Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.84
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Cornell University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.96 / 10.00 Steve Beyers
Facilities Environmental & Energy Engineer
Facilities Engineering
"---" 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 Some
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:

1) Obtain fuel records
2) Obtain purchased electric records
3) Calculate consumption
4) Determine commuting mileage
5) Determine air travel mileage
6) Input consumption and mileage data into CACP v9 calculator to determine emissions
7) Determine emissions associated with exported electric


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:

Emissions estimates are part of USEPA Clean Air Act Reporting requirements and are certified by Cornell's authorized regulatory official. Another managerial level staff member has also review and approved.


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 148923 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 160014 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 3369 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3349 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 3297 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 87339 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 155589 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 250702 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 July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year July 1, 2004 June 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):

Cornell University is a reporting member of the Carbon Commitment with Second Nature, founding member of the original ACUPCC, and reports according to the protocols adopted for that system.


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):

The Cornell Campus Sustainability Office provided advisory support in the development and piloting of an independent local carbon offset fund, the Finger Lakes Climate Fund. Several Cornell offices have voluntarily used the Finger Lakes Climate Fund to offset conferences and travel. Plans to expand the use of the program are under development.


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 3581 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:

For FY18 Cornell has multiple PPAs (Power Purchasing Agreements) to purchase renewable energy provided by multiple PV arrays located on Cornell lands not on the Ithaca campus. Total retired certificates related to PV electric purchases for FY18 is 15,090 MWh. The contract timeframe for each PPA is over 20 years. The vendors are Penelope, LLC (Snyder), and Building Energy (Geneva, Harford, Musgrave). Cornell is the owner of the environmental attributes. The attributes are retired via NYGATS and RGGI approved.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 152292 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 250702 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6954 6662
Number of employees resident on-site 33 35
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 481 459
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 23162 19053
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 11093 12113
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 1075 0
Weighted campus users 27112.75 25507.75

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 5.62 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 9.83 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
42.85

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
15873205 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1762737 Square Feet
Healthcare space 155157 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 515015 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
20224008 Gross Square Feet

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

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year:
Emissions
Business travel 23727 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 29041 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 ---

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

As of Fall 2016, Cornell University has provided a new report to guide future decision making on campus neutrality and energy decisions. "Options for Achieving a Carbon Neutral Campus by 2035 - Analysis of Solutions" outlines potential pathways meeting campus energy demands with 100% renewable energy, and zero carbon footprint, by 2035. The initiatives include (1) Building High-Performance Buildings, (2) Conserve Energy in Existing Buildings, (3) Increase electric vehicle capacity, (4) Campus engagement, and (5) Campus Energy Supply.

Efforts over the last three years have focused on conserving energy in existing buildings, and increasing the use of renewable energy. Cornell's Energy Conservation Initiative (ECI) was a $33 million dollar effort to reduce building energy consumption. Over 5MW of PV have been added over the last 3 years via PPAs (power purchase agreement) in which a 3rd party developer builds a PV array on Cornell land and Cornell enters into a long term agreement to purchased the electricity generated. In addition, Cornell has numerous on-campus engagement/awareness to promote behavior change in terms of our energy footprint, examples include dorm challenges, and winter break communication.

https://energyandsustainability.fs.cornell.edu/util/electricity/production/solarphotovoltaic/default.cfm


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

Estimated values are used for FY18 energy usage not part of the Cornell Central Energy Plant and will be revised upon finalization of FY18 values if they are determined to be material

For instances where FY 2005 usage is unavailable, we assumed usage is comparable to FY14 values.

Scope 1 stationary combustion emissions includes a deduction associated with exported energy. Cornell's Combined Heat & Power facility will sometimes generate electricity that exceeds campus demand. This excess electric is exported to the grid. The deduction represents the emissions associated with this energy not used on campus. This value is approximately 29,528 metric tons. We would prefer reporting this value via Scope 3; however, the AASHE STARS input sheet cannot handle the input of negative values

The reduction in Scope 2 (purchased electricity emissions) is the result of the CCHPP (Cornell Combined Heat & Power project). Most of the campus’s electric usage is generated on site via combustion turbines and the waste heat is used to generate steam for campus heating. See link: https://energyandsustainability.fs.cornell.edu/util/heating/production/cep.cfm. In addition, the upstate NY grid mix emission factor is significantly lower compared with 2005.

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.