Voluntary Carbon Offsets: A Way Forward for the Sustainability Movement at Dalhousie?
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With the establishment of the Dalhousie Office of Sustainability in 2007, Dalhousie University confirmed its commitment to sustainably operating the university. In less than two years of operation the office has already identified access to capital for investments as being the main factor limiting its ability to pursue its mandate, particularly when it comes to investing in greenhouse gas emission reducing projects. The establishment of a voluntary carbon offset fund capable of receiving capital from individuals looking to offset personal greenhouse gas emissions has the possibility of providing such capital for said investments. Through the distribution of a survey, this study looked to gauge the willingness of the greater Dalhousie community to participate in such a carbon offset fund, while at the same time investigated how such a program would be structured and administered. It was found that there was considerable willingness in the greater Dalhousie community to participate in such a program. It was also found that respondents to the survey wanted to be involved with the administration of a fund, and that such a program would have to be transparently administered and structured to encourage participation. It is recommended that further research be carried out investigating the feasibility of a Dalhousie administered carbon offset program. Given the potential such a program has for progressing the sustainability movement at Dalhousie University, it is felt that relevant persons at Dalhousie should pursue this idea with zeal and vigour.