Regardless of the fuel efficiency of a vehicle (either car, train, or plane), any consumption of petroleum results in the emission of combustion by-products, namely CO2. Specifically, one gallon of gasoline creates 8.8 kg of CO2. In order to mitigate the impacts of CO2 on the environment, many colleges and universities purchase carbon offsets. An offset does not directly remove CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, rather, offsets are purchased from an offset company. Proceeds made from offset purchases are used to support carbon reduction projects such as reforestation and renewable energy development. Instead of purchasing offsets that would take place in other locations, however, Oregon Tech will use carbon reduction sticker proceeds to directly reduce campus carbon emissions through energy conservation projects. This initiative is part of a school-wide effort to become climate-neutral by 2050 (view Oregon Tech Climate Action Plan).
In order to reduce Oregon Tech''s carbon emissions due specifically to student and staff commute (almost 7% of Oregon Tech' greenhouse gas emissions result from commuting), a voluntary carbon reduction pilot program was implemented fall of 2011. Student and staff commuters have the option of offsetting emissions produced from commuting through the $10 purchase of a carbon offset sticker when buying a parking pass.