The University’s activities and operations, including commuting to and from the University, result in emissions that contribute to poor air quality and impact health. It is a University priority to be a model for what can be done to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
What the University is Doing
Air Quality Task Force and Report
In 2013, the University convened a cross-disciplinary committee to recommend actions to reduce the U’s emissions. The task force released a report in 2015 with strategies designed to lessen the institution’s overall contribution to poor air quality. Since the release of the report, team leaders across campus have implemented multiple solutions from the report.
Air Quality Research
The University’s Program for Air Quality, Health and Society brings together researchers and collaborators from multiple disciplines to study the effects of air quality on human health and to discover ways to reduce or mitigate the negative impacts on individuals and society.
Air Quality Monitoring
The University collects emissions data for its greenhouse gas emissions inventory, which it reports annually to the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. The data informs decisions and strategies for improving campus operations. Additionally, the Atmospheric Trace Gas & Air Quality lab monitors air quality in real-time throughout the valley and provides data publicly online.
Air Quality Compliance
The Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) department manages the University’s compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Utah Division of Environmental Quality through projects, programs, reports, inspections, permit management, record keeping, and coordination with Facilities Management and other campus partners. The OEHS staff works with the sustainability office in identifying immediate and future opportunities to incorporate leading practices that contribute to meeting University air quality goals.
What You Can Do
You can improve our air quality by making smarter choices, such as bicycling, taking public transit, not idling vehicles, turning off electrical equipment, and reducing waste. University staff, faculty, and administration can also incorporate better choices in how they perform day-to-day business operations and purchasing.