44th Annual Society for Case Research & Global Jesuit Case Series Summer Workshop

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Should Southern California universities be waste-to-energy hubs by implementing bio digesters for sustainable cities?

It is well-known that CO2 emissions contribute to global warming and climate change, which can significantly cause severe impacts and consequences for humans and the environment (Ahmed et al. 2020). On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed the instrument to bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement (Blinken, 2021). Per the terms of the agreement, the United States officially became a party in the agreement again, reaffirming its national commitment to a global clean energy future. California lawmakers set even more ambitious goals – carbon neutrality across all sectors of the economy by 2045. In the face of these developments, universities had the opportunity to contribute to this effort by becoming “Waste to Energy” hubs for their surrounding cities. This case study explored the topic by examining the feasibility of building biodigesters on campuses to convert organic waste from surrounding cities to energy (e.g., electricity, heat, natural gas).