Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.43 / 10.00 Richard Miller
Director
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" 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 All
Purchased goods and services Some
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations All
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:

The 2019 GHG Inventory was conducted with the UNH SIMAP online calculator. UConn originally used the traditional spreadsheet-style Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC) by UNH, but replaced the CCC with SIMAP in 2017.

For Scope 3 emissions, Commuting reflects only the emissions associated with students and faculty/staff driving to campus in automobiles (SIMAP lists Faculty and Staff separately, but our university tracks them as one group of permits, so we only listed them under "Faculty"). Parking permit numbers are used to estimate the number of miles driven annually. For Purchased goods and services, only paper is reflected here. This data is retrieved from UConn’s purchasing office. For solid waste, data is obtained from UConn’s waste contractor, Willimantic Waste, and wastewater data is retrieved from the Facilities department, who runs our on-site wastewater treatment plant.


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:

Once completed, the inventory is reviewed and verified by the Sustainability Program Manager and Director of the Office of Sustainability, and the Energy & Compliance Manager who is responsible for the Energy Management unit within Facilities Operations & Building Services, which operates and maintains the stationary sources that account for the vast majority of our GHG emissions, and which manages UConn's purchased power activities. The inventory is also presented annually at the spring meeting of UConn's Environmental Policy Advisory Council, which is responsible for overseeing implementation of UConn's Climate Action Plan and carbon-neutrality commitment pursuant to the Second Nature's Carbon/Climate Commitment.

UConn’s Storrs Campus is subject to the EPA’s GHG reporting requirements, which are codified in 40 CFR 98, because the facility has stationary fuel combustion sources with an aggregate maximum rated heat input capacity equal to or greater than 30 million Btu per hour and the facility’s total CO2e emissions are equal to or greater than 25,000 metric tons. UConn prepares a GHG emissions report to EPA by March 31st of each year covering emissions during the previous calendar year and submits the report electronically through EPA’s online e-GGRT system. EPA reviews and verifies the accuracy of our annual GHG emissions report/inventory as a regulatory compliance matter.


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 100,802.59 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 108,925.90 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 6,056.32 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 7,953.53 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 14,738.30 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 106,858.91 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 131,617.73 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, 2019 Dec. 31, 2019
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2007 Dec. 31, 2007

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):

Prior to 2007, inventory numbers are inconsistent. Data consistent with the calculator dates back most accurately from 2007 onwards. We use precise actual fuel consumption numbers and emissions data for all scope 1 and scope 2 emissions sources. At the time, 2007 was also the recommended baseline year for signatories to the ACUPCC (including UConn's President in 2008).


Figures needed to determine total carbon offsets:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased (exclude purchased RECs/GOs) 14 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 5 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 5,398.53 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3,840 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon storage from on-site composting 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3.50 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 5,412.53 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3,848.50 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):

5.0 MTeCO2 carbon offsets from Sterling Planet in the name of the winning dorm in the per capita energy conservation portion of UConn's annual EcoMadness competition. The offsets purchased reflect CO2 emissions avoided by the amount of energy saved over the baseline, by residents in all 23 first- and second-year dormitories, or separately metered clusters of dormitories, competing during the course of the month-long energy and water conservation contest. Similarly, the UConn Office of Environmental Policy purchases 4.5 MTeCO2 carbon offsets each for two carbon-neutral basketball "Green Game Days" every year (2017 was the first annual occurrence) to offset the energy used during the game.

For Carbon storage from on-site composting, an on-campus composting facility began operation in August 2010. It processes up to 800 tons per year of animal manure, but is sold to the community and therefore not used as a soil amendment on campus. 5,398.53 metric tons of CO2 equivalent is offset via carbon sequestration from forested land that is specifically managed by the University’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment for four reasons, including carbon sequestration, forest health and biodiversity, forest management practice demonstration, and outdoor research for natural resource conservation, as outlined in UConn’s Climate Action Plan. Carbon offset through sequestration is calculated under the assumption that every acre of sequestered forested land is equal to 2.56 metric tons of CO2 equivalent offset. This calculation comes from: Birdsey, Richard “Forest and Global Change Vol. 2”.


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:

We have a contract with a third party vendor, Direct Energy, to provide UConn with green power for 100% of purchased power from the grid. Based on the Green-E Energy Certified certificate that Direct Energy provided to UConn, 100% of that green power has been renewable wind power from Texas. The UNH SIMAP online calculator automatically deducts purchased renewable energy from scope 2 emissions, so we will not be including that data point here as it is already accounted for in the previous question.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 101,446.38 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 127,769.23 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 12,104 11,307
Number of employees resident on-site 35 26
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 8 8
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 21,365 18,602
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 4,314.78 4,604.70
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 239.30 395
Weighted campus users 22,123.11 19,950.03

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 4.59 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 6.40 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
28.40

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
11,988,536.31 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 824,103.74 Square Feet
Healthcare space 15,647.51 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 323,460.84 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
13,991,499.65 Gross Square Feet

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

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year:
Emissions
Business travel ---
Commuting 15,220.54 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 164.55 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Capital goods ---
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 ---
Waste generated in operations 283.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories ---

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

• Class III Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) generated by UConn’s Co-Generation Facility, sold to finance energy efficiency projects across campus generates approximately $2M annually
• 134 re-lamping projects completed for more than $700,000 per year savings in energy costs and over 5,000 metric tons eCO2 avoided (ongoing)
• 19 retro-commissioning projects completed for $2.2 million per year savings in energy costs and more than 12,000 metric tons eCO2 avoided
• LEED Gold certification requirement for all new building and renovations over $5 million
• Several variable-frequency drive (VFD) projects optimizing heating and cooling in buildings for around 1,000 metric tons eCO2 avoided
• Long-term electricity purchasing agreement with ConEd Solutions (Direct Energy in 2017-2020) for 100% of purchased electricity comprised of renewable energy
• Replacement of leaking steam system sections of distribution and condensate return pipes (approx. 5,000 linear ft. per summer since 2016), has reduced fuel consumption and GHG emissions from generating steam
• Agricultural/organic waste composting facility operating at maximum load of 800 metric tons per year
• 400 kW fuel cell and a total of approximately 45kW in four separate rooftop solar arrays, three providing electricity (PV) and one providing thermal energy for hot water
• Department of Energy’s Workplace Charging Challenge pledge signed: 20 active EV charging stations and an expanding EV fleet
• Hybrids and EVs are purchased to replace gasoline light duty vehicles whenever they are retired.
•Annual EcoMadness energy and water use reduction competition in residence halls


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