Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.16 / 10.00 Michael Versteege
Manager, Energy Management & Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations
"---" 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 None
Commuting None
Purchased goods and services None
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations All
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 All
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:

OVERALL METHODOLOGY

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory was compiled and reported by Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO) in Facilities & Operations (F&O). The university's GHG emissions are tracked and analyzed using a spreadsheet by Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP). Using emission factors, the spreadsheet calculates GHG emissions from data collected from Utilities, F&O, Finance and other relevant departments. Because several departments are contacted to collect the immense amount of information required to complete the inventory, EMSO has created a Standard Operating Procedure outlining all the contacts and steps to gather, calculate, and analyse all necessary information needed to create an annual, complete GHG emissions inventory.

The GHG emissions inventory follows the "operational control" approach to define its organizational boundary. Operational control is defined as having full authority to introduce and implement the university’s operating policies. As a result, Enterprise Square, the Jubilee Auditorium and properties operated by Alberta Health Services and Canadian Blood Services are not included in our inventory because the university does not have operational control of these buildings.

SCOPE 3 EMISSIONS

Solid Waste
Waste weights are provided monthly by the university's contracted waste hauler for all campuses and entered into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Annual totals of landfill-bound waste are used for the GHG inventory.

Wastewater
Wastewater emissions are based on staff and employee head counts.

Transmission and Distribution Losses
Transmission and Distribution (T&D) losses are calculated based on a standard percentage losses for grid-purchased electricity.


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:

When the university's methodology was first developed, a third party consultant (Blue Source Canada) reviewed and approved the methodology, as well as the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan and the quantified emissions reductions of individual efficiency projects upon which the Energy Reduction Master Plan and GHG reduction targets were based. Additionally, the Clean Air-Cool Planet tool was developed by a third party.
Each year, the manager of EMSO reviews the work of the program team that develops the inventory; the manager follows ISO 14001 standards for their verification. Utilities management staff are consulted to ensure the correct interpretation of utilities data.


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 131,677.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 112,727 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 7,965.80 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 4,747.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 122,201 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 94,901 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 261,843.90 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 212,375.10 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 April 1, 2018 March 31, 2019
Baseline Year April 1, 2005 March 31, 2006

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):

The 2005 baseline year was adopted to align with the University of Alberta GHG emissions reduction goal. At the time that the university's goal was set, the Government of Canada was also using 2005 for its own baseline measurements.


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 586 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon sequestration due to land that the institution manages specifically for sequestration 55 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 55 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 586 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Net carbon offsets 55 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 55 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):

CARBON OFFSETS GENERATED AND SOLD
https://www.csaregistries.ca/albertacarbonregistries/eor_about.cfm

Carbon offsets from three UAlberta waste heat recovery sites have been registered as part of a series of offsets called "Aggregated small scale waste heat recovery project (Project # 3170-4598)", with the Alberta Emissions Offset Registry. Offsets for the most recent year in which the UAlberta sites were verified (vintage 2019) are included in this STARS submission. Funds received from offset sales are reinvested into the university's energy management initiatives. Additional details are publicly available through the Alberta Emissions Offset Registry.

CARBON SEQUESTRATION - FOREST RESERVE

The University of Alberta has reserved approximately 8 hectares of land on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River adjacent to North Campus. This land is set aside and will not be developed. The GHG emissions sink resulting from this forest reserve is approximately 55 tonnes per year, which was calculated following the GHG Protocol guidance document "The Land use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry Guidance for GHG Project Accounting". In addition, reserving this land maintains an unbroken length of the river valley, helping to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity.


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:
---

Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 261,788.90 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 212,320.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,419 3,952
Number of employees resident on-site 8 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 744 746
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 36,713.32 32,326.13
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 9,820.80 8,354.40
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 36,751.34 32,244.40

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 7.12 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 6.58 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
0

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
1,562,706.25 Gross Square Metres

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 123,069.96 Square Metres
Healthcare space 0 Square Metres
Other energy intensive space 133,631.32 Square Metres

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
1,942,477.49 Gross Square Metres

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

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year:
Emissions
Business travel 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 0 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 10,134.30 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 4,520.10 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:

The University of Alberta has released detailed GHG emissions inventory reports for 2005-06 and 2012-13, and has produced simplified inventory reports for subsequent years. Another detailed report will be published in 2020. The inventory allows Facilities & Operations to better plan for reductions, manage sustainability data, and support sustainability reporting.

The urgency and scale of the challenge of global climate change is a call to action for all. Leaders like the University of Alberta have a special role to play in modeling the way to a sustainable future. In 2014, the university set a goal to reduce emissions 17 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2020, matching the Government of Canada's goal set under the Copenhagen Accord. As a globally recognized leader in post-secondary education and research, and a leader in sustainability, the University of Alberta plans to align future reductions plans with changing government commitments.

The university has made considerable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the years due to past energy management projects and the efficiencies of operating a district energy system. Together, these initiatives help the university avoid about 77,000 tonnes of GHG emissions annually. As emissions reduction goals and strategies are set, it is essential to recognize and celebrate these past successes, and consider the future goals and strategies with these achievements in mind.

The university's many energy efficiency projects will help meet this emissions reduction goal. Examples of actions taken to reduce GHG emissions over the previous three years include:
- Retrofitting lighting
- Installing occupancy sensors for lighting across North Campus
- Mechanical system upgrades
- Laboratory demand-based ventilation in some buildings
- Ensuring new and renovated buildings meet LEED or Green Globes standards.
- Certifying many buildings under BOMA BEST
- Nearly 750 kW installed solar PV capacity on our campuses


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBLE PARTY

Shannon Leblanc
Program Team Lead
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

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.