Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.58
Liaison James Gordon
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Thompson Rivers University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.33 / 10.00 James Gordon
Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator
TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability
"---" 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?:

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include all Scope 3 GHG emissions from any of the following categories?:
Yes or No
Business travel No
Commuting No
Purchased goods and services Yes
Capital goods No
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 No
Waste generated in operations No

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

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

All British Columbia public institutions are mandated to be carbon neutral every year. As such, TRU compiles a comprehensive inventory of all Scope 1 and 2, and partial scope 3 emissions. The data determines the amount of carbon tax TRU pays, and GHG offsets are purchased to offset all scope 1 and 2 and partial scope 3 emissions.

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?:

A brief description of the internal and/or external verification process:

The BC government BC Climate Action Secretariat verifies the scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions reported and can conduct audits.

Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 3,309.61 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3,377.17 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 422.14 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 136.17 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 234.67 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 400.43 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 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 4,075 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 4,132.40 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:


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

The Climate Action Secretariat, a division of the BC government, is responsible for purchasing verified offsets on behalf of the public sector.

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 0 0
Number of residential employees 0 0
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 8,315.18 8,206
Full-time equivalent of employees 979 961
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 3,403.18 2,716

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2013 Dec. 31, 2013
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2010 Dec. 31, 2010

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

The baseline adopted (2010) best reflects the start of TRU energy/GHG reductions and sustainability initiatives which followed the establishment of the TRU sustainability office. Furthermore, the campus also saw rapid and substantial growth between 2005 and 2010, and so the 2010 baseline best reflects the changes factoring in that growth.

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
1,146,433.64 Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 77,694 Square Feet
Healthcare space 5,425 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 47,781 Square Feet

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year::
Business travel 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 123.34 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 (please specify below) 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

Under 'Purchased goods and services', it includes packages of office paper (21,217.6 packages).

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:

