Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
OP-2: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.71 / 8.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 118,310 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 198,192 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 15,761 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 18,861 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported electricity 137,009 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 232,004 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported thermal energy 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 271,080 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 449,057 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine net carbon sinks:
Performance year Baseline year
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 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 storage from on-site composting 559 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 535 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon storage from non-additional sequestration 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent ---
Carbon sold or transferred 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Net carbon sinks 559 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 535 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the carbon sinks, including vendor, project source, verification program and contract timeframes (as applicable):

Pre and post consumer food waste is collected at PSU operated hotels and catering services. Post consumer food waste is collected at dining halls. Other inputs include leaves, landscape debris and animal cage waste. Farm animal manure and crop residues are also used to create an optimal compost mix. Leaves, plant debris, brush, logs and pallets are also processed into mulch. Both the compost and mulch and used in landscape management.

The Organic Materials Processing and Education Center (OMPEC) is the program that leads Penn State's composting efforts as a waste disposal alternative. OMPEC formed as a result of the combined efforts of students, staff and faculty of Housing and Food Services (HFS), the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), and the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS).

In house calculations.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Adjusted net GHG emissions 270,521 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 448,522 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Performance year Baseline year
Start date July 1, 2018 July 1, 2005
End date June 30, 2019 June 30, 2006

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

FY2005-06 was adopted as our baseline year to be consistent with our previous STARS reporting. It is also the University's baseline for GHG reduction goals.


Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance year Baseline year
Number of students resident on-site 14,180 13,795
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 45,798 39,043
Full-time equivalent of employees 15,265 14,183
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted Campus Users 49,342.25 43,368.25

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 5.48 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 10.34 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
46.99

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
21,862,762 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 1,349,507.04 Square Feet
Healthcare space 39,377.59 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 339,689.78 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
24,980,221.04 Gross Square Feet

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

A brief description of the institution’s GHG emissions reduction initiatives:

Penn State has a global reach that is focused on all aspects of climate change. We have signed the “We Are Still In” pledge to continue meeting the United States’ responsibilities under the Paris Climate Accord. We are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions at all of our campuses.
Penn State has reduced its system-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 32% since 2005. This reduction has been based on a foundation of energy conservation, increased efficiency, increased levels of Combined Heat and Power (CHP), targeted renewable purchases, awareness as well as programs in sectors other than energy.
Penn State has invested over $100 million in the Energy Savings Program. The energy funds, including financing, are recovered through the avoided utility costs over a 10-year pay-back period. Multiple ESP projects have been completed at University Park as well as Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, Erie, Fayette, Great Valley, Harrisburg, and Hazelton campuses. A project is underway to install a combustion turbine with a heat recovery steam generator at the West Campus Steam Plant. This will increase onsite combined heat and power and reduce power purchased from the grid.
In 2013, Penn State entered into a 10 -year power purchase agreement with Mahoning Creek Hydroelectric Company for energy produced by a hydroelectric generating plant at the existing USACE dam on Mahoning Creek in PA. A 25-year PPA with the Alternative Energy Development Group (AEDG) for a 2MW onsite solar array located on the University Park campus began operating in April 2019 and acts as a true living lab that combines operations with teaching, research and outreach opportunities. In 2019, Penn State entered into a 25-year Solar PPA with Lightsource BP. With over 150,000 solar panels sited on roughly 500 acres across three locations in Franklin County near Penn State’s Mont Alto campus, the arrays will provide 25% of Penn State’s statewide electricity requirements.
A solar array outside the main Office of Physical Plant provides power to charge OPP’s 100% electric vehicles. Transportation Services, in collaboration with OPP, added three electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the Nittany Parking Deck, the first on campus to be available to the public.
Penn State's efforts go well beyond what is measured by the Inventory. Penn State offers courses and its faculty conduct research in areas that are critical to reducing GHG emissions, including renewable energy, energy storage, energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, and other areas that have the potential to affect emissions far beyond our campus boundaries. Penn State is home to world-renowned scientists who study climate change and its impact on natural resources, human populations and the economy and propose solutions for mitigating and adapting to those impacts. The Sustainability Institute at Penn State supports efforts of faculty, staff, operational units and the community to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals which call for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet.


Website URL where information about the institution's GHG emissions is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

See Notes in IC-3 regarding treatment of distance education students.

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.