Abstract

A case study of a university campus in a tropical area has been analyzed. Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), one of the leading public polytechnic higher education institutions in Ecuador, is located in Guayaquil in the Guayas province. ESPOL has around 12300 students and 1740 faculty members and administrative staff. The climatic conditions are defined as dry tropical forest and have two main seasons, one with rain and high humidity and one that is dry. Average day temperature is 28°C. Air conditioning is required throughout the whole year. The carbon footprint (CF) has been calculated for the university campus as prescribed by the ISO 14064 International Standard for greenhouse gases (GHG) Emission and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Resources Institute (WRI). Results indicate that the major contributor to the CF of the ESPOL campus is electricity generation off–campus with 66%. The CF per student is 0.406 tons CO2e which in comparison with information of other higher education institutions (HEIs) campuses is low. This is mostly associated with the CF of the electricity generated in Ecuador which is above 80% renewable. Additionally, a comparison of HEI cases based on their CF has been done. Further mitigation of GHG emissions is possible by energy efficiency measures at the building and transportation level.

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