UMD was a charter signatory to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2007, and set a goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. While overall the university’s carbon footprint has been reduced, air travel emissions have increased 52% in the past decade. To counteract this trend, the Carbon Neutral Air Travel Initiative was developed with an ultimate goal to eliminate the university’s air travel carbon footprint.
A committee is developing a plan, which will likely involve required carbon offset purchases for university-related air travel, and will be presented to the University Sustainability Council. Plan details will be available to the public when finalized.
A progress report in late 2018 asserts that the university offset 100% of air travel emissions through verified carbon offsets and sponsored tree plantings with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.