbon allowances from the Sandbag Climate Campaign. Each allowance that the College purchased retires one metric ton of carbon that would have otherwise been emitted into our atmosphere. By retiring these allowances, 400 metric tons of carbon have been taken out of circulation forever, which is the equivalent of preventing the burning of over 45,000 gallons of gasoline per year. Ultimately, this reduces the total amount of carbon that can be emitted by everyone in the global system, which has lasting benefit for environmental and human health.