TRU actions taken to reduce emissions in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 are listed here:
• Renewable energy project
o A 10 kW grid-connected solar PV system was placed in service at CAC building in Nov. 2014. The system is designed to cover most of TRU student union electrical demand during the day, Estimated annual electricity generation is about 10,000-11,000 kWh.
• Energy Reduction Projects and Initiatives
o Revolving Energy Fund -The Revolving Energy Fund (REF) was instrumental throughout 2013 in supporting TRU’s Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP). TRU’s Energy Manager and Energy Specialist oversaw the implementation of numerous technical projects that continue to keep TRU on track towards a 25 percent reduction in energy use by 2016 (from 2010 baselines). In addition to technical changes, TRU’s Workplace Conservation Awareness Program, which educates, engages and empowers students and staff, has helped garner the much needed internal support towards reducing our carbon emissions and environmental impact.
o Continuous Optimization Program - TRU has enrolled all of its major buildings into BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization Program (COP). The multi-year program utilizes TRU’s Energy Management Information System (EMIS) software to analyze buildings’ energy efficiency and is designed to reduce energy use through low cost re-commissioning measures. The British Columbia Center for Online Learning (BCCOL) building was TRU’s first building to go through all phases of the Program. The energy conservation measures identified in the BCCOL were implemented in March 2013 and are projected to reduce energy use and GHG emissions by greater than ten percent. As per the COP guidelines, the projected savings will result in paying back the retro-fit costs in less than 2 years. In 2013 five other buildings went through the investigative phase and are currently going through the implementation phase. The three remaining buildings that qualify for COP are scheduled for the investigative phase in 2014 or 2015.
o Ventilation Demand Control, Commercial Kitchens - In the spring of 2013 Ventilation Demand Control (VDC) systems were installed in the two commercial kitchens on campus – the Culinary Arts Building and the Campus Activity Center. The VDC systems integrate heat/smoke sensors with Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) to control fans bringing air into the building as well fans controlling kitchen exhaust. The sensors allow the fans to operate based on the amount of cooking being done and therefore significantly reduce the amount of energy required to heat, cool and exhaust air during periods when no or minimal cooking is being done.
o Building Energy Assessment - In August 2013 three high-level building energy assessments were conducted on buildings which consume more than 2,000 GJ of natural gas per year. The assessments were funded by Fortis BC and included a review of the natural gas consumption history and the general information of each building (age classification, etc.). The assessments also included a site visit by a BC Fortis approved consultant who inspected the HVAC/gas fired equipment and the Building Automation System within each of the buildings. Energy Assessment Reports, that include a list of the potential energy conservation measures recommended by the consultant, were generated for each building. These reports will help align the Facilities Department’s planned equipment upgrades with TRU’s energy management priorities for combined energy and operational savings.
• Sustainability Initiatives
o Composting - In the summer of 2013 TRU conducted a composting review and developed a plan to initiate composting on campus. In November TRU started a composting pilot to calculate the volume of food waste, identify any barriers or concerns linked to composting and determine the resources required for a full scale composting program. The pilot project is schedule to run until May of 2014 and is focused on food waste from lunch rooms and the many food service outlets/cafeterias around campus. The composter, showcased in a highly visible area, is an in-vessel type composter with a capacity of 100 liters of food scraps per day. The accelerated processing time of the in-vessel composter is 4-6 weeks and the compost produced will be used by the Horticulture Program and grounds keepers. Yard waste material has historically been composted in the City of Kamloops’ facility, and with the addition of the new food waste composting program, TRU will eliminate most organic material from entering the land fill.
o Sustainability Grant Fund - TRU’s new Sustainability Grant Fund received numerous proposals for its inaugural intake in 2013. The successful applicants received funding to implement projects that not only reduce GHG emissions, but foster environmental literacy and campus community engagement, advance applied research and demonstrate the viability of sustainability technologies. The fund is available to any students, staff of faculty members in the TRU community who successfully propose a project that advances environmental sustainability at TRU. The SGF was established to improve TRU’s operational environmental community, and was created through an increase in campus parking fees. The fee increase has also significantly reduced single occupancy vehicles entering campus, resulting in less congestion and GHG emissions.
o Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment - In the spring of 2013 TRU received financial assistant from the Fraser Basin Council to install 10 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at the 2 main campuses (Kamloops and Williams Lake). That fall TRU was selected by the Fraser Basin Council as one of only four organizations across BC to participate in an Electric Vehicle Suitability Assessment pilot study. The EV suitability pilot studied the duty cycle of TRU fleet vehicles to determine if existing vehicles could be replaced with comparable EV or hybrid vehicles. The study identified significant financial savings and reduced GHG emissions associated with replacing existing fossil fuel powered vehicles with EV or hybrids. The study will act as a guide for TRU’s Facilities managers when they are replacing and updating TRU’s existing fleet vehicles in the coming years.
• Awareness, Engagement and Awards - The TRU Office of Environment and Sustainability developed a social media framework to better link its various educational and engagement campaigns to the TRU community. The successful framework has created a large social media presence and allows the Office to distribute sustainability-related messages and promote sustainability-related initiatives quickly and effectively. The pilot project with Vancouver-based Built Space Technologies continued in 2013 by engaging occupants using a mixture of social media, QR code technology and online surveys. The QR code technology was also employed as the interactive educational piece that was required as per LEED qualifications in TRU’s recently constructed House of Learning building. The QR codes allow occupants and visitors to scan QR codes that then link to the various LEED components and real time energy data within the building. Students that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability through their studies or through involvement in environmental clubs or initiatives are eligible for the Environmental Achievement Award or the newly created Tom Owen Sustainability Award.
• Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2012
