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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 66.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date May 14, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

George Washington University
OP-5: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.51 / 14.00 Mark Ellis
Sustainability Project Facilitator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Scope 1 and 2 gross GHG emissions, 2005 :
104,939.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Off-site, institution-catalyzed carbon offsets generated, 2005:
0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Third-party verified carbon offsets purchased, 2005:
0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

On-campus residents, 2005:
6,885

Non-residential/commuter full-time students, faculty, and staff members, 2005:
12,735

Non-residential/commuter part-time students, faculty, and staff members, 2005:
7,614

Scope 1 and 2 gross GHG emissions, performance year :
86,659.90 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Off-site, institution-catalyzed offsets generated, performance year:
0 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Carbon offsets purchased, performance year:
823 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

List the start and end dates of the GHG emissions performance year:
July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013 (FY2013)

On-campus residents, performance year:
7,511

Non-residential/commuter full-time students, faculty, and staff members, performance year:
14,303

Non-residential/commuter part-time students, faculty, and staff members, performance year:
8,056

Time period for weighted campus user (list the consecutive 12 month period that most closely overlaps with GHG performance year):
July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013

The guiding principle of GW's inventory is to include facilities that are owned or leased by the University that house activities and/or personnel that directly contribute to (e.g., classrooms, offices, research laboratories) and/or support (e.g., administrative offices, student medical clinic, and warehouse space) its academic mission. All facilities used for University purposes that are either owned and operated or rented from a third party are included. Buildings GW owns but rents to others were excluded as they do not house GW personnel or activities, and as such, GW does not control consumption patterns in these locations.

CA-CP Campus Carbon Calculator's (version 6.9) default emissions coefficients were used for all categories except electricity. A custom electric source mix was used rather than the regional figure from the CA-CP Calculator.

Certain assumptions were used in assembling this inventory, including the following:

Metrics for emissions from leased building spaces included certain assumptions, as the university is limited in its ability to track emissions from spaces it does not own/manage. For this metric, emissions were calculated using the following energy estimates in kBTU/GSF: 45 for warehouses, 83 for classrooms, 93 for offices, and 105 for medical spaces. Energy consumption is allocated as 60% from electricity and 40% from natural gas. These figures were based on existing data from similar buildings and Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data.

Additionally, air travel mileage is not tracked at present, although information on dollars spent is available. Therefore, to develop a mileage figure, dollars spent were converted into miles flown (per AASHE guidance). The university's air travel mileage is based on the separate dollars spent on international and domestic flights during FY2010, divided by the respective factors of dollars-per-air-mile-traveled for 2009 as tabulated by the Air Transport Association of America (now "Airlines for America").

Reported carbon offsets purchased reported above were all Green-e certified RECs.

The commuting emissions data do not include student travel to/from campus at the beginning/end of each semester. In early 2010, GW performed a comprehensive transportation survey of each population (students, staff, and faculty), to improve upon the 2005 data used in our initial FY2008 GHG inventory. The data for the FY2010 inventory are based on this new survey and improves data accuracy.

Onsite carbon offsets were not accounted for in the reported FY 2010 performance year figures above. For measuring GW's onsite carbon sequestration potential, Casey Trees, a non-profit organization, performed GW's tree inventory. The inventory occurred in two parts, the first was in spring 2009 and covered only the Foggy Bottom Campus. The second occurred in late 2009 and covered the Mount Vernon Campus. Casey Trees surveyed both campus and street trees (city-owned) and gathered information about tree species, size, and location. This information was input into the Forest Service's Street Tree Management Tool for Urban Forest Managers (STRATUM) model and yielded 196 metric tons of carbon dioxide benefit, net of decomposition and maintenance losses.

STRATUM was developed by researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Center for Urban Forest Research. This model quantifies the structure, function, and value of a city's street trees. This run of the model was calibrated for trees in the Piedmont Climate Zone which includes Washington, DC and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Southern states.

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.