The University of North Carolina Greensboro has launched a program to offset the school’s carbon footprint. The initiative also aims to improve housing conditions for local residents. 

A program known as the Spartan DRIVE Fund (Drivers Reducing Individual Vehicle Emissions) was initiated by UNCG’s Office of Sustainability. School employees, students, and alumni can contribute $15 annually to offset commuter emissions. A carbon offset reduces or removes greenhouse gases in one place to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. 

Those who bike, bus, walk to campus, or work from home can still contribute to help offset the emissions of others. 

A portion of the funds raised will be contributed to Community Housing Solutions, a nonprofit that offers home repairs, including weatherization improvements, to low-income homeowners in Guilford County. Additional funding will be invested in campus-wide energy efficiency improvements.

Sean MacInnes, the sustainability specialist at UNCG, says the program provides benefits for students and the environment. 

"We want to take care of the place where we're living and studying for the majority of our time," says MacInnes. "And having a better built environment is proven to increase worker productivity and work satisfaction, and it definitely improves learning outcomes for students."

The UNC System Sustainability Policy requests that schools be carbon neutral by 2050. 

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