As part of the University of Cincinnati's obligations upon signing the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), within one year of signing, the University had to complete a comprehensive carbon inventory to determine its environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. A year later UC had to complete a climate action plan, detailing how the school was going to reduce its carbon footprint and eventually become carbon neutral.
UC’s original carbon inventory was completed on September 15, 2008 for the Uptown Campus. A second carbon inventory for the Uptown Campus was completed on September 15, 2010. The carbon footprint will continue to be calculated every two years. The carbon footprints of UC's other campuses will be calculated separately.
The University of Cincinnati used the Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) calculator, a standard among members of the ACUPCC, to determine its environmental impact in CO2 equivalent.
The University of Cincinnati completed its Climate Action Plan on September 15, 2009. The comprehensive document includes an in-depth study of the University's carbon inventory and existing practices in categories such as transporation, buildings, energy, education, outreach, etc. The Climate Action Plan then details possible solutions to making the University more sustainable and reaching its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
The Climate Action Plan included contributions from many individuals and offices on campus and was compiled and written by the President's Advisory Council on Environment & Sustainability (PACES).