Yale Wins Prize for Preventing Most Carbon Emissions in “Think Outside the Car” Contest

October 12, 2015

Go New Haven Go (GoNHGo) marked the end of its month-long campaign to get individuals out of their cars with an alternative transportation contest and Yale University won a prize for “the most transportation emissions prevented by a large business.”  Yale employees cut an astounding 84,660 lbs. of CO2 emissions (that’s 42.33 TONS!)! Contest winners included participants who used their cars the least and traveled sustainably the most.

GoNHGo organizers hosted an event on October 9 to celebrate the campaign’s success and recognize the winners of the alternative transportation contest. Other winning organizations for most carbon emissions prevented and highest percentage of participating employees include the New Haven Independent, SeeClickFix, and Gateway Community College. Five individuals were also awarded for the most emissions prevented by commuting sustainably. Participating organizations prevented a total of 74.12 tons of emissions, over 16 times the amount prevented during the September 2014 campaign.

Rob Klee, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, spoke at the event about the importance of reducing transportation emissions and achieving the state’s aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 80% below 2001 levels by 2050. “Eighty percent by 2050 is a big number. What it means is a lot of initiatives like Go New Haven Go, that can be translated, packaged and shown to other communities. What you’re doing here, is demonstrating that it works, people enjoy it, it brings new people out, it brings new connections. Finding ways to replicate this model in other cities is what we’re going to have to do,” said Commissioner Klee.

Melissa Goodall, Associate Director of the Yale Office of Sustainability, said, “Yale is a lead institution on Go New Haven Go because it is an important way to both get people moving and ultimately help clean up the air in New Haven. What is exciting about this award is that it demonstrates that we have champions throughout the university. My guess is that many of this year’s participants were already using active transportation to commute and get around.  My hope is that next year we increase our numbers with folks who are inspired to try something new.”

Although the alternative transportation contest ended in September, GoNHGo will continue to provide resources on commute planning, personal vehicle use reduction, and active transportation projects in New Haven. Learn more here.

By Brianne Mullen, Yale Sustainability