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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.06
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Columbia University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.08 / 10.00 Jennifer Kearney
Energy Director
Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include all Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions?:
Yes

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include all Scope 3 GHG emissions from any of the following categories?:
Yes or No
Business travel No
Commuting No
Purchased goods and services No
Capital goods No
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 No
Waste generated in operations No

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include Scope 3 emissions from other categories?:
No

A brief description of the methodology and/or tool used to complete the GHG emissions inventory:

Columbia uses the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager and PlaNYC tool kit to track the GHG emissions inventory. Both applications are helpful in tracking individual buildings and the campus as a whole. The EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager is updated monthly, and the information input into the PlaNYC tool kit is updated every 6 months.


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:

Frank Martino, Vice-President of Operations at Columbia University validates the GHG emissions inventory. The GHG emissions inventory is completed by Jennifer Kearney, the Director of Energy Programs. Jennifer Kearney has overseen and managed the GHG emissions inventory since 2007. On a monthly basis the GHG emissions inventory is updated once usage becomes available via Con Edison's customer portal. Columbia takes the usage data from Con Edison and uses this information to update information input into the EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Jennifer Kearney and Frank Martino meet and discuss GHG emissions inventory quarterly. In this quarterly meeting milestones are discussed as well as successes and shortcomings.


Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 74,572 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 93,298 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 60,028 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 56,556 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine total carbon offsets::
Performance Year Baseline Year
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
Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the institution-catalyzed carbon offsets program:

Columbia participates in MillionTreesNYC a citywide, public-private program with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across the City's five boroughs by 2017. The program is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC climate emissions reduction program. As of 2012, over 500,000 million trees have been planted by the program. As part of Columbia’s partnership with the program, the University plants trees, tracks tree health, and provides maintenance not only for the trees Columbia plants but other MillionTreesNYC program trees throughout the Morningside Heights/West Harlem area for the city. The CUMC campus also participates in the MillionTreesNYC program and is working with the City to enhance the number of trees planted on-site.

The new Campbell Sports Center, which began construction at Baker Athletics Complex this spring, is performing a restoration at the other end of the lot stretches the banks of the Harlem River, where Columbia is working to restore the onetime marshland adjacent to Inwood Hill Park. The 40,000-square-foot Boathouse Marsh park will recreate a habitat for native wetland plants and birds.

In addition, Columbia participates in the The Black Rock Forest Consortium-an alliance of colleges and universities, public and independent K-12 schools, and leading scientific and cultural institutions-that operates the nearly 4000-acre Black Rock Forest.

All of these projects help remove carbon from the atmosphere and act as carbon sinks for Columbia’s local campus and surrounding community.

Assessing Ecosystem Effects of NYC Urban Forest Restoration of MillionTreesNYC: http://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1079&context=cate
Milliontrees NYC: http://www.milliontreesnyc.org/downloads/pdf/nyc_mfra.pdf
Black Rock Forest: http://www.blackrockforest.org/docs/about-the-forest/index.html


A brief description of the carbon sequestration program and reporting protocol used:
---

A brief description of the composting and carbon storage program:
---

A brief description of the purchased carbon offsets, including third party verifier(s) and contract timeframes:
---

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of residential students 10,958 10,510
Number of residential employees 1,523 1,450
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 24,921 19,331
Full-time equivalent of employees 18,379 18,379
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 793 793

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year Jan. 1, 2013 Dec. 31, 2013
Baseline Year Jan. 1, 2006 Dec. 31, 2006

A brief description of when and why the GHG emissions baseline was adopted:

n/a


Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
13,082,585 Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,077,570 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 0 Square Feet

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year::
Emissions
Business travel 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 0 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 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories (please specify below) 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

A brief description of the sources included in Scope 3 GHG emissions from "other categories":

n/a


A copy of the most recent GHG emissions inventory:
The website URL where the GHG emissions inventory is posted:
http://environment.columbia.edu/energy-climate#PlaNYC Carbon Challenge Participant
+ Date Revised: June 11, 2015

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

In 2007 the NYC Carbon Challenge for Universities began. Columbia University along with 16 other universities joined the mayor in this initiative to reduce NYC’s carbon footprint 30% by 2017. This program required Columbia University to choose a baseline year. Columbia University choose 2006 since the program began in 2007.


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.