Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date June 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 7.07 / 10.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
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 Some
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 None
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:

In 2001, the State of California created the nonprofit California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) to facilitate the voluntary accounting and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions within the state. CCAR stopped collecting emissions inventories in 2010 and transitioned its membership to the Climate Registry (TCR), a nonprofit emissions registry for North America.

The CCAR General Reporting Protocol required filing of Scope 1 & 2 emissions with independent third party verification, and encouraged participants to file inventories of Scope 3 emissions as well. Stanford joined the CCAR in 2006 and used this protocol to prepare and file its GHG emission inventories through 2009. In 2010, Stanford transitioned to TCR protocol for its third-party verified emissions inventory, and it has reported through TCR in each subsequent year to date. The document uploaded above shows Stanford's third party verified Scope 1 & 2 emissions as reported through TCR. This information is also publicly available through TCR.

Scope 3 emissions at this time (business air travel and driving commuters) are compiled internally by Stanford's Parking & Transportation Services and are not formally verified. Stanford does make its Scope 3 emissions publicly available on its own websites. Information on Stanford's Scope 3 emissions from previous years can be found at the following links:

https://sustainability-year-in-review.stanford.edu/2016/features/trends-in-sustainability-performance/
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/emissions-inventory
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/E%26C%20Plan%202016.6.7.pdf


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:

Stanford verifies its emissions inventory every year through an independent third party, as required by TCR's protocol.

Please see the following website for more details on the required verification protocol: http://www.theclimateregistry.org/resources/verification/general-verification-protocol/


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 24,202.13 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 14,872.74 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 8,097.79 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 5,134.31 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 72,043.24 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 87,410.61 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 686.59 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 90,931.52 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 105,029.75 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 198,349.18 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 Jan. 1, 2016 Dec. 31, 2016
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2011 Dec. 31, 2011

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):

CY2011 is considered Stanford's peak emissions year and is now used in all of Stanford's emissions reduction calculations.

Stanford now reports all anticipated emissions reductions “from peak levels,” which represent emissions from calendar year 2011. Thus, we've switched from using 2007 as a baseline year in this report to using 2011 for consistency with the university's other materials. For instance, Stanford uses 2011 as its baseline year in its Energy and Climate Plan (https://sustainable.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/resource-attachments/E_C_Plan_2015.pdf).


Figures needed to determine total carbon offsets:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased (exclude purchased RECs/GOs) 2,640 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 2,640 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):

In 2016, a student-led initiative called Stanford Carbon Offsets to Reduce Emissions (SCORE) purchased verified offsets from vendor 3degrees from the Billings Landfill Gas Destruction Project in Montana. The project captures methane coming from the landfill and converts it into natural gas, which is then used as an energy source. The purpose of the initiative was to offset emissions from the air travel of Stanford’s varsity athletes, which equaled 2,640 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. More information on SCORE can be found at http://studentsforasustainablestanford.weebly.com/score.html.


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 2,746 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:

Stanford has a power purchase agreement with SunPower to purchase all electricity and bundled RECs from the 67 MW Stanford Solar Generating Station located in southern California. The plant uses SunPower’s state-of-the-art PV technology with single axis tracking. The plant officially came online in December 2016 but was operational for testing beginning in October 2016. Stanford has agreed to purchase the generated electricity and RECs for the next 25 years. All RECs generated by the plant meet California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard’s Level 1 Portfolio Content Category definition, ensuring they are bundled, in-state, and additional. Stanford’s REC purchases are tracked through the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS).


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 99,643.75 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 198,349.18 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 11,251 10,305
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 16,359 13,282
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 14,432 11,027
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 25,906 20,808

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 3.85 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 9.53 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
59.65

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
16,878,443 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,691,266 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 99,120 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
20,360,095 Gross Square Feet

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

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year:
Emissions
Business travel 21,431 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 25,702 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 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

As of early 2017, 65% of Stanford’s electricity comes from renewable sources. These sources include the 67 MW Stanford Solar Generating Station located in southern California and 4.5 MW of on-site rooftop solar, as well as additional renewable electricity from the California grid. This transition to renewable sources, along with the efficiencies gained from the new CEF and the conversion from steam to hot water (as described below), will reduce Stanford’s greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 68% between 2011 and 2017. The significant drop in emissions reported in this credit between 2011 and 2016 represents the majority of Stanford's anticipated emissions reduction (approximately a 60% reduction to date, with 8% remaining to be achieved). Emissions will continue to decrease through calendar year 2017 due to the increase of renewables in Stanford's electricity portfolio, which fully came to fruition in early 2017 and will represent the remaining 8% drop in emissions.

