What is the CAIP?

CAIP Solutions Matrix illustrating the strategies intertwined in the style of a transit map. At the top are the 4 UIC Climate Commitments plus the Teaching and Learning strategy.  Below are the Portfolio solutions and the Additional Strategic Solution of the Climate Action Implementation Plan.  The first Climate Commitment, 1 Carbon Neutral Campus is connected by an orange line to CAIP Portfolio Solutions of: Strategy 1.0 Energy Efficiency and Conservation ( 1.1.1 Strategic Energy Management, 1.2.1 Building Standards (2025 IECC), 1.2.2 Energy Conscious Campus),  Strategy 2.0 Clean and Renewable Resources (2.1.1 Indirect (10 year) PPA, 2.1.2 Onsite (10 year) PPA - Solar PV Rooftop Generation, 2.2.1 Onsite Power Plant Electricity Production) , and Strategy 3.0 Reduced Transportation-Related Emissions (3.1.1 Transportation Demand Management (TDM), 3.2.1 Fleet Efficiency (Fuel Switch), and 3.2.2 Air Travel Carbon Offset Program) 1 Carbon Neutral Campus also connects to CAIP Additional Strategic Solutions of: Strategy 1.0 Energy Efficient and Conservation (1.1.2 SEM: Green Revolving Fund) and Strategy 3.0 Reduced Transportation-Related Emissions (3.2.3 Inter-Campus Travel). The second Climate Commitment, 2 Zero Waste is connected by a purple line to CAIP Portfolio Solution Strategy 5.0 Sustainable Materials and Reduced Waste Streams (5.2.1 Operational Waste Collection Efficiency) as well as to CAIP Additional Strategic Solutions 5.0 Sustainable Materials and Reduced Waste Streams (5.1.1 Department and Unit Zero Waste Plan, 5.2.2 Construction and Demolition Waste, 5.3.1 Food Scrap Collection, 5.3.2 Food Recovery, 5.4.1 Purchasing Process, 5.4.2 Revenue Generating Contracts, and 5.4.3 Purchasing Policies). The third Climate Commitment, Net Zero Water Campus is connected by a blue line to CAIP Additional Strategic Solution Strategy 4.0 Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services (4.1.1 Green Stormwater Infrastructure Implementation Plan, 4.2.1 Building-Level Water Metering, and 4.2.2 Manual and Low-Flow Fixtures).  The fourth Climate Commitment, Biodiverse Campus is connected by a green line to CAIP Additional Strategic Solution 4.0 Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services (4.3.1 Campus Habitat Pollinator Plan, 4.3.2 Tree Care Plan, 4.3.3 Productive Land Use for Local Food). The Teaching and Learning Climate commitment is connected by a yellow line to CAIP Additional Strategic Solution Strategy 6.0 Teaching and learning (6.1.1 Sustainability Course Rubric, 6.1.2 Sustainability-Related Courses for General Education Credit, 6.1.3 Interdisciplinary Sustainability Majors, Minors, and Certificates, 6.1.4 Faculty Expertise,, 6.2.1 Learning Opportunities, 6.3.1 Research Beyond Campus, 6.3.2 Interdisciplinary Research, 6.3.3 Funding Opportunities).

The main objective of the Climate Action Implementation Plan (CAIP) is to help UIC accelerate through the phases of implementing tangible solutions. The CAIP derives from initial strategies of the 2009 UIC Climate Action Plan (CAP) as well as the Short-Term Action Items and Aspirational Goals of the 2016 UIC Climate Commitments. Both ultimately led to the development of a refined cost-effective portfolio of solutions to be implemented by 2028; as well as a variety of additional strategic solutions to be supported, developed, invested in, implemented, or reevaluated on a 5-year incremental basis through 2050.

Due to the dynamic administrative, financial, legislative, and technological landscape it is difficult to provide certainty in the proposed solutions beyond the ten-year framework. Nonetheless, a visionary approach is represented.

METHODOLOGY

Strategies of the 2009 UIC Climate Action Plan. Strategy 1.0 Energy Efficiency and Conservation. Strategy 2.0 Clean and Renewable Energy Sources. Strategy 3.0 Improved Transportation Options. Strategy 4.0 Improved Grounds Operations. Strategy 5.0 Recycling and Reduced Waste Streams. Strategy 6.0 Employment Strategies.

The broader field of sustainability is experiencing a paradigm shift from quantifying potential for GHG emissions reduction, to capturing the monetary savings associated with green initiatives. With this in mind, the Office of Sustainability (OS) sought out Fovea LLC for their expertise working with higher education institutions. The OS collaborated with Fovea to provide facilitation, data visualization, and scenario planning for UIC.

 

Evaluating Tools

10.	Average Annual GHG Reduction Potential graphed as a horizontal bar chart. The solution of Operational Waste Collection Efficiency can save over $800 per MTCO2e avoided, but only reduce GHG emissions by less than 200 MTCO2e. Another example is the solution of SEM: Energy Conservation Measure (ECM) will save just $60 per MTCO2e avoided but can reduce over 52,000 MTCO2e GHG’s. 11 solutions listed have a cost savings and 6 solutions listed have a cost. However, the costliest solution is Biogas Fuel Alternative with a cost of $30 per MTCO2e avoided, however, the GHG reductions are astronomical, over 80,000 MTCO2e!

In order to understand the financial implications of a potential solution, one should have a granular understanding of the financial aspects that comprise it. The (Fovea) CAP Tool financial model considers impacts on (1) capital expenditures (CAPEX), (2) operational expenditures (OPEX), (3) purchased commodities, and (4) carbon pricing to find solutions that will work in a variety of possible futures. The next step was to model potential solutions for UIC using available data in accordance with assumptions built in the CAP Tool. The corresponding graph displays many of the solutions evaluated.

Solutions for UIC were subsequently prioritized based on their impact on

  1. Energy Purchases ($),
  2. Operating Expenses (OPEX) and Capital Expenditures (CAPEX),
  3. Total Cash Flow ($),
  4. Average GHG Abatement (MTCO2e per year),
  5. Percentage of Average Forecasted Emissions (%), and
  6. Levelized Cost of GHG Abatement ($ per MTCO2e).

In addition, factors for consideration included availability of external grants and funding mechanisms, alignment with UIC’s Strategic Priorities, and other previously mentioned UIC strategic plans. Each CAIP Portfolio Solution can be attributed to either an Aspirational Goal or Short-Term Action Item from the UIC Climate Commitments.

The Additional Strategic Solutions proposed in this plan cannot be quantified through the Fovea CAP Tool model (given its focused specialization in GHG reduction impacts) or are still in varying stages of development. However, the additional strategic solutions are still vital investments in that the refined portfolio of solutions (to date) excludes other significant areas of planning, such as waste, water, biodiversity, and student success. Utilizing historic and forecasted financial data, along with costs for achieving these goals, solutions can be assessed for reaching all of UIC’s Climate Commitments. However, utilizing historic and forecasted financial data along with costs for achieving the goals in these areas, solutions can be assessed for reaching all of UIC’s Climate Commitments (namely): Zero Waste Campus, Net Zero Water Campus, and Biodiverse Campus.