Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Chelsea Hamilton
Submission Date March 4, 2022

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 69,461 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 154,007 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 967 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 7,464 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported electricity 27,092 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 97,520 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 121,252 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 121,252 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):

In Spring 2021, Vanderbilt University began a collaboration with the nonprofit organization Climate Vault that allows the university to address the full extent of its carbon footprint now, achieving carbon neutrality in 2021 decades ahead of its initial goal. The initiative effectively removes carbon pollution permits from regulated carbon markets while simultaneously stimulating research into emerging carbon removal technologies. VU purchased 121,252 MTCO2E of carbon offsets in FY2020/2021, to cover:
• 70,428 MTCO2E of Scope 1 emissions
• 27,092 MTCO2E of Scope 2 emissions
• 23,733 MTCO2E of Scope 3 emissions


Adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions:
Performance year Baseline year
Adjusted net GHG emissions 0 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, 2020 Jan. 1, 2005
End date June 30, 2021 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 3,529 6,210
Number of employees resident on-site 24 7
Number of other individuals resident on-site 28 832
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 12,923 11,037
Full-time equivalent of employees 8,808 19,437
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted Campus Users 17,214.50 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 0 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:
100

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
12,280,086 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor area
Laboratory space 694,543 Square Feet
Healthcare space 43,211 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 830,341 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
14,585,935 Gross Square Feet

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

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

In Spring 2021, Vanderbilt University began a collaboration with the nonprofit organization Climate Vault that allows the university to address the full extent of its carbon footprint now, achieving carbon neutrality in 2021 decades ahead of its initial goal. The initiative effectively removes carbon pollution permits from regulated carbon markets while simultaneously stimulating research into emerging carbon removal technologies. VU purchased 121,252 MTCO2E of carbon offsets in FY2020/2021, to cover:
• 70,428 MTCO2E of Scope 1 emissions
• 27,092 MTCO2E of Scope 2 emissions
• 23,733 MTCO2E of Scope 3 emissions
In 2019, the university set a goal to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Several large efforts are already underway to make significant strides toward this goal. While the university continues to push action and innovations on several fronts, it has identified a near-term opportunity to work with Climate Vault and use the cap-and-trade market—which is designed to limit harmful emissions—to accelerate its impact, allowing it to become the first member of the Association of American Universities to achieve carbon neutrality.

The university plans to continue its carbon reduction efforts 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
Vanderbilt University entered into an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service through TVA’s new Green Invest program to procure off-site large-scale renewable energy to help mitigate the campus’ greenhouse gas emissions. 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.
Vanderbilt is the first customer to partner with a local power company on this type of agreement in the seven-state TVA region. The 20-year agreement will support Vanderbilt’s goal to power its campus entirely through renewable energy and become carbon neutral by the year 2050.
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 of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by fall 2022. Groundbreaking for the Vanderbilt One solar farm in Bedford County occurred in January 2022. 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 the result of two years of intensive effort through The Large-Scale Renewable Energy Study by Vanderbilt to identify the best renewable energy strategy for the university on the basis of key criteria that include financial, social and environmental benefits and risk mitigation.

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. 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.


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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