Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.45
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Oct. 17, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Green Mountain College
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.83 / 10.00 Aaron Witham
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" 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?:
Yes

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 Yes
Waste generated in operations Yes

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

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

Clean Air Cool Planet Calculator.


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:

Green Mountain College Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies and Renewable Energy & Ecological Design Program Director, Steve Letendre, reviewed the report and results. He was a primary author on a previous inventory, so he understands the methodology, but was independent of this particular project.


Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 1,608 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3,229 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 99 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 77 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 775 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 869 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 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 5 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 4,200 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

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

A brief description of the composting and carbon storage program:

In FY 2013, 13.1 short tons of compostable food scraps were processed on campus. Approximately 5.3 short tons were fed to the pigs and 7.8 were processed in the compost pile on the campus farm. The composting system is run through a collaboration between the sustainability office and the college-run farm.


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

Green Mountain College achieved climate neutrality in FY 2011 under the ACUPCC framework, has maintained neutrality through the most recent greenhouse gas inventory in FY 2013, and plans to maintain it in the future. In addition to a reduction of over 30% in actual emissions since 2007, the College purchased carbon offsets from Green Mountain Power's (Formerly Central Vermont Public Service) Cow Power Program. Cow Power is a Vermont-based program that provides revenue to local dairy farmers who generate electricity using methane capture projects on their farms. Anaerobic digesters capture the methane from cow manure and then burn this gas to produce electricity. To quantify and verify the emissions reductions from this process, the methane capture project on Blue Spruce Farm, just 37 miles from the GMC campus, was verified with AgRefresh, an offset verifier based in Burlington, VT. The offsets were then certified and retired on the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2011.

The offset provider was chosen through a campus-wide participatory process where three offset vendors gave public presentations and students recorded their thoughts on the merits of each vendor and each project being proposed. After reviewing the responses, the Campus Sustainability Council then concluded that the Cow Power Program would be the best source of offsets because of its positive impact on the local economy and its close proximity to the College.


Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 540 577
Number of residential employees 5 5
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 799 749
Full-time equivalent of employees 198.60 188.75
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 173 30

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year July 1, 2006 June 30, 2007

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

The FY 2007 baseline was adopted because it is the first year that the College did a greenhouse gas inventory, and it is the year that President Brennan signed the ACUPCC.


Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
493,298 Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 4,735 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 14,568 Square Feet

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year::
Emissions
Business travel 226 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 352 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services ---
Capital goods ---
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 77 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 431 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories (please specify below) 114 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

Other categories include study abroad air travel.


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:

Scope 1
Every year the College increases the efficiency of the central heat and power biomass plant. Improvements include upgrades to steam pipe components and more efficient operation methods. These actions have a noticeable impact on the total scope one emissions over time.

Scope 2
In 2012, the College started a $30,000 green revolving loan fund, which has already completed its first three projects. Gains from the first two of these projects are reflected in the FY 2013 greenhouse gas inventory reported here. These include replacement of all 80 outdoor lamp post lights with LEDs and construction of a 5.8 kW solar charging station for electric vehicles. More recently in 2014, the Two Editors Inn on campus was transformed into a model of efficiency for older buildings by gap filling, installing higher value insulation, and installing a cold climate heat pump to offset the oil consumption. Over the last three years, a suite of small electric efficiency projects have added to a projected 7.5% reduction in electricity use, for which the College has met Efficiency Vermont’s Energy Leadership Challenge in 2013. Gains in efficiency have been made despite an overall growth in the square footage of campus buildings.

Scope 3
Solid waste emissions have gone down as tonnage of landfilled material has decreased from 187 in 2007 to 123 in 2013 due to aggressive recycling, composting, and reuse programs on campus.


The performance year is FY 2013. The "laboratory space" square footage reported here includes only traditional science laboratories. Computer labs are counted under "other energy intensive space." Other energy intensive space also includes the biomass plant and dining services.

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.