Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Parker Long
Submission Date Aug. 27, 2021

STARS v2.2

Virginia Commonwealth University
OP-1: Emissions Inventory and Disclosure

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.46 / 3.00 Wyatt Carpenter
Sustainability Projects and Programs Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution conducted a GHG emissions inventory within the previous three years that includes all Scope 1 and 2 emissions? :
Yes

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:

Between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2019, VCU used the University of New Hampshire Sustainability Indicator Management & Analysis Platform (SIMAP). The VCU Office of Sustainability coordinates data collection with Facilities Management and various other academic and administrative units to complete an annual GHG inventory.

Descriptions of accounting for emission factors reported above are detailed below:
Scope 1
Stationary Fuel - Includes Natural Gas used in buildings on campus

Transport Fuel - Includes gas and diesel used by university fleet vehicles

Fertilizer - Includes pounds of fertilizer applied to campus grounds

Refrigerants - Includes the amount of refrigerants released through system leakage and maintenance

Scope 2
Utilities - All purchased electricity, steam, and chilled water used in campus buildings

Scope 3
Business Travel - Includes directly financed outsourced travel for air, taxi, ferry, and rental car for university faculty and staff, and air travel associated with the study abroad program.

Commuting - Includes the number of faculty, staff, and student commuters, trips to campus per week, commuter weeks per year, and an estimated percentage of commuters per transportation mode (bike, walk, carpool, bus, drive alone, etc.) and an estimated average commuting distance for each commuter mode. Percent usage per commuter mode is estimated based on an annual transportation survey collected by the VCU Parking and Transportation Department. Commuting data may be viewed in the green Input_Commuter tab in the attached GHG calculator tool.

Purchased Goods and Services - As of fiscal year 2020, VCU only estimated paper use for GHG reporting. Paper usage is calculated based on purchasing reports provided by our office supply contractor.

Waste Generated in Operations - Disposal from solid waste is estimated based on monthly reports provided by our various waste haulers. Wastewater is estimated based on building metering.


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 GHG inventory verification process:

The GHG inventory in FY19 was completed by an independent, external third party Sightlines.


Documentation to support the GHG inventory verification process:
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Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions, performance year:
Weight in MTCO2e
Stationary combustion 21,361 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other sources (mobile combustion, process emissions, fugitive emissions) 1,499 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Total gross Scope 1 GHG emissions, performance year:
22,860 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions, performance year (market-based):
Weight in MTCO2e
Imported electricity 54,092 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Imported thermal energy 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Total gross Scope 2 GHG emissions, performance year:
54,092 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Gross GHG emissions from biogenic sources, performance year:
0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Does the GHG emissions inventory include Scope 3 emissions from the following sources?:
Yes or No Weight in MTCO2e
Business travel Yes 15,526 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting Yes 23,899 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services Yes 240 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Capital goods No 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 No 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations Yes 38 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other sources No 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Total Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year:
39,703 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of how the institution accounted for its Scope 3 emissions:

Descriptions of accounting for Scope 3 emission factors reported above are detailed below:

Business Travel - Includes directly financed outsourced travel for air, taxi, ferry, and rental car for university faculty and staff, and air travel associated with the study abroad program.

Commuting - Includes the number of faculty, staff, and student commuters, trips to campus per week, commuter weeks per year, and an estimated percentage of commuters per transportation mode (bike, walk, carpool, bus, drive alone, etc.) and an estimated average commuting distance for each commuter mode. Percent usage per commuter mode is estimated based on an annual transportation survey collected by the VCU Parking and Transportation Department.

Purchased Goods and Services - As of fiscal year 2019, VCU only estimated paper use for GHG reporting. Paper usage is calculated based on purchasing reports provided by our office supply contractor.

Waste Generated in Operations - Disposal from solid waste is estimated based on monthly reports provided by our various waste haulers. Wastewater is estimated based on building metering.


Has the institution completed an inventory within the previous three years to quantify its air pollutant emissions?:
Yes

Annual weight of emissions for::
Weight of Emissions
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) 9.25 Tons
Sulfur oxides (SOx) 0.18 Tons
Carbon monoxide (CO) 7.23 Tons
Particulate matter (PM) 0.69 Tons
Ozone (O3) 0 Tons
Lead (Pb) 0 Tons
Hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) 0 Tons
Ozone-depleting compounds (ODCs) 0 Tons
Other standard categories of air emissions identified in permits and/or regulations 0.61 Tons

Do the air pollutant emissions figures provided include the following sources?:
Yes or No
Major stationary sources Yes
Area sources No
Mobile sources No
Commuting No
Off-site electricity production No

A brief description of the methodology(ies) the institution used to complete its air emissions inventory:

The VCU Energy Manager provided the DEQ Emission report for the steam plant operations at VCU.
VCU conducts continuous emissions monitoring at our main MCV Steam Plant. We complete energy audits to verify steam production is at the optimum level to meet demand. New boilers were installed on the Monroe Park Campus that utilize computer controlled burners that continuously adjust fuel and air mixtures to maintain optimum efficiency and reduce fuel usage.


Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity (location-based):
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Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from imported thermal energy (location-based) :
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Website URL where information about the institution’s emissions inventories is available:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.