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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.39
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 12, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Tufts University
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.92 / 10.00 Betsy Isenstein
Director of Facilities Technical Services
Facilities Services
"---" 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?:

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

Does the institution's GHG emissions inventory include Scope 3 emissions from other categories?:

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

New method:
Tufts is transitioning to a more rigorous greenhouse gas emissions inventory process conducted by Sightlines. Sightlines' methodology is based on Clean-Air Cool Planet's Campus Carbon Calculator. FY14 emissions data calculated with this methodology is not yet available, so FY13 is used as the performance year.

Old method:
GHG emissions inventory is a simple spreadsheet gathering and aggregating information from Tufts' three campuses. Where possible, data is in fiscal year format to align with Tufts’ fiscal year (which runs from July 1 to June 30). Each campus has a Data Worksheet, a BTU worksheet, and an emissions worksheet.

Emissions coefficients are from the U.S. Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/1605/coefficients.html
BTU conversions are from Energy Star's Thermal Conversation Factors: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/tools_resources/target_finder/help/Energy_Units_Conversion_Table.htm

For degree days get Fiscal Year Heating Degree Day (FY HDD) and Cooling Degree Day (FY CDD). Taken from the National Climactic Data Center: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/documentlibrary/hcs/hcs.html

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?:

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

Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions::
Performance Year Baseline Year
Scope 1 GHG emissions from stationary combustion 15,734 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 17,372 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 1,493 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 1,217 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 26,050 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 26,098 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Scope 2 GHG emissions from other sources 6,271 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 6,611 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 851 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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


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 3,519 3,587
Number of residential employees 11 9
Number of in-patient hospital beds 0 0
Full-time equivalent enrollment 10,461.50 9,355
Full-time equivalent of employees 4,513.24 3,684.50
Full-time equivalent of distance education students 31 0

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or three-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year July 1, 2012 June 30, 2013
Baseline Year July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008

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

Tufts developed a methodology for conducting a greenhouse gas emissions inventory for colleges and universities in 2002. Excerpted from a white paper on the topic:

There are many reasons to embark upon the GHG inventory effort. Most obviously, it is a tool to assist in the systematic identification and recording of known and unknown sources of GHG emissions at an institution. An indirect benefit of conducting an inventory is the knowledge gained of the structure and operation of the institution, not only for GHG emissions but other emissions and environmental stressors.

Second, the inventory will provide a benchmark against which improvements can be quantified. Essential to justifying the commitment of resources (i.e. spending money) is an estimation of the quantities of emission reduced related to a specific effort - how much will the effort reduce emissions in units of carbon equivalents and what will it cost? Quantifying the effectiveness of actions that reduce energy and material use and that lead to reductions of emissions will assist in the justification of resources.

Third, the inventory will be a reference to communicate the most important, as well as the not so obvious, emission releases. Information gathered in the inventory will be used to generate charts and graphs that summarize the importance and status of the emissions reduction effort at your institution. Further, the inventory will assist in the identification of the aggregate impact of the many actions, small and large, that emit greenhouse gases. While the environmental impact of one light bulb, one meal or one photocopy is difficult to value, the cumulative effect of everyday actions creates a substantial ecological footprint. For example, in 1990 Tufts University, an academic institution of 8000 graduate and undergraduate students, served 5 million meals; made 14 million photocopies; used 65 tons of paper towels, consumed 110 million gallons of water and 23 million (kWh) of electricity; generated over 2000 tons of solid waste; and released more than 15,000 metric tones carbon equivalents (MTCE) of GHGs (Creighton 1996) (Gloria 2001). Each source of emission, identified collectively, communicates the importance of an institution's commitment to reduce its contribution to global climate change.

More at: http://sustainability.tufts.edu/tufts-greenhouse-gas-emissions-inventory/

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
4,777,135 Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 914,963 Square Feet
Healthcare space 149,334 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 406,588 Square Feet

Scope 3 GHG emissions, performance year::
Business travel 4,363 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Commuting 9,327 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Purchased goods and services 224 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Capital goods ---
Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2 1,490 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Waste generated in operations 45 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories (please specify below) 879 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

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

Study abroad travel

A copy of the most recent GHG emissions inventory:
The website URL where the GHG emissions inventory is posted:

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


Central Heating Plant, the largest heating plant on the Medford campus, began burning natural gas with #2 fuel as back-up.

