Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.17
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

American University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.01 / 10.00 Hannah Moskowitz
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted a GHG emissions inventory that includes all Scope 1 and 2 emissions? :
Yes

Does the institution’s GHG emissions inventory include all, some or none of its Scope 3 GHG emissions from the following categories?:
All, Some, or None
Business travel All
Commuting All
Purchased goods and services Some
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations All
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 All
Other categories All

A copy of the most recent GHG emissions inventory:
A brief description of the methodology and/or tool used to complete the GHG emissions inventory, including how the institution accounted for each category of Scope 3 emissions reported above:

American University uses Sightlines who enters the data they gather into the SIMAP calculator.


Has the GHG emissions inventory been validated internally by personnel who are independent of the GHG accounting and reporting process and/or verified by an independent, external third party?:
Yes

A brief description of the internal and/or external verification process:

American University partnered with third-party firm Sightlines, a Gordian company, to conduct a greenhouse gas inventory as part of a sustainability analysis and benchmarking service. Sightlines’ proprietary process quantifies data from source documents (such as energy bills) and verifies the results by reviewing them with campus facilities and sustainability staff. Inputs are updated yearly, verified using a standard process, and handled using Sightlines’ internal data processing tools. Emissions are calculated using the methodology established by SIMAP, formerly the Campus Carbon Calculator, which is the most commonly used tool for calculating GHG inventories across the higher education sector.


Documentation to support the internal and/or external verification process:
---

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 and Part 3 of this credit? (reductions in Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions):
Yes

Gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 6,897.61 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 6,955 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 1,044.81 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 983 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 10,862.30 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 28,663 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 18,804.72 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 36,601 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year May 1, 2016 April 30, 2017
Baseline Year May 1, 2004 April 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the GHG emissions baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

The GHG emissions baseline was set in FY05.


Figures needed to determine total carbon offsets:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased (exclude purchased RECs/GOs) 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Institution-catalyzed carbon offsets generated 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon sequestration due to land that the institution manages specifically for sequestration 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon storage from on-site composting 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon offsets included above for which the emissions reductions have been sold or transferred by the institution 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Net carbon offsets 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the offsets in each category reported above, including vendor, project source, verification program and contract timeframes (as applicable):

7,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents Carbon offsets were purchased in FY17 to offset our Scope 3 study abroad emissions. AU invested in the Paradigm Project, an endeavor that benefits communities in Africa by empowering women, providing jobs for women, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation. AU's investment in the carbon offsets from this project enables the Paradigm Project to offer financial assistance to families in Kenya to help pay for wood-burning cook stoves as well as to help expand the Paradigm Project's distribution channels. The stoves are designed to burn wood efficiently thereby reducing the amount of firewood the women in the community will need to collect as well as improving indoor air quality for families. The contract term is from 1/1/2017-12/31/2019.


Emissions reductions attributable to Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) or Guarantee of Origin (GO) purchases:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Emissions reductions attributable to REC/GO purchases 11,511.48 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the purchased RECs/GOs including vendor, project source and verification program:

RECS are purchased from Carbon Solutions Group. The Verification provider is Green-e. They are generated as a result of renewable energy generation (wind and solar) during the period of 7/1/16-12/31/2018.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 7,942.42 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 36,601 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 3,895 3,200
Number of employees resident on-site 13 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 12,504 10,000
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 2,756 2,500
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 871 0
Weighted campus users 11,768.75 10,175

Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user 0.67 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3.60 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
81.24

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
4,553,431.82 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 107,561.57 Square Feet
Healthcare space 4,815 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 35,582.98 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
4,813,767.94 Gross Square Feet

Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
0.00 MtCO2e / GSF

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year:
Emissions
Business travel 4,184.07 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 4,303.27 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 272.19 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Capital goods ---
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 2,186.22 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 468.27 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories 5,557.25 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the institution’s GHG emissions reduction initiatives, including efforts made during the previous three years:

AU uses a variety of strategies including purchasing renewable energy credits, developing onsite and offsite renewable energy, employing energy efficiency strategies, and a variety of engagement and education initiatives.

7,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents Carbon offsets were purchased in FY17 to offset our Scope 3 study abroad emissions. AU invested in the Paradigm Project, an endeavor that benefits communities in Africa by empowering women, providing jobs for women, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation. AU's investment in the carbon offsets from this project enables the Paradigm Project to offer financial assistance to families in Kenya to help pay for wood-burning cook stoves as well as to help expand the Paradigm Project's distribution channels. The stoves are designed to burn wood efficiently thereby reducing the amount of firewood the women in the community will need to collect as well as improving indoor air quality for families. The contract term is from 1/1/2017-12/31/2019.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity decreased from the baseline year to the performance year as a result of efficiency and solar energy use. American University partnered with George Washington University and George Washington University Hospital to develop solar within our electricity grid and now 50% of electricity used on campus is provided by those panels. Green-E certified RECs are purchased for the remaining electricity used on campus.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.