Environmental Club Members Lead Carbon Removals Purchase at RVCC
Raritan Valley Community College students recently spearheaded the efforts for the College’s first carbon removals purchase. Carbon removal refers to the process of eliminating carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it, which is done to counteract greenhouse gas emissions. Like carbon offsets, carbon removals are sold by the ton of carbon dioxide removed.
The carbon removals purchase covers just over 1% of RVCC’s emissions from on-campus fossil fuel use in fiscal year 2023. Combining it with the College’s past purchase of carbon credits for the remaining 99%, along with renewable energy credits for 100% of purchased electricity, makes the College slightly carbon negative for energy use for the first time.
RVCC is the first institution to work with Second Nature, a national nonprofit working to accelerate climate action in higher education, to buy vetted carbon removals. The College used Second Nature’s online dashboard, which was created in partnership with Patch. Students in the College’s Environmental Club utilized the dashboard to research carbon removal options. The club members collectively decided to buy a mix of highly durable removals from CO2-capturing concrete, as well as nature-based removals from US pastureland regenerative agriculture and reforestation of a severely burned Montana forest.
The project "was a great way for us to help the College address its climate impact. We learned about carbon removal pathways that we’d never heard of before,” says RVCC Environmental Club Co-President Isabella Scricco. RVCC Sustainability and Energy Coordinator Sue Dorward, who has a Master's Degree in Carbon Management, supported the club members throughout the process.
Second Nature has partnered with Patch to help colleges and universities learn about high-quality offsets and removals projects on an accessible, transparent platform. “Participants share knowledge about project types, inform research or student-learning objectives, and experiment with portfolio approaches that meet their values in different ways,” explains Meredith Leigh, Climate Program Manager, Second Nature.
The College’s Environmental Sustainability Committee sponsored the project with funds from a book donation bin that were matched by the Facilities department. The RVCC Foundation also provided College Community Fund Grant support, which was matched by a generous donor.
Ranked by WalletHub.com and Intelligent.com as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute, and 3M Observatory; a Theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an Honors College for high achieving students.
The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.
About Second Nature
Second Nature supports colleges and universities on their journeys to decarbonization and explores strategies for meeting their climate goals, including entering the carbon credits market. We have partnered with Patch to provide a selection of cutting-edge and nature-based carbon credits. Campuses are invited to join the Second Nature dashboard and create a free profile on Patch’s platform to easily view projects, learn about the project types offered, and purchase carbon credits, all in one place. For additional information, visit https://secondnature.org/.
Patch is the platform accelerating climate solutions with integrity. Patch builds technology to help organizations manage, sell, and buy carbon credits with greater transparency and rigor. Companies use Patch to access the broadest network of vetted carbon credits from across the VCM. Carbon credit suppliers use Patch to enhance operational efficiency and precision, and modernize their buyer experiences — with over 400 million tonnes of carbon actively managed on Patch. To help rebalance the planet, visit www.patch.io.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2024
(RVCC) Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383
(Patch) Katie Lyons, email@example.com