Climate change is a major threat to the planet’s life support system. To avoid the most adverse impacts (at 1.5 C threshold), global carbon emissions must be reduced 45% from a 2010 baseline by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Universities have a key role and responsibility to address the urgency of the climate crisis through our research and education missions. Accelerating progress to carbon neutrality requires an understanding of current emissions and alternative pathways that will dramatically reduce energy demand and shift energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a modeling tool for comprehensive accounting of greenhouse gas emissions associated with products and technologies. This talk will present life cycle based energy and carbon footprints for a wide range of products and carbon reduction strategies and interventions. Key findings from the Center for Sustainable Systems research on automobiles (conventional, lightweight, electrified, autonomous), buildings (whole buildings, appliances, lighting), and food systems (various food types and diets) will be highlighted to inform future carbon neutrality research, technology development, consumer choices, and policy.
Dr. Greg Keoleian is the Peter M. Wege Endowed Professor of Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan and serves as Director of the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS). He is co-founder of the Center which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2016. He has appointments as Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and as Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He earned his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1987.
His research focuses on the development and application of life cycle models and sustainability metrics to guide the design and improvement of products and technology. He has led over 100 life cycle studies of diverse systems including analyses of conventional and alternative vehicle technology, renewable energy technologies, buildings and infrastructure, consumer products and packaging, and a variety of food systems. Over the past three decades he has collaborated with a wide range of businesses across diverse sectors, national labs, and government agencies at the national, state and local level.
He helped launch the Engineering Sustainable Systems dual masters’ degree program between the School for Environment and Sustainability and the College of Engineering to train a new breed of engineers in sustainable systems. He teaches interdisciplinary graduate courses on sustainable energy systems and industrial ecology.
He served a two-year term as the President of the International Society for Industrial Ecology from 2011-2012. He currently serves on the University of Michigan’s President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality.
Notre Dame connection: relative of Ara Parseghian, former ND football coach
Registration is required by 1:00 p.m. (EST) the day of the talk to receive a Zoom link to join. This series is open to the Notre Dame community and general public.
Originally published at energy.nd.edu.