For the first time ever, the University of Pittsburgh has calculated its nitrogen footprint. This process was completed as part of the University’s now annual greenhouse gas inventorying process. For fiscal year 2019 (FY19), Pitt’s gross nitrogen footprint totaled 185.31 metric tons; including 0.06 metric tons offset by composting, the University’s official net FY19 nitrogen footprint is 185.26 metric tons.
Pitt used the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP) to calculate its nitrogen footprint, which measures “the amount of reactive nitrogen released to the environment from a campus’ resource consumption. Examples of reactive nitrogen include water pollutants nitrate and ammonium, air quality pollutants ammonia and nitrogen oxides, and the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. According to SIMAP, “Reactive nitrogen can result from everyday activities like food service, energy use, transportation, and ground fertilizer. Reducing your nitrogen footprint can provide benefits to air quality, water quality, and climate change.”