Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Vanderbilt University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Chelsea Hamilton
Sustainability Outreach Coordinator
Sustainability and Environmental Management Office
"---" 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 All
Commuting All
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 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:

In order to create a single, consistent methodology for calculating and reporting GHG emissions for the University, emissions for Vanderbilt, including those years prior to 2009, were calculated utilizing the EPA’s scope and emissions factors for relevant stationary sources. Transportation emissions were calculated using the EPA MOVES model.


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:

Validated internally by faculty, staff, and students independent of the GHG accounting and reporting process. Report is reviewed and verified by Director of Vanderbilt’s Sustainability and Environmental Management Office, Chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee, Vice Chancellor for Administration, Chief of Staff for Vice Chancellor for Administration, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Chief Facilities Officer, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Plant Operations, Environmental Management Systems Coordinator, and Sustainability Outreach Coordinator.


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 74416 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 153161 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 1840 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 8310 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 46331 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 223343 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 122587 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 384814 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 July 1, 2017 June 30, 2018
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2005 Dec. 31, 2005

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):
---

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 22.40 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 22.40 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):

Vanderbilt’s solar PV installation on Currey Tennis Center, installed in September 2016, produced 27 megawatt hours of power in 2017 and the solar hot water system has reduced the need for natural gas by 40% in the building. The solar PV electricity generation can be viewed via an online dashboard at https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/login?&utm_content=html with the login: sustainvu@vanderbilt.edu and password: VU*Tennis. The VU/MWS Renewable Energy Showcase includes a small solar installation and wind turbine that produce enough energy to power the average Nashville home.
Vanderbilt purchases the maximum allowed 750 blocks per month of renewable energy through TVA's Green Power Switch Program.


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 564.60 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:

Vanderbilt purchases the maximum allowed 750 blocks per month of renewable energy through TVA's Green Power Switch Program.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 122000 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 384814 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6449 6210
Number of employees resident on-site 29 7
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 26 832
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 12344 11037
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 8715 19437
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 17439.75 25241.75

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 7.00 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 15.25 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
54.11

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
11878938 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 645669 Square Feet
Healthcare space 35544 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 761269 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
14002633 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 14243 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 42383 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 4683 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 topic of sustainability is weaved throughout the FutureVU vision and the FutureVU Guiding Principles. As part of the FutureVU planning process, Vanderbilt, alongside Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Atelier Ten studied Vanderbilt’s current practices, internal stakeholder goals and objectives, peer university programs, and the local and national sustainability context. As part of FutureVU, Atelier Ten prepared a Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions forecast, outlining potential targets and scenarios for the university to reach a significant reduction in GHG by 2050. Vanderbilt has launched four comprehensive operational studies to further expand on the forecast recommendations and aid in the development of solutions that result in a significant reduction in the University’s environmental impact. These studies include a Large-Scale Renewable Energy Study, a BlueSky Vision Energy Strategy Study, a Zero Waste Study, and a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Study.

One major potential improvement Vanderbilt may want to consider is the use of renewable energy as part of its power portfolio. As a result of the FutureVU Atelier Ten analysis, Vanderbilt has chosen to study potential options for off-campus, large-scale (larger-than-2MW) renewable energy sources that include distributed solar or wind farms/projects. A competitive process was used to identify an expert partner, Customer First Renewables, to determine the best future renewable energy strategy for Vanderbilt to consider by evaluating the viability of potential options on the basis of key criteria that include financial, social and environmental benefits and risk mitigation. This project kicked off in September 2017 with the formation of an advisory committee and will result in a recommended strategy at the conclusion of its efforts.

As a result of FutureVU efforts, major potential opportunities to reduce Vanderbilt's carbon footprint and improve central campus land use were identified within the university's on-campus energy production, distribution and consumption infrastructure and behavior. Even though Vanderbilt converted the existing on-campus combined heat and power plant from primarily coal-fired to natural gas in 2014, substantial opportunities remain, particularly in building and central plant siting and energy efficiency. The BlueSky Energy Vision Study kicked off in November of 2017. The study will culminate in a "BlueSky Energy Vision" for campus energy in late 2018, early 2019.

The Zero Waste Advisory Committee will develop a zero waste plan for Vanderbilt University to include an overarching strategy with milestones and timeline. This plan will include the following goals: diversion from landfill to Zero Waste inclusive of municipal solid waste and construction/demolition waste; waste prevention, reduction, and minimization; aligning with upcoming Metro Nashville Zero Waste Plan; and a robust education and outreach component. The committee began meeting in 2018 and will continue in 2019.

MoveVU, Vanderbilt’s new mobility strategy, has been a unique collaboration with faculty, administrators, staff and students. MoveVU is about creating a plan to better move to and around our campus. MoveVU will consider Vanderbilt’s need to be inclusive and careful in our approach to be better stewards of our environment while meeting the mobility needs of those who live and work at Vanderbilt. MoveVU has received a $4.5 million, three-year federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) grant, which the university will match. The $9 million total will fund shuttle operations, shuttle shelters, bike share shelters and other efforts to encourage greater use of sustainable travel options.

Vanderbilt’s central power plant is operated with economy in mind, utilizing the co-generation plant’s gas turbines and duct burners to the maximum extent practicable.  The package boilers at the central plant – installed as a replacement to VU’s old coal-fired boilers – are used only as needed to meet additional steam demand.  As a result of this practice, the package boilers we not used for three months during the 2018-2019 academic year.  This operation decreases the amount of electricity purchased from the local utility and provided an overall reduction in VU’s carbon footprint. 


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

Vanderbilt University embarked on a new journey as an independent legal entity from Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) on May 1, 2016. The University is now smaller in both number of people and square feet, and, therefore, so is our 2016 Greenhouse Gas inventory in comparison to our previous inventories (2005-2015). 2005 baseline data reflects the state of the University at that time, which included VUMC.

https://www.vanderbilt.edu/futurevu/sustainability.php

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.