Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.81
Liaison Michael Mendoza
Submission Date Jan. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Houston
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.47 / 10.00 Michael Mendoza
Sustainability Manager
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 Some
Purchased goods and services Some
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations Some
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 None
Other categories Some

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 University of Houston utilized the Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform (SIMAP) from the UNH Sustainability Institute tool to calculate greenhouse gas emissions. The platform was based on the workbooks provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for national-level inventories, and it incorporates data from the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC. SIMAP has adapted this IPCC data for use at institutions like a college or university, but follows the same protocols.

Scope 3 emissions data was collected through different departments on campus:
-Commuting through Parking and Transportation (collected number of parking permits and by survey results estimated average distance).
-Air travel through Study Abroad Office (collected number of students who traveled abroad and their locations).
-Waste and water through UH Facilities


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:

After the greenhouse gas data collection process, the team reviewed the report with faculty within the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department who are specialized in climate modeling and greenhouse gas inventory. The faculty verified the collection process and scrutinized data inconsistencies. The data attached from SIMAP was cross-referenced against data gathered from the greater Houston area within the faculty's research database. Comments and suggestions were then incorporated into the SIMAP data. Their review served as an independent verification of the data collection process by Sustainability staff.


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 23,032.15 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 20,138.40 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 759.70 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3,438.70 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 181,392.56 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 108,540.30 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 205,184.41 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 132,117.40 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 Sept. 1, 2008 Aug. 31, 2009

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):

We chose fiscal year 2009 as our baseline year as this was our most accurately assessed analysis of the university's greenhouse gas emissions prior to the performance year.


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):
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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:
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Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 205,184.41 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 132,117.40 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 8,007 4,950
Number of employees resident on-site 15 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 43,774 29,630
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 5,239 4,623
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 2,626 893
Weighted campus users 36,795.75 26,257.50

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 5.58 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 5.03 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:
14,407,080 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,108,238 Square Feet
Healthcare space 46,253 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 69,744 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
16,785,806 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 4,365.33 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 85,847.71 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 176.11 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 11,060.18 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories 9,788.47 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

Though a clear climate action plan has not been developed, initiatives such as expanded bike offerings and improved waste diversion are currently in development. The Auto & Fleet department is transitioning all carts to electric, and we're exploring ways to purchase or generate more renewable energy on campus. Central Plant optimization projects will also continue and help to reduce GHG emissions. Additionally the building sub-metering program is expanding, and once all building data is captured, baselines can be used to improve water conservation and energy efficiency over time.

A climate action plan is the drafting phase with key stakeholders with plans to finalize a draft within the next year. UH recognizes primarily GHG emission of commuting and purchased electricity with efforts expanding in both areas. UH Parking and Transportation has developed the COAST program which provides incentives for utilizing alternative transportation. Houston BCycle is now on campus which expands biking options on campus. UH is also looking to expand renewable energy and research on campus. Policies are being drafted to require all new construction to pursue LEED Silver certification to increase building efficiencies and decrease overall energy usage on campus. Lastly, to further expand sustainable processes, building resiliency is currently being addressed in partnerships with the Hurricane Resilience Research Institute.

In order to assist with carbon sequestration, UH has a pocket prairie, campus community garden, and an urban forest which achieved Tree Campus USA certification for the past 3 years. Additionally, a tree survey revealed campus trees store over 9,635 tons of carbon
annually and remove over 721 tons of CO2 and over 8,700 pounds of combined particulate matter from their immediate surrounding annually.


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.