Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Vanderbilt University
OP-2: 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

Gross Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 69,297 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 154,007 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 1,562 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 7,464 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported electricity 39,661 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 223,343 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported thermal energy 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Total 110,520 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 384,814 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine net carbon sinks:
Performance year Baseline year
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 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 storage from on-site composting 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Carbon storage from non-additional sequestration 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent ---
Carbon sold or transferred 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Net carbon sinks 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the carbon sinks, including vendor, project source, verification program and contract timeframes (as applicable):
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Adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Adjusted net GHG emissions 110,520 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 384,814 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Performance year Baseline year
Start date July 1, 2019 Jan. 1, 2005
End date June 30, 2020 Dec. 31, 2005

A brief description of when and why the GHG emissions baseline was adopted:
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Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance year Baseline year
Number of students resident on-site 5,867 6,210
Number of employees resident on-site 26 7
Number of other individuals resident on-site 41 832
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 12,592 11,037
Full-time equivalent of employees 8,828 19,437
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted Campus Users 17,579.25 25,241.75

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 6.29 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:
58.76

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
11,956,910 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 689,229 Square Feet
Healthcare space 42,758 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 825,036 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
14,245,920 Gross Square Feet

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

A brief description of the institution’s GHG emissions reduction initiatives:

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. In 2019, Vanderbilt unveiled a comprehensive long-term strategy to significantly reduce its environmental footprint in part by powering its campus entirely through renewable energy, putting the university on track to be carbon neutral by 2050. While achieving the balance of carbon neutrality has become a sustainability standard at many American universities, Vanderbilt leaders today said they plan to go a step further and produce more renewable energy than consumed. Considerations for the renewable energy surplus include feeding energy back to the power grid or storing for use during high-demand seasons or emergencies.

The university plans to meet its 2050 commitment by:
• Investing in on-site clean energy
• Investing in off-site large-scale renewable energy
• Increasing green spaces across campus such as more pedestrian-friendly walkways and parks
• Reducing energy consumption and waste
• Decreasing the university’s carbon footprint from transportation and commuting
• Investing in sustainable infrastructure

To support Vanderbilt’s carbon neutral and net positive + resilience goal by 2050, additional goals and commitments have been made:

Zero Waste
Vanderbilt announced in January 2020 its commitment to achieving zero waste by the year. Zero waste is defined as a 90% diversion rate from the landfill, acknowledging that no institution is completely waste-free. Administrators, faculty, staff, students and off-campus stakeholders participated in a nine-month, collaborative, research-driven process to address the scopes of the university’s carbon footprint and provide recommendations to reduce the university’s environmental impact as part of FutureVU, the university’s holistic campus planning process.
Once the Zero Waste Study was completed, the Zero Waste Advisory Committee outlined two specific goals for the university and two supporting actions:
• Goal 1: Achieve zero waste, a 90% diversion rate, by 2030
• Goal 2: Reduce the amount of waste generated on campus by 30% by 2030
Supporting Actions:
• End institutional single-use plastic bottle purchases by 2025, except in laboratories *
• Expand food waste collection to include all dining areas and residential halls by 2025
*Laboratories are exempt due to lack of available alternatives and safety concerns.

Large-Scale Renewable Energy
Additionally, Vanderbilt University and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, have announced a Green Invest partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service—a collaboration that will allow the region to take a bold step forward in expanding availability and access to renewable energy at a critical time in global efforts to address the threat of climate change.

Through this new partnership, Vanderbilt is tackling climate change head-on by working towards its goal of powering its campus entirely through renewable energy and committing to carbon neutrality.

The renewable power will come from two solar farms to be built in Bedford County and Tullahoma, Tennessee, by Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corporation, the U.S. solar platform for Shell and one of the largest independent solar power producers in the country.

Vanderbilt will reach its renewable energy goal just over four years after the university made its initial commitment in 2019. Vanderbilt’s initial partnership, announced in January 2020, will mitigate approximately 70 percent by fall 2022 of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions related to indirect emissions from purchased electricity. The second Green Invest project will supply enough renewable energy to offset the remaining 30 percent of the university’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity by fall 2023. The agreement is also anticipated to provide hundreds of new jobs during the construction of the solar project as well as unique educational and research opportunities for the Vanderbilt community with both solar farm locations within close proximity to the Nashville area.

Transportation
MoveVU is Vanderbilt’s strategic transportation and mobility plan that falls under the FutureVU comprehensive campus planning efforts. MoveVU goals align with FutureVU guiding principles to beautify the campus, preserve and enhance the park-like character people enjoy, create a walkable and sustainable campus and better connect areas of campus that feel disconnected. MoveVU calls for diversification of transportation options, reduction of the drive alone rate to campus that aligns with university goals to become carbon neutral, prioritization of pedestrian and micromobility, and improvement of accessibility.

MoveVU aims to give commuters more options to choose from when making their daily decision on how they will travel to campus and to provide greater flexibility beyond driving alone to campus and using a traditional annual parking permit to better match their dynamic lifestyles.

Campus Energy Use/Production
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. During the closure of campus in spring 2020 due to COVID-19, buildings that were not being used at their typical capacity were setback to match new, reduced operations. During the spring shutdown, rightsizing our energy use to match campus operations allowed campus to be as efficient as possible and conserve energy across campus. This operation decreases the amount of electricity purchased from the local utility and provided an overall reduction in VU’s carbon footprint.


Website URL where information about the institution's GHG emissions is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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

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