Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.75
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

George Washington University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 6.50 / 10.00 Meghan Chapple
Director & Senior Advisor
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 Some

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:

Prior to FY17, GW's GHG emissions were calculated using the University of New Hampshire’s Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC) (v.6.9 and v.8). For FY17, GW transitioned to the UNH SIMAP application.

GW used an operational control approach to determine the scope of its footprint. The guiding principle of GW's inventory is to include facilities that are owned or leased by the University that house activities and/or personnel that directly contribute to (e.g., classrooms, offices, research laboratories) and/or support (e.g., administrative offices, student medical clinic, and warehouse space) its academic mission. All facilities used for University purposes that are either owned and operated or rented from a third party are included. Buildings GW owns but rents to others were excluded as they do not house GW personnel or activities, and as such, GW does not control consumption patterns in these locations.

Certain assumptions were used in assembling this inventory, including the following:
Metrics for emissions from leased building spaces included certain assumptions, as the University is limited in its ability to track emissions from spaces it does not own/manage. For this metric, emissions were calculated using the following energy estimates in kBTU/GSF: 45 for warehouses, 83 for classrooms, 93 for offices, and 105 for medical spaces. Energy consumption is allocated as 50% from electricity and 50% from natural gas. These figures were based on existing data from similar buildings and Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration's (EIA's) 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data.

Additionally, air travel mileage is not tracked at present, although information on dollars spent is available. Therefore, to develop a mileage figure, dollars spent were converted into miles flown (per AASHE's suggestion). Our air travel mileage is based on the separate dollars spent on international and domestic flights during FY2013, divided by the respective factors of dollars-per-air-mile-traveled for 2012 as tabulated by the Airlines for America (formerly Air Transport Association of America).

The commuting emissions data do not include student travel to/from campus at the beginning/end of each semester. In early 2016, GW performed a comprehensive transportation survey of each population (students, staff, and faculty), to improve upon the 2010 data used in our FY2013 GHG inventory. A survey completed in 2005 was used for GW’s initial baseline GHG inventory for FY2008. The data for the FY2015 inventory are based on this newest survey and improve data accuracy.


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?:
No

A brief description of the internal and/or external verification process:
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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 32,083 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 27,492 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 2,228 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 2,592 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 19,764 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 74,980 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 294 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 54,369 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 105,064 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, 2016 June 30, 2017
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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):

GW became the first university in the Washington, D.C. area to join the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2008. The university, along with more than 660 other higher education institutions, committed to develop a Climate Action Plan for carbon neutrality and to spotlight and support its academic endeavors on climate issues. GW's Climate Action Plan, completed in May 2010, established a 40% carbon footprint reduction target for the institution by FY2025 relative to a FY2008 baseline, and committed to carbon neutrality by FY2040. The baseline year in this survey was thus adopted for FY 2008, during which GW became an ACUPCC signatory and consistent with GW's Climate Action Plan.


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 43.20 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 118 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon storage from on-site composting 38.81 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 82.01 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 118 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):

Carbon sequestration due to land that the institution manages specifically for sequestration: Based on an inventory conducted by Casey Trees in 2010.

Carbon storage from on-site composting: Based on FY17 waste stats.


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 54,286.99 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 104,946 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 7,487 6,571
Number of employees resident on-site 41 24
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 22,866 20,108
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 5,805 5,319.50
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,687 871
Weighted campus users 21,370 20,066.13

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 2.54 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 5.23 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
51.43

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
8,614,351 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 807,183 Square Feet
Healthcare space 19,600 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 66,125 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
10,334,042 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 30,767 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 11,182 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 425 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 2,975 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 72 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories 124 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

Off Campus Solar:
Starting in January 2015, the university began receiving electricity purchased directly on its behalf from the Capital Partners Solar Project (CPSP). RECs produced from the off-site solar energy farm are retained by GW. CPSP is a renewable energy project that generates solar power for George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital. Built in 2014, it was the first significant aggregation of purchasers of large scale renewable energy. The project is comprised of 53.5 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) power— roughly the amount of electricity used by 8,900 homes every year. It shows that large organizations in an urban setting can partner to significantly reduce their carbon footprints by purchasing offsite solar energy.

Eco Building Program:
Energy use in existing buildings comprises 70 percent of the university's GHG emissions. In the first years of implementing the Climate Action Plan, GW has prioritized improving building energy efficiency and enhancing IT systems that result in energy use reductions.

GW's Eco Building Program provides a comprehensive capital improvement plan to strategically implement energy and water conservation projects in campus buildings. Implementation of this program will result in a reduction of energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and will produce short-term and long-term financial savings. Through these projects, GW aims to reduce energy use from the buildings by 15%.

Within the last 4 years, 30% of GW's buildings (by square footage) have undergone an energy-efficiency oriented retrofit as part of the Eco Building Program. Work will continue in the coming years, with capital projects already scheduled.

On-Site Thermal Hot Water:
The university installed solar hot water systems at these residence halls: 2031 F St., 1959 E St., Shenkman Hall, and The Dakota residence hall.

Renewable Energy Credits (RECs):
The university purchased Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from local and/or nationwide wind energy farms, including 3Degrees, Inc. During previous reporting years, GW applied RECs (that had been purchased in previous years) as a component of LEED certification applications for several construction projects - Law Learning Center, Law Clinic Townhouses, GW Museum and Textile Museum, Milken Institute School of Public Health, and Ross Hall. RECs were also donated by Direct Energy, an energy supply firm, to offset the natural gas used on Earth Day. In total, GW applied 4,348,000 kWh of RECs in FY2015, which accounted for 3% of the university's total electricity consumption in FY2015 and mitigated 14,839.7 MMBtu or 2,445.5 metric tons of CO2e.

