Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ranking Universities on a New Criteria: The Carbon Footprint

We know that Harvard has the largest endowment in the U.S and that Princeton has the largest endowment per student and we know that UCLA has the most charming Professors, but which university has the smallest carbon per-capita footprint of all? Which school is being the best "global citizen"? With everyone talking about "carbon footprints", here are a couple of links.

Which Universities will be willing to take costly actions to reduce their carbon footprint? similar to Gary Becker's model of discrimination, will universities take some of their endowment income and allocate it to being a "moral company"? Or do they anticipate that with carbon pricing on the horizon that pre-emption is simply good business that also appeals to politically active students?

I am quite impressed by what UC Berkeley has put together here in its analysis of itself. I haven't read through the report yet but I would like to know whether they discuss the marginal cost of different CO2 reduction strategies. For example, at UCLA I have suggested that nobody drive to work by car but instead we give everyone rollerskates. What is the marginal cost (including lost time and accidents) from this suggestion?

UC Berkeley CO2 Footprint Trends