Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.00
Liaison Melissa Maigler
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 8.02 / 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:

Stanford uses The Climate Registry’s (TCR) General Reporting Protocol to prepare and file its GHG emission inventories. The university has been reporting third-party-verified emissions inventories since 2006. The document uploaded above shows Stanford's third-party-verified Scope 1 & 2 emissions as reported through TCR. This information is also publicly available on Stanford's website at the following links:

http://sustainability-year-in-review.stanford.edu/2018/
http://sustainable.stanford.edu/campus-action/campus-performance

Scope 3 emissions (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 link:

https://sustainable.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Scope3_Emissions_2018.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:
---

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 27,589.61 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 14,839 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 8,484.70 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 9,670 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 28,925.41 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 107,516.52 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 519.96 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 70,662.55 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 65,519.68 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 202,688.07 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, 2017 Dec. 31, 2017
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 used in all of Stanford's emissions reduction calculations, consistent with the university's Energy and Climate Plan available at: 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) 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):

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. These offsets were not included in Stanford’s official GHG inventory.


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:

Through a combination of on-campus solar PV, off-campus solar PV, and purchased RECs, 65% of Stanford’s electricity comes from renewable sources. Please see Renewable Energy credit for more details. Stanford reports 0 to the question above because the GHG reduction benefits of RECs have already been incorporated into Stanford’s GHG emissions inventory.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 65,519.68 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 202,688.07 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 11,367 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 16,517 13,282
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 15,620 11,027
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 26,944.50 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 2.43 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 9.74 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
75.04

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
17,018,127 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,524,006 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 62,422 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
20,128,561 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 22,389 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 25,593 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:

Stanford has reduced its emissions by 68% from peak emissions in 2011. Stanford’s emissions reductions are a result of a careful and comprehensive planning process, originating in 2008, which focused on three key strategies:

1) Investments in energy efficiency in new construction through standards, guidelines, and energy targets
2) Conservation of energy in existing buildings through a number of energy retrofit programs
3) Decarbinization of the university’s energy supply through Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI)

SESI transformed Stanford’s energy supply from a natural-gas based cogeneration power plant that provided electricity and steam to the campus to a more efficient central energy facility that replaced steam with hot water generated through heat recovery and sources electricity from the grid with a renewable portfolio. Heat-recovery takes advantage of the 70% simultaneous overlap in heating and cooling demand of the campus, using the waste heat from the campus chilled water system to produce hot water for campus heating. The central energy facility also hosts hot and chilled water tanks for energy storage. As a result, almost all of the heat generated for the university is fossil free and natural gas only needs to be used for heating on the coldest days of the year (less than 10% of the time). The new central energy facility and Stanford buildings are powered by electricity, of which 65% is currently renewable. Through a power-purchase agreement, Stanford sources 52% of its electricity from a 67 MW off-campus solar PV plant and 5 MW of on-campus solar PV. The remainder of renewable electricity comes from California’s grid.

SESI has received eight awards in the past two years for its innovative nature and emissions reductions. 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/ and allowed Stanford to be named the College and University Green Power College Champion in the Pac-12 Division in 2018. 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/). 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/

As part of Stanford's long range planning effort, the university set the goal in spring 2018 to achieve 80% carbon neutrality by 2025. In December 2018, Stanford announced plans to construct an 88MW solar generating plant near Lemoore, CA to allow it to do so. The new plant will provide enough solar power to bring Stanford to a 100% renewable electricity supply, which in turn will contribute to an 80% emissions reduction since 2011. The new plant will come online in 2021, allowing the university to achieve 80% carbon neutrality four years ahead of schedule and decades ahead of statewide requirements. The article announcing Stanford's new solar plant can be found here: https://news.stanford.edu/2018/12/03/stanford-go-100-percent-solar-2021/


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, which now also represents the primary energy source for the Central Energy Facility and reflects the 65% renewable electricity commitment. Currently, the only emissions source that is included under Scope 2 emissions from other sources is purchased heating for leased spaces.

In 2015, Stanford began including all greenhouse gases in its emissions inventory, rather than just carbon dioxide. To ensure an apples to apples comparison, Stanford has since adjusted its baseline emissions total for CY2011 to reflect additional greenhouse gases as well. This results in an increase to baseline emissions of 4,339 metric tons for this report compared to prior STARS submissions.

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.