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Nitrogen Footprint

UC Davis is the first (and still the only) UC campus to measure our nitrogen footprint.

  • Our ongoing greenhouse gas inventory reporting is now complemented by a new environmental impact metric: the nitrogen footprint.
  • Since 2005, we’ve calculated annual campus greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories, and submitted those inventories in The Climate Registry; all of our inventories are independently verified by a third party. While our GHG inventory shows how much nitrous oxide (N2O) is emitted annually due to campus activities, it does not tell us the full story of our N-related environmental impacts. Since nitrogen in its multiple forms impacts local ecosystems in various ways, conducting an annual campus nitrogen inventory is a valuable addition to understanding our environmental footprint.
  • The campus nitrogen footprint calculation, which is completed in the SIMAP online tool, reports the amount of reactive nitrogen released to the environment both on campus and in production and waste streams for food, utilities, transportation, fertilizer, and agriculture sectors.
  • The student group S.E.E.D.S., with faculty advising, worked to calculate a nitrogen footprint for the UC Davis main campus for 2016-2018 inventory years. In 2019, that effort transitioned to the Sustainability office, to support the student group and enable them to focus on projects using the information from the footprint.


Assessing our nitrogen footprint is voluntary, and there are no UC policy goals for reactive nitrogen released to the environment.


Visit our interactive campus sustainability map and turn on the N Footprint layer to see a visualization of our nitrogen footprint.

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