UC’s Carbon offset program


The University of California (UC), as a part of meeting our 2025 carbon neutrality goal, is using our exceptional research capacity to develop a portfolio of high-quality carbon offset projects aligned with UC’s mission of research, education, and public service. Our offset program has two tracks: developing our own UC-initiated offset projects, and performing research and due diligence on offsets on the voluntary market. Ultimately, by releasing guidance materials and publishing our research we hope to advance understanding of how institutions can identify and support high-quality offset projects aligned with their mission.    


UC-Initiated Offset Program


UC is developing a portfolio of UC-initiated offset projects that reduce emissions or sequester carbon and that are initiated by faculty, staff, and students. UC released a Request for Ideas for UC-initiated offset projects in March 2019. In response, we received a strong set of 80 offset project ideas, from which twelve were chosen for awards. With this pilot phase, UC is exploring how to focus offset procurement on projects that fulfill the critical role that we as a major research university system play in climate change mitigation globally—improving understanding of scalable climate solutions and educating the next generation of solution-creators. If we are successful, this approach will reinvest our offset expenditures into projects that support and apply UC research, engage students, meaningfully reduce emissions, and advance climate solutions. 


Learn more about UC’s UC-initiated offset program


Research on voluntary market offsets


We are researching the quality of offset project types available on the voluntary offset market and developing due diligence methods for assessing individual offset projects. Our goal is to identify a pool of high-quality projects from which the campuses can procure offset credits. This work fulfills a critical research gap on the quality of offsets on the voluntary market and will inform UC’s and other institutions’ offset procurement decisions.


Learn more about our voluntary market research