o Transportation Alternatives - Electric golf carts encourage staff to avoid the use of vehicles when moving about campus. Although still quite new, a free electric bike loan-out program has been a popular alternative used by staff to commute to and from work, in some cases as far as 20 kilometres away. Through Plug-in BC, TRU was approved for funding for eight electric vehicle charging stations. Installation of those stations at both the Kamloops and Williams Lake campuses is now complete.
o Innovative Technology - Ninety percent of the Kamloops campus buildings now have the Pulse Energy Management Information System installed. Working with a European company called WEMS, TRU installed a Wireless Energy Management System in the Culinary Arts and Main Library buildings. This innovative technology uses wireless sensors to communicate with building automation systems and is the first of its kind in North America.
o Simple retrofits have resulted in significant operational improvements - demand ventilation controls in the Culinary Arts and Campus Activity Center buildings have reduced heating and cooling loads from kitchen exhaust hoods by using sensors to match exhaust volumes with actual demand.
o New House of Learning building was certified LEED gold building of new construction. Many innovative technologies has been employed in this building to reduce GHG emissions. Geothermal heating system significantly reduces heating and cooling load by using the earth as heat source(in the winter) or a heat sink (in the summer); fixed external shading devices prevent unwanted heat and glare during hot seasons; extensive triple-glass curtain wall provides great building envelope; a highly reflective roofing material with a high solar reflectance Index(SRI) is used on the main building roof to help reduce heat absorption and thus reduce the cooling requirements; two green roofs not only reduce heating and cooling demands, but also reduce the urban heat island effects.
o The Office of Environment & Sustainability has developed a pilot project with BuiltSpace to increase the awareness and involvement of building occupants in energy efficiency measures. Through QR codes and social media platforms, building occupants can communicate with each other about conservation. The tool also allows occupants to inform TRU on what is working well or what isn't working well during sustainability initiatives and events. The pilot project is also being integrated into other ongoing campus initiatives including the LEED building education program in the House of Learning.
o Recognizing Student Leaders - A new Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Certificate was approved in 2012 and will be managed by the Centre for Student Engagement & Learning Innovation. The certificate is a one-credit credential that recognizes students who are committed to environmental sustainability through their education and extra-curricular work. The certificate allows students to earn formal recognition for their knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that contribute to environmental sustainability– from volunteer work, to research, design, or coursework. The credential is included on each graduating student’s transcript.
• Actions Taken to become carbon neutral in 2011
o Built Environment - Construction of the Brown Family House of Learning— the second building on campus built to LEED Gold standards— was completed in 2011. The building utilizes reclaimed pine beetle wood and showcases a 4-storey wall entirely covered in plants. The plants help purify the air while helping regulate the building’s temperature. The design for the House of Learning was inspired by the traditions of the Interior Salish people.
o As part of a $1.5 million energy retrofit, TRU installed Pulse Energy Management software in all buildings larger than 1000m2. This accounts for a total of 14 buildings covering about 75% of the built space on campus.
o Eight campus buildings have been placed into the BC Hydro Continuous Optimization Program. The program continually refines and reviews the buildings involved using software and monitoring to investigate potential efficiency opportunities.
o Renovations to the Old Main building and Campus Activity Centre will add useable space in existing buildings and increase campus densification.
o BC Centre for Open Learning has undergone a waste energy capture retrofit, schedule adjustment, and airflow balance retrofit providing an annual return of $12,500, more than covering total project costs in the first year.
o Equipment - About one thousand smart power bars were handed out to staff with multiple electrical or electronic devices in their offices. These smart power bars have separate outlet jacks which disconnect power when non-essential computer equipment goes into sleep mode, without affecting essential equipment. This saves roughly 60% of the electrical use in each of these work locations.
o The TRU IT Department continued the implementation of the power management software that was initiated in 2010. At present, about 85% of campus computers shut down on a timer outside of regular business hours.
o Materials - Virtually all paper purchased for campus use contained at least 30% recycled content.
o Electronic T4’s were available for all staff. This opportunity was promoted through an incentive program run by the Finance Department. Online tuition tax statements were also introduced for students.
o In addition to using only Green Seal cleaning and paper products since 2009, TRU began investigating the potential purchase of an ozone cleaning system which would eliminate the need for any chemical cleaners on campus.
o Natural Environment - A recently updated Arboretum and Garden Guide will provide guidance for all new vegetation placed on campus.
o None of TRU’s campus lawns were sprayed with pesticides during 2011 and herbicide use decreased substantially with the paving of two campus parking lots.
o None of TRU’s campus lawns were sprayed with pesticides during 2011 and herbicide use decreased substantially with the paving of two campus parking lots.
o Human Environment - Our Green Team program continues in 2011, with our School of Business & Economics Green Team holding popular events such as a Sustainable Speaker Series.
o The Environmental Achievement Award recognized a community member who made outstanding contributions to environmental sustainability. The award also provides a scholarship to an undergraduate student active in sustainability.
o TRU received a Silver rating under the Sustainability Tracking and Rating System created by AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
o Two speakers were invited to International Days, the largest and most popular yearly campus -wide event. Captain Charles Moore and Mr. Ivan Zavadsky provided lectures on the topics of ocean plastics and global water management. An environmental speaker series was also regularly held by the Faculty of Science, focusing on a variety of environmental issues.
o TRU joined with 32 other leading institutions to launch the Billion Dollar Green Challenge. With 35 registered participants, TRU is one of only two Canadian institutions participating in the challenge. The challenge aims to invest a cumulative total of one billion dollars in self-managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency upgrades on campuses.
o The staff and student carpool programs were expanded in 2011 due to overwhelming demand and will continue to be expanded as demand increases.
o The Office of Environment & Sustainability presented at all new staff orientations, ensuring that a strong culture of sustainability is maintained and all new staff are adequately informed of all department operations and 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.