Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.79
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date May 26, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado College
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.31 / 10.00 Michael Brubaker
Campus Operations & Plant Manger
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include all Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions?:

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include all Scope 3 GHG emissions from any of the following categories?:
Yes or No
Business travel Yes
Commuting Yes
Purchased goods and services No
Capital goods No
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 No
Waste generated in operations Yes

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include Scope 3 emissions from other categories?:

A brief description of the methodology and/or tool used to complete the GHG emissions inventory:

To complete the GHG emissions inventory, Colorado College utilized the Clean Air-Cool Planet (CAPC) as its emissions calculation tool. CACP is based on well-reviewed methodologies from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The tool provides an accessible and well-documented platform for maintaining the greenhouse gas inventory. It is targeted specifically at colleges and universities, allowing for easy comparison with other institutions.

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?:

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

The GHG inventory is conducted by a lead GHG Inventory intern and volunteer team memebers (studetns) who work for the Office of Sustainability. The Sustainability Director maintains a Greenhouse Gas Inventory Quantifier certification through CSA Group (CSA Groups is the third-party oversight to ISO Standard 14064/5 that deals with quantification of greenhouse gases). The Sustainability Director reviews and validates the information collected and submitted by the Greenhouse Gas Inventory Team.

Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 5,987 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 7,318 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 332 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 452 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 11,406 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 13,380 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine total carbon offsets::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Institution-catalyzed carbon offsets generated 597.50 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 11.80 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 12 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 1,280 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 39 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the institution-catalyzed carbon offsets program:

CC offsets carbon emissions through its four solar installations on campus. The College invested in its first solar project during the 2007/2008 fiscal years, installing panels onto the Edith Gaylord roof (39,600 kWh). During 2011/2012, it purchased panels for the Worner Center (63,000 kWh) and in 2012/2013 for KRCC (3,240 kWh) and the Children's Center (25,200 kWh). In 2014, CC installed new solar arrays on the El Pomar Sports Center (278,000 kWh/yr), the Cornerstone Arts Center (164,600 kWh/yr), Spencer Center (18 kW array), Synergy House (4.3 kW array), and the Dean's house (10.7 kW array). In 2015, the college installed a new solar array at the Baca campus (31 kW array) of which the college owns the RECs.

In addition, the institution generates offsets through its Energy Audit and Retrofit Program. The program offers students enrolled in the "Energy" (EV 212) course an opportunity to learn the science and mechanics behind energy audits and retrofits through hands-on practice and community-based service. After conducting the audit and obtaining an air exchange value, students work to improve the building's efficiency by installing additional insulation. The project targets low-income neighborhoods and typically results in one completed house per year. However, even though the program has reduced emissions, there is not sufficient data to include these offsets in the number for "institution-catalyzed carbon offsets generated".

A brief description of the carbon sequestration program and reporting protocol used:

A brief description of the composting and carbon storage program:

In 2011, Colorado College added commercial composting to its solid waste services. The program accommodates all pre- and post consumer food waste from dining & catering and paper towel waste from campus bathrooms. Compost waste is handled through CC's facilities management contractor Sodexo and is hulled from the college to a waste management site via a local company Bestway Disposal. Compost used on-site at the CC Farm is purchased from an off-site facility. Additionally, the grounds department has a composting bin for landscaping waste.

A brief description of the purchased carbon offsets, including third party verifier(s) and contract timeframes:

In November 2012, the College purchased 230 kW of solar panels in SunShare's solar garden project. As part of this purchase, the College receives all energy produced by the panels for the next twenty years and renewable energy certificates from SunShare each year. For the 2013 academic year these certificates totaled 462 MWh's. The college has purchased four shares for offsets at solar gardens.

Beginning in 2012, CC has purchased blocks of green power from Colorado Springs Utilities on a monthly basis. The wind power is generated from the Ponnequin Wind Facility, located along the Colorado-Wyoming border. One block is equal to 100-kilowatt hours of electricity. Colorado College has purchased enough blocks to generate 2,000,000 kWh. REC's have been verified through Green-e, an independent certification program.

Additionally, the college has purchased two new shares with CSU of which CC now owns the RECs.

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 1,548 1,480
Number of residential employees 17 28
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 2,096 1,996.50
Full-time equivalent of employees 667 685
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 0 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2013 June 30, 2014
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

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

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
2,056,875 Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 195,825 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 32,584 Square Feet

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year::
Business travel 1,452 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 1,548 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services ---
Capital goods ---
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 ---
Waste generated in operations 989 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories (please specify below) ---

A brief description of the sources included in Scope 3 GHG emissions from "other categories":

A copy of the most recent GHG emissions inventory:

The website URL where the GHG emissions inventory is posted:
A brief description of the institution’s GHG emissions reduction initiatives, including efforts made during the previous three years:

Colorado College is committed to meeting its 2020 carbon neutrality goal. In the first four years, as directed by the Sustainability Plan drafted in 2009, Colorado College reduced carbon emissions by more than 20% and saved $1.74 million in utility costs. Utilities management at Colorado College has become an area of increased emphasis. In FY13 CC experienced continued success in decreasing energy use and costs campus-wide. Cumulative avoided costs for utilities are estimated in excess of $2.1M since the 2008 baseline. Recent and notable accomplishments include: hiring of a full-time on Campus Energy Manager; developing the Carbon Neutrality Plan through collaboration between the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Services, and the Campus Sustainability Council; increasing renewable energy purchases via wind from Colorado Springs Utilities and solar from SunShare; introducing Sofame Heat Recovery at the Central Heating Plant, the building of various solar arrays on buildings around campus including the dean's house, Synergy house, Gaylord Apartments, The Worner Center, El Pomar Center, and Cornerstone Arts Center. The Dean's house and Synergy House are now net-zero buildings.

A Campus-Micro Grid is in the initial stages of execution. This project would create a campus micro grid to reduce carbon emissions by combining heat and power processes, reduce energy costs by peak shaving, and provide infrastructure to critical infrastructure to support emergency operations. Currently during a power outage, CC can operate the central plant, but does not have power to circulate water through the buildings connected to the high temperature hot water distribution system. This project would construct a 400kW combined heat and power system at the central plant. The system would run off of natural gas and provide emergency power to the Worner Center to support cooking operations and El Pomar for use as an emergency shelter. The system would achieve carbon savings and payback by operating in parallel to with the utility grid during summer peak demand periods. This would reduce demand at the central plant, also know as peak-shaving.

LED lighting in Schlessman pool and also Honnen Ice Arena replace light bulbs with more energy efficient LED bulbs, reducing GHG emissions generated from coal. LED lighting has been implemented throughout campus grounds as well.

Additionally, a retro-commissioning of Cornerstone Arts Center was started in the spring of 2016. The project will reduce the overall energy intensity of the building and ensure that the building is performing as efficiently as possible.

CC Carbon Neutrality Plan: http://rs.acupcc.org/site_media/uploads/cap/1155-cap.pdf

The greenhouse gas inventory includes Colorado College's main campus, the Florissant CC Cabin, and the Baca Campus at Crestone, Colorado. Properties owned by the College but managed by external entities were excluded from the inventory, because the College is not responsible for the occupancy or maintenance of utilities for the associated buildings.

2015 Energy Report:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.