Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.33
Liaison Austin Eriksson
Submission Date Dec. 10, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Northridge
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.43 / 10.00 Nikhil Schneider
Energy and Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Planning, Design & Construction
"---" 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 None
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations None
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 All
Other categories None

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:

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report for California State University,
Northridge was prepared in accordance with the standards established by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and adopted by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The inventory was done using a custom tool designed in SkySpark by CSUN's Energy Information Systems contractor, which is based on the Excel version of Clean Air – Cool Planet’s Campus Carbon Calculator, CPCC (v6.75). Emissions are divided into Scopes 1, 2 and 3 as defined by those standards. Data for Scopes 1 and 2 are complete for this time period and have been taken from Monthly Energy Reports (MERs), prepared by the campus energy manager and submitted to the Chancellor’s Office. These Monthly Energy Reports are compiled from billing data, meter data, fuel and refrigerant purchases, and include all refrigerant, fuel and electricity used on-site and in campus fleet vehicles and equipment.

Data for Scope 3 emission includes commuting and business travel, which are compiled in two different ways. Business travel data is extracted from CSUN's online travel reporting tool. Arrival/destination data on each flight is given to Facilities' GIS specialist, who calculates mileage to and from each destination for every destination listed. This is multiplied by the total number of flights to and from each destination to calculate total air miles traveled.
Reimbursed gas miles are calculated based upon the reimbursement amount visible in each travel record. Dividing this amount by that year's reimbursement rate (usually around $0.50/mile) gives the exact mileage traveled for each record.
For rental vehicles, the mileage was estimated based upon an average of 25 miles driven per day. This average was determined based on the university-funded travel experiences of those compiling the report as well as feedback from coworkers, also factoring in a AAA study estimating that US citizens drive an average of 29.2 miles per day. The slightly lower number was chosen because most travelers on overnight trips select lodging close to their destination. This 25 mile/day figure was multiplied by the number of days each trip took place to calculate the total rental vehicle miles.
For commuting data, a campus-wide survey is distributed to faculty and staff asking about commuting modes, distance, frequency and other information. A similar survey is distributed to students and usually receives between 1-2 thousand responses. This survey also asks for vehicle make and model, which is then used to estimate an average MPG for commuter's vehicles. Population data is then used in conjunction with modal split data for each cohort (students, faculty and staff) and multiplied by the various emissions factors associated with different types of travel (diesel bus, electric rail, personal vehicle, etc.) to form a complete snapshot of commuting emissions.


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:

Data is compiled by several entities including our campus Energy Manager, Institute for Sustainability, Environmental Health and Safety, Central Purchasing, Facilities Planning Office, etc. All the data is reviewed by the Director of Energy and Sustainability or Energy and Sustainability Coordinator, who then enter it into the calculation tool. Additionally, data is viewed by CSUN's EIS contractor, who offer support for the tool and are able to identify outliers/missing data.


Documentation to support the internal and/or external verification process:
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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 9,116.24 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 13,720 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 1,017 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 17,791 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 24,609 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 27,924.24 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 38,329 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 Jan. 1, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 1990 Dec. 31, 1990

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):

California implemented the legally binding Global Warming Solutions Act
3 (AB32) in 2006, which commits the state to reducing its emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and by an additional 80 percent by 2050.


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):
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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 0 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:
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Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 27,924.24 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 38,329 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 2,423 1,360
Number of employees resident on-site 103 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 2 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 32,111 24,968.50
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 3,327 2,475
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 3,256 0
Weighted campus users 24,770 20,922.63

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 1.13 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 1.83 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
38.46

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
6,196,426 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 100,344 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 107,114 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
6,504,228 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 2,179.74 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 42,826.08 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Capital goods 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

CSUN has worked extensively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all three scopes across all sectors of university operations. The Job Order Contract program, which performs minor-capital construction projects through outside contractors, has partnered with sustainability staff to include new LED fixtures with smart controls into all remodel projects. Facilities sustainability staff have worked closely with the CSUN electric shop to retrofit the last 168 exterior walkway light fixtures to LED’s from the older metal halide lamps, which used more than four times the wattage. Through this partnership, multiple spaces in buildings across campus have received new, more efficient lighting systems. New lighting projects are constantly being identified and completed across campus. CSUN has also partnered with an outside company to re-lamp the campus’ parking structures with LED T8 bulbs to replace compact fluorescents.
Other equipment beyond lighting has also been a focus of campus efficiency efforts. Last year, two gas-powered trucks were replaced with electric carts, five older gas-powered trucks and vans were replaced with newer more fuel-efficient versions, one gas-powered cart was replaced with an electric equivalent, and three gas-powered trucks, two carts, and two mowers were retired. This has significantly reduced the size of CSUN’s gas-powered fleet, and such transitions will continue to be explored.
An upgraded HVAC package unit atop a campus building resulted in over 13,000 kWh savings per year. Two kilns in the Art Department were also replaced with more efficient versions. Additionally, CSUN is in the process of replacing eight old cooling towers with two newer, larger units equipped with VFD’s, and will be adding VFD’s to two condenser water pumps and four other cooling towers at the campus’ central and satellite plants. CSUN is also in the process of replacing over a mile of heating hot water pipe with newer, better-insulated piping, which will reduce the load on CSUN’s boilers.
Until August of 2018, about 14% of CSUN’s power was generated by a fuel cell cogeneration plant, which was fed off of natural gas. Waste heat was used to feed the campus heating hot water loop and heat a nearby pool. When the 1-megawatt plant was first installed in 2008, it was cleaner than the grid electricity available through the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. In recent years, LADWP’s electricity has become cleaner while the fuel cell maintenance became more frequent and costly. By decommissioning the fuel cell, CSUN will purchase more, cleaner power from LADWP. It will also reinvest the avoided maintenance costs into a rooftop solar array on a new parking structure.
While CSUN is building a new parking structure, it has also taken steps to reduce scope 3 emissions, which make up over 50% of The University’s emissions. The launch of LimeBike on campus has given tens of thousands of students greater access to alternative mobility options, especially as numerous public transit hubs are situated just a mile off campus. An estimated 30% of CSUN students could bike to class within 22 minutes, and we hope that by increasing access to bicycles, more students will consider it as a viable mode of transit. Currently over 10,000 CSUN students use LimeBikes on a regular basis. CSUN’s Transportation Working Group is also developing a no-idling policy to reduce unnecessary idling on campus and educate campus users about GHG reduction efforts.
In October 2017, CSUN opened the doors on its new LEED Platinum Sustainability Center. The net-zero building features composting toilets, advanced HVAC zones with variable refrigerant flow, maximized natural daylight harvesting, greywater harvesting, roof-mounted solar water heating and PV panels, and more. The building houses campus recycling operations and various sustainability program staff. It also features a live, interactive digital dashboard which displays data from the building’s 21 utility submeters. Thus, occupants and visitors can see how much electricity is being generated and consumed by various building fixtures, water consumption, greywater harvested and more. In this way, the building directly displays the impacts of occupants’ behavior to actively encourage more sustainable behavior. This building serves as a model for applied sustainable building technology, and inspires the campus to view future construction projects as opportunities to continue building CSUN’s legacy as a leader in sustainability.


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