Building Temperature Standards:
GW's design standards include winter and summer temperature ranges for designers of new buildings to achieve. In existing buildings, GW has begun to use Coris Outlet Modules, which are Internet-controlled packaged A/C unit ("window shaker") timers. Programmable thermostats are also employed.

LED Lighting:
GW has used LED lighting in exit signs for many years. At the end of FY11 the university began retrofitting its underground parking garages with LED lighting and occupancy sensors. GW now has five underground parking garages using LED lighting and occupancy sensors. In FY12 GW installed LED lights as house lights in its historic Lisner Auditorium theater. GW is now installing LED lights into a wider range of fixtures including interior and exterior uses. At the end of FY16, almost all GW garages have been retrofitted to LED, and updating the remaining 24/7 lighting in stairwells/hallways has become a priority.

Occupancy Sensors:
The most common type of occupancy sensor used to control lighting on campus is a dual-technology sensor that detects both motion or sound. These are usually mounted into ceilings of public spaces such as classrooms and conference rooms. In smaller rooms such as public bathrooms a sensor detects motion to bring lights on and then the lights go off again a pre-set amount of time later such as 15 minutes. This application is now switching to the use of vacancy sensors instead. Some daylight sensors are in use in lobbies with a lot of natural light. Most outdoor lighting is controlled by timers or photocells. Two occupancy sensor audits were undertaken FY16-FY17 to determine where else this technology could be applied more extensively.

Passive Solar:
The University has a few buildings that incorporate passive solar heating. One example is our two greenhouses. Three buildings on GW's campuses -- Ames Hall, Rice Hall, and 45155 Research Place -- include a total of approximately 3,500 square-feet of solar window films to reduce solar incidence into spaces to help prevent overheating, in turn reducing peak air conditioning loads during warmer months of the year. An additional 6,200 SF of window film was added to the southern face of GW's Elliott School for International Affairs just after the reporting year ended.

Cogeneration:
A new CHP unit in Ross Hall was constructed on GW's Foggy Bottom Campus. The 7.4-MW cogeneration unit is designed to supply approximately two-thirds of the combined electricity demand for Ross Hall and the Science and Engineering Hall, as well as heat for the two buildings. Due to the timing, Scope 1 emissions are reported in GW’s FY16 GHG inventory.

Building Commissioning/Retrofits:
GW has commissioned all of its new buildings for the past 20 years. While a formal recommissioning program has not been implemented to date, two pilot-scale recommissioning activities have been undertaken. In one building a continuous commissioning project was used for a year and in another LEED-certified building a recommissioning effort was undertaken to correct a higher-than-expected energy usage. A formal building retrofit program is now underway; see its description above under "Eco Building Program" and below under "Energy-Efficient Equipment," the description of the institution's program to replace energy-consuming equipment with higher-efficiency alternatives.

Energy Metering/Building Management Systems:
The University's building management systems (BMS) currently interconnect 40 buildings with either remote monitoring or control functionality. In terms of the absolute number of buildings with BMSs the coverage is small (~30%) but the buildings with BMSs are the largest buildings on campus so in terms of square footage (or energy usage) the BMS coverage is extensive (~78.5%). The BMS primarily monitors and controls space temperatures, humidity, and HVAC functions rather than lighting. Lighting is generally controlled with local occupancy sensors, daylight sensors, or photocells. One building that opened recently has its lighting system controls integrated into its BMS.

Energy-Efficient Equipment:
Four years ago, the University launched its Eco Building Program to reduce energy usage and GHG emissions in existing buildings. To date, three phases of projects have been conducted, covering ten major buildings.

Energy-Efficient Landscape Design:
The University has begun replacing a variety of exterior lighting with LED alternatives. Two other initiatives were described in response to OP-9 where renewable energy sources have been incorporated into the landscape to power LED lights along a pathway and to allow students to recharge their laptops, tablets, and phones.

Vending Machines:
GW has "SnackMisers" on two vending machines on campus, which control the energy use of the machines based on motion. We piloted twelve of these products, and continue to explore additional options.

Other Initiatives:
GW has undertaken several behavior-change initiatives aimed at reducing energy usage and GHG emissions. The Eco-Challenge competition is a way to engage students living on campus in a friendly energy-reducing competition. This competition has expanded to include many academic buildings. There are now three kiosks on campus that display the energy usage of many campus buildings.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Starting in January 2015, the university began receiving solar electricity purchased directly on its behalf from the Capital Partners Solar Project (CPSP), a 53.5 megawatt (MW) utility-scale solar farm. In FY17, GW purchased more than 79 million kWh (or 79,000 MWh) of solar power. RECs produced from the off-site solar energy farm are also retained by GW. CPSP supplies GW with solar power for roughly half of GW's electricity consumption. If CPSP did not exist, GW's scope 2 emissions would be increased by 37,114.91 MTCDE. As a result of CPSP and the solar power it provides GW, GW was able to reduce its Scope 2 emissions by 74% as compared to the FY08 baseline data reported in STARS.

UNH SIMAP was used to calculate GW's FY17 GHG Inventory.

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.