Tisch Library VAV boxes and controls were recommissioned.

Public Safety lighting retrofitted to high efficiency fluorescent.

Jackson Gym and Dance Lab HID lighting replaced with T5HO fluorescent lighting and fixture mounted occupancy sensors.

Lane Hall ground source heat pump installed to condition a basement classroom.

Boston Arnold 5 and 6 laboratory was renovated included demand control ventilation and new efficient lighting.


Art Gallery lighting was converted from halogen to LED lighting. A new control system was installed to allow dimming as required for various exhibits.

South Hall first floor common spaces converted to LED lighting.

A new, high efficiency dishwashing machine was installed at Dewick Dining. It uses less water, less energy to heat the water, and exhausts less heat making the dish room a more comfortable environment for dish room workers.

LEED Gold certified Biology Collaborative cluster was completed. This renovation included:
Dedicated outdoor air system
Chilled beams and radiant panels
Demand control ventilation
Heat recovery
High efficiency chillers and boilers
High efficiency lighting and lighting controls

The TAB Data Center was renovated. New high efficiency ventilation, cooling and lighting were installed. Temperature set points were raised and light levels were lowered. During the same time period, the majority of physical servers were replaced by virtual servers allowing the retirement of less efficient computing equipment. The resultant energy savings was 23% over the two years of construction and server rearrangements.

Tisch Athletics Center opened (Fall 2012) including many energy efficiency features:
High-efficiency oil-free variable speed centrifugal water cooled 170 ton chiller
High-efficiency heat recovery enthalpy wheel in air handling unit serving locker rooms
Fully integrated building automation sequences to allow maximum operating efficiency
All lighting fixtures use fluorescent, compact fluorescent, or Energy Star listed LEDs. Site lighting is LED.
Daylight light harvesting at south facing windows, with roll down shades for early morning shading
Occupancy sensors in all rooms
Efficient machine-room-less elevator (uses 1/3 the energy of hydraulic elevators, uses no oil)
Solar-control Low-E insulated glazing
Integral sun-shading fins above and within large south facing windows


Existing first generation LED parking garage lighting in Dowling Hall parking garage was replaced with new LED lighting with an energy payback of less than five years.

Tufts Shared Services’ Utility Supply Center (USC) replaced two aged steam absorbers with two new high efficiency electric chillers. USC provides chilled water to two Tufts facilities in Boston – Dental School and Sackler Center.

Cohen Auditorium HVAC and lighting was replaced with new high efficiency equipment.

Tisch Library aged air handlers were replaced with new high efficiency air handlers in a complex phased project.

Bathrooms in two residence halls, Wren and Haskell, were completely renovated including energy efficient lighting.

Halligan Hall’s renovations included new windows and a new VRF system.

An electric vehicle charging station was installed on the Medford campus.

Pearson boiler controls were updated with modern control technology providing tighter control and increased combustion efficiency.

FY15 (although this STARS submission is for FY14, this information was available at the time of submission so is included here)

An ASHRAE Level 2 Audit was completed at the Jaharis Family Center for Biomedical and Nutrition Research. The next phase of the project is the implementation of the no-cost/low-cost energy efficiency measures to be completed in FY16.

All post top lighting on the Medford/Somerville campus with the exception of a small number of newer fixtures have been retrofitted with LEDs.

Sophia Gordon Hall hallway and common space lighting was replaced with new LED fixtures with integral motion sensors. Lights dim when hallways and common spaces are unoccupied.

Public Safety’s 24x7 Communications Center’s lighting was replaced with LEDs and new controls allowing light level changes.

The newly renovated Spicer Softball Field uses a solar powered scoreboard.

A-19 LED lamps have been provided to residential students at the start of each academic year since 2012.

574 Boston Avenue renovation, completed in May 2015, is on target for LEED Gold certification. It features an improved building envelope with triple pane windows, highly efficient lighting and condensing boilers.

Construction has started on a new energy plant for the Medford campus. It will replace a 60-year-old boiler plant and include 4 MW of cogeneration, centralized chilled water and new boilers. The plant is due to open in the summer of 2016.

Also under construction is a new high-performance science and engineering complex (SEC). This 79,000 sf addition to an existing engineering building is designed to operate at 125 kBTU/sf and will employ cutting-edge energy efficiency technology. Construction is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2017.

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.