Procurement of renewable electricity is a key component of the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) program, which was designed to meet the university’s energy demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. SESI represents a significant transformation of the university from 100% fossil-fuel-based cogeneration to a more efficient electric heat recovery system paired with renewable energy procurement and will result in immense benefits for Stanford University in the years to come.

Implementation of heat recovery required converting Stanford’s heating supply from steam to hot water, which entailed installation of over twenty miles of hot water piping and changes to the mechanical rooms of 155 buildings. The project also included construction of a new Central Energy Facility (CEF), which came online in April 2015. The CEF includes heat recovery chillers, three large water tanks for thermal energy storage, and a high-voltage substation that receives electricity from the grid. Due to the heat-recovery chillers, the new CEF is 70% more efficient than the old cogeneration plant. More information on the SESI project is available at http://sustainable.stanford.edu/sesi and is also presented in the following article from the Stanford Report: http://news.stanford.edu/features/2015/sesi/

The SESI project has also received numerous awards in the past two years for its innovative nature and emissions reduction potential. The following Stanford Report article details the awards won by SESI, including the 2016 Global Best Green Project Award by Engineering News-Record: http://news.stanford.edu/2016/08/01/energy-system-innovations-awards/. SESI also won a 2015 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, described here: http://news.stanford.edu/thedish/2016/01/28/stanford-lauded-for-its-leadership-in-protecting-the-environment/. Other awards related to SESI include the Acterra Business Environmental Award in the Environmental Project category (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z-rEsJAkrM&feature=youtu.be) and the California Higher Education Sustainability Award (https://sustainability-year-in-review.stanford.edu/2016/snapshots/executive-director-of-sustainability-and-energy-management-receives-sustainability-champion-award/).


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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From 1987 to 2015, Stanford was served by a cogeneration plant that was owned by Cardinal Cogen, a subsidiary of General Electric. Thus, all electricity, steam, and chilled water purchased from Cardinal Cogen contributed to Scope 2 emissions, which is why the figure reported under “Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources” for the baseline year was so high (this captured emissions from chilled water and steam production at Cardinal Cogen). When the new Central Energy Facility came online in 2015, Stanford took full ownership of the facility, so the university’s primary source of Scope 2 emissions currently is purchased electricity. Moreover, the heat recovery system implemented through the Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) project (discussed above) relies on 100% electricity to produce hot water and chilled water for building heating and cooling, respectively, so Scope 2 emissions for purchased electricity remain high, while Scope 2 emissions from other sources have dropped significantly. Currently, the only emissions source that is included under Scope 2 emissions from other sources is purchased heating for leased spaces. Stanford's

In 2015, Stanford began including all greenhouse gases in its emissions inventory, rather than just carbon dioxide. While Stanford achieved significant emissions reductions in both 2015 and 2016 due to its new energy system (detailed above) and other efficiency efforts, the inclusion of these additional greenhouse gases increased emissions from both years by about 5% compared to what they would have been with only carbon dioxide reported. Also, the numbers reported in this credit for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, which include these additional gases, is not necessarily an apples to apples comparison to the baseline year, which only includes carbon dioxide, but Stanford chose to include this slightly larger number in order to be consistent with the figures reported through TCR.

Please note that the GSF reported for the GHG inventory varies from the campus GSF reported for all other credits. The boundary of the GHG inventory is slightly different from the overall STARS boundary, and the GSF for the GHG inventory boundary is used for this credit. The difference primarily derives from the inclusion of off-campus leased spaces in the GHG inventory boundary.

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.