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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 69.67
Liaison Trina Innes
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-1: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.29 / 10.00 Michael Versteege
Manager, Energy Management & Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations
"---" 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 None
Commuting None
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 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:

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory was compiled and reported by Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO) in Facilities & Operations (F&O). The university's GHG emissions are tracked and analyzed using a spreadsheet by Clean Air Cool Planet (CA-CP). Using emission factors, the spreadsheet calculates GHG emissions from data collected from Utilities, F&O, Finance and other relevant departments. Because several departments are contacted to collect the immense amount of information required to complete the inventory, EMSO has created a Standard Operating Procedure outlying all the contacts and steps to gather, calculate, and analyse all necessary information needed to create an annual, complete GHG emissions inventory.

The GHG emissions inventory follows the "operational control" approach to define its organizational boundary. Operational control is defined as having full authority to introduce and implement the university’s operating policies. As a result, Enterprise Square, the Jubilee Auditorium and properties operated by Alberta Health Services and Canadian Blood Services are not included in our inventory because the university does not have operational control of these buildings.

Data for Scope 3 emissions are also collected by EMSO from the appropriate department: waste and wastewater emissions are compiled by Buildings and Grounds Servicse; additional transmission and distribution losses are compiled from Utilities. These Scope 3 emissions are also analyzed using the CA-CP spreadsheet.


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 university's most recent GHG emissions inventory has been reviewed and validated internally by Utilities staff.

Blue Source Canada has reviewed and approved the methodology, as well as the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan and the quantified emissions reductions of individual efficiency projects.


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 156,030.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 112,598.40 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 1 GHG emissions from other sources 6,674.30 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 4,747.10 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Gross Scope 2 GHG emissions from purchased electricity 123,110.60 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 94,844.70 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 285,815 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 212,190.20 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 April 1, 2015 March 31, 2016
Baseline Year April 1, 2005 March 31, 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 2005 baseline year was adopted to align with the university's GHG emissions reduction goal. At the time that the university's goal was set, the Government of Canada was also using 2005 for its own baseline measurements.


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 55 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 55 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 55 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 55 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):

The University of Alberta has reserved approximately 8 hectares of land on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River adjacent to North Campus. This land is set aside and will not be developed. The GHG emissions sink resulting from this forest reserve is approximately 55 tonnes per year. In addition, reserving this land maintains an unbroken length of the river valley, helping to preserve wildlife habitat and biodiversity.


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 285,760 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 212,135.20 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent

Figures needed to determine “Weighted Campus Users”:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Number of students resident on-site 4,678 3,952
Number of employees resident on-site 14 0
Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 519 615
Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 34,693 32,125
Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 9,604 8,147
Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education 0 0
Weighted campus users 34,914.75 31,807

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 8.18 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent 6.67 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):
0

Gross floor area of building space, performance year:
16,814,578.19 Gross Square Feet

Floor area of energy intensive building space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 2,424,387.51 Square Feet
Healthcare space 0 Square Feet
Other energy intensive space 2,415,805.23 Square Feet

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
24,079,148.08 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 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 4,057 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent
Other categories 16,539.50 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 University of Alberta has released detailed GHG emissions inventory reports for 2005-06 and 2012-13, and has produced a simplified inventory for 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. Another detailed report will be published in 2020. The inventory allows Facilities and Operations to better plan for reductions, manage sustainability data, and support sustainability reporting.

The urgency and scale of the challenge of global climate change is a call to action for all. Leaders like the University of Alberta have a special role to play in modeling the way to a sustainable future. In 2014, the university set a goal to reduce emissions 17 per cent below 2005 levels by the year 2020, matching the Government of Canada's goal set under the Copenhagen Accord. As a globally recognized leader in post-secondary education and research, and a leader in sustainability, the University of Alberta plans to align future reductions plans with changing government commitments.

The university has made considerable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the years due to past energy management projects and the efficiencies of operating a district energy system. Together, these initiatives help the university avoid about 77,000 tonnes annually. As emissions reduction goals and strategies are set, it is essential to recognize and celebrate these past successes, and consider the future goals and strategies with these achievements in mind.

The university's many energy efficiency projects will help meet this emissions reduction goal. Examples of actions taken to reduce GHG emissions over the previous three years include:
- Retrofitting lighting
- Installing occupancy sensors across North Campus
- Running a pilot project that used people counters to calibrate the building automation system so that it doesn't provide excess heat/electricity to underused spaces
- Educating to close unused fume hoods
- Ensuring new and renovated buildings meet LEED or Green Globes standards.
- Working to certify all buildings under BOMA BEST


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

Lauren Hall
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations

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.