Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.79
Liaison Courtney Stoner
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

American University
OP-2: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.00 / 8.00 Courtney Stoner
Sustainability Analyst
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 7,522.73 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 6,955 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 466.22 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 983 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported electricity 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 28,663 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported thermal energy 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 7,988.95 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 36,601 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine net carbon sinks:
Performance year Baseline year
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 30,723 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 storage from on-site composting 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon storage from non-additional sequestration 67.16 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent ---
Carbon sold or transferred 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Net carbon sinks 30,723 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the carbon sinks, including vendor, project source, verification program and contract timeframes (as applicable):

7,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents carbon offsets were purchased 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 offsets are for FY17, FY18, and FY19).

6,500 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents carbon offsets were purchased in FY18 to offset our Scope 3 commuting emissions. AU invested in the planting of 650 trees planted annually in DC through Urban Offsets and in partnership with the Anacostia Watershed Society. Emissions from commuting are offset through local tree plantings in DC with the Anacostia Watershed Society and Urban Offsets. These local offsets align with the local commuting emissions being created by students, faculty, and staff traveling to and from AU. While the trees are growing large enough to become verified offsets, AU also uses offsets from wind power in India to match emissions from commuting. The contract term is FY18 through FY20.

11,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents carbon offsets were purchased in FY18 to offset Scope 1 emissions and Scope 3 landfilled waste emissions through investment in landfill gas capture and use. Landfill gas capture projects turn garbage into power. As organic waste breaks down without oxygen, it releases methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Through the installation of gas collection and control systems, these projects result in the destruction of powerful greenhouse gases, and the gas can be burned in a generator to create renewable electricity. The contract term is for FY18-FY19.

3,000 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents carbon offsets were purchased in FY18 to offset university-related travel and emissions from Airlie, the farm. These offsets, also through Terrapass, are for efficient trucking technologies and additional landfill gas flaring.

An additional 3,223 Metric Tons of CO2 equivalents carbon offsets were purchased from Hernando County Landfill Electric Generation.

The figure under "Carbon storage from non-additional sequestration" is from compost, but does not come back on-site to campus.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Adjusted net GHG emissions 0 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):
Performance year Baseline year
Start date July 1, 2018 May 1, 2004
End date June 30, 2019 April 30, 2005

A brief description of when and why the GHG emissions baseline was adopted:

The GHG emissions baseline was set in FY05.


Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance year Baseline year
Number of students resident on-site 4,140 3,200
Number of employees resident on-site 14 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 13,452 10,000
Full-time equivalent of employees 2,910 2,500
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1,057 0
Weighted Campus Users 12,517.25 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 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:
100

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
4,415,975 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 20,960 Square Feet
Healthcare space 2,653 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 84,214 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
4,547,415 Gross Square Feet

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

A brief description of the institution’s GHG emissions reduction initiatives:

AU uses a variety of strategies to reduce GHG emissions.

Firstly, efficiency strategies and engagement initiatives have decreased our energy use per square foot.

Second, AU purchases renewable energy credits and developed onsite and offsite renewable energy to match the electricity used on campus. ("Gross emissions" to refer to emissions before carbon offsets have been applied, but after RECs and other renewables have been - scope 2 is "0" here. See OP-6 for the clean and renewable electricity sources.)

Finally, The remaining emissions have been offset (see description of carbon sinks).

Gross scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources were reduced by more than 50% from the baseline year, due to things like changing the shuttle fuel to biodiesel, and using an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy in grounds.


Website URL where information about the institution's GHG emissions is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Although the floor area of building space excludes 3201 New Mexico Ave, the emissions inventory does not exclude this space in the calculations.

Emissions from Airlie are not included in this STARS report, but we include Airlie in our annual GHG reporting to Second Nature.

AU became the first university to achieve Carbon Neutrality in 2018.

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.