Log In
  • 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 70.78
Liaison Margaret Lo
Submission Date Sept. 1, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

George Mason University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.07 / 10.00 Mary Liang
Sustainability Analyst
Sustainability
"---" 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 Some
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations All
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 All
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:

George Mason University's Office of Sustainability staff provides data to an external consultant, Sightlines, to verify and calculate campus emissions. Sightlines uses the Clean Air-Cool Planet calculator to determine the carbon emissions. For Scope 3, emissions are included for commuting, business travel, refrigerants, paper purchases, fertilizer, and scope 2 transmission and distribution losses.


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:

The greenhouse gas emissions are validated both internally and externally. Each year after the inventory is completed a meeting is held with internal stakeholders to validate the information that they provided. Externally, the consultant, Sightlines verifies and processes the data to ensure accuracy.


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 20,683 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 15,069 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 1,063 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 1,718 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 48,452 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 45,018 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 70,198 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 61,805 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, 2015 June 30, 2016
Baseline Year July 1, 2005 June 30, 2006

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):

The greenhouse gas emissions baseline was adopted in 2006, the year that President Merten signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.


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 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
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 0 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):

N/A


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 508 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:

Due to a change in Mason's strategy, for the matching performance year of FY16, Mason purchased RECs for newly constructed buildings from a Green-E certified vendor. In FY15, Mason purchased 13,890,000 kWh of Green-e Certified Wind Renewable Energy Certificates that offset 15% of its electricity consumption. This was equivalent to 9,762 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. In FY14, Mason offset 10% of its electricity consumption.


Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 69,690 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 61,805 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 6,216 3,995
Number of employees resident on-site 77 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 25 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 28,019 20,682
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 4,321.40 2,906
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 816 0
Weighted campus users 25,241.55 18,689.75

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 2.76 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 3.31 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline:
16.51

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
8,994,238 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 108,082 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 51,077 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
9,261,479 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 2,253 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 20,927 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 311 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 4,341 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories 4,925 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 website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
---

Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

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.