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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 67.88
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Sept. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Pennsylvania State University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.37 / 10.00 Shelley McKeague
Environmental Compliance Specialist
Engineering Services
"---" 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 None
Capital goods None
Waste generated in operations All
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 Some
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:

http://sustainability.psu.edu/energy-environment

Penn State utilizes a Excel-based calculation tool customized for Penn State's emissions profile and data availability. Emissions factors and calculation methodologies are based on EPA MRR and WRI guidance.


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?:
No

A brief description of the internal and/or external verification process:

The original inventory calculation tool was developed by a graduate student as part of a thesis and was reviewed by multiple faculty members.


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 113,937 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 198,192 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 14,907 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 18,861 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 179,775 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 232,004 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 308,619 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 449,057 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):

FY2005-06 was adopted as our baseline year to be consistent with our previous STARS reporting. It is also the University's baseline for GHG reduction goals.


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 337 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 535 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 337 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 535 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):

Pre and post consumer food waste is collected at PSU operated hotels and catering services. Post consumer food waste is collected at dining halls. Other inputs include leaves, landscape debris and animal cage waste. Farm animal manure and crop residues are also used to create an optimal compost mix. Leaves, plant debris, brush, logs and pallets are also processed into mulch. Both the compost and mulch and used in landscape management.

The Organic Materials Processing and Education Center (OMPEC) is the program that leads Penn State's composting efforts as a waste disposal alternative. OMPEC formed as a result of the combined efforts of students, staff and faculty of Housing and Food Services (HFS), the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), and the College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS).

In house calculations.


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 0 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:
---

Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Adjusted net Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 308,282 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 448,522 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 14,211 13,795
Number of employees resident on-site 0 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 0 0
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 45,661 39,043
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 15,577 14,183
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 49,481.25 43,368.25

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 6.23 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 10.34 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Percentage reduction in adjusted net Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions per weighted campus user from baseline (0-100):
39.76

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
20,886,526 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 1,379,134 Square Feet
Healthcare space 43,075 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 411,707 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
24,142,651 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 16,462 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 38,635 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services ---
Capital goods ---
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 9,334 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 1,819 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories ---

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

The University is currently implementing a $60 million, 5 year investment in building energy efficiency and conservation initiatives. Projects include lighting upgrades, improving steam traps, installing low-flow water fixtures, upgrading chiller/chilled water systems, insulation, programming thermostats, reprogramming/ upgrading control systems, tuning up systems and equipment, cleaning and flushing HVAC (heating, venting and air conditioning) piping and installing room occupancy sensors.

Penn State installed a natural gas combustion turbine and heat recovery generator at the East Campus Steam Plant in 2011. This reduced GHG emissions by utilizing the CT for baseloading, lowering the consumption of coal at the West Campus Steam Plant. This onsite generation is more efficient and less carbon intensive than electricity purchased from the grid. At the West Campus Steam Plant, coal consumption was eliminated in 2016. Two new natural gas boilers and 2 new steam turbines have been installed.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

See Notes in IC-3 regarding treatment of distance education students.

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.