Carbon Footprint 2008-2009

During the 2009/2010 school year, a carbon inventory was completed for the 2008/2009 academic year.  In the program this is designated as 2008-2009 Report.   In the 2011/2012 school year, the 2008-2009 Report was condensed to be put online.
The program breaks down emissions into three categories:  Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3. 

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions that come from sources that are owned and/or controlled by Lebanon Valley College.  LVC has complete control over these emissions such as the fossil fuel combustion of campus fleet vehicles.  These are the direct responsibility of the college.  Scope 1 emissions for LVC result from fossil fuel and fertilizer usage. The campus uses natural gas and distillate oil for heating buildings with most buildings using natural gas. Diesel fuel and unleaded gasoline used for running the college fleet also fall into the scope 1 category.  Refrigerants and other chemicals would be another source of scope 1 emissions, but the college ensures that these chemicals are properly cared for and not released as emissions.

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from sources that are not owned or operated by Lebanon Valley College.  However, these sources are directly linked to the energy used by the campus.  While the college is not of direct responsibility of these emissions, it is the fault of the college for the need for these emissions due to demand.  For Lebanon Valley College, purchased electricity is the only source of scope 2 emissions. The monthly records for electricity purchases is available from the office of Facility Services and is also among the publicly available spreadsheets provided in the department’s public drive.

All other emissions are attributed to the Scope 3 categories.  These emissions are typically considered as “optional” and are harder to classify.  Either these emissions are the result of direct financing or encouragement of the college, but are not from sources owned or operated by LVC.  Some great examples of this would be study abroad travel and faculty, staff, and student commuting.  This category must be carefully monitored so that emissions are not being “double counted,” since many the responsibility of these emissions is not clear.
 
Perhaps the greatest advantage the 2009 carbon footprint effort (for the years 2007/8) had over the 2008 attempt (2005/6 and 2006/7 years) is the tremendous support from the entire campus. The understanding and awareness of the carbon footprint investigation at LVC has made information gathering much less troublesome. Much of the needed data has been made publicly available by Facility Services. There still remains a fair amount of data that requires further correspondence, but again the prevailing support in the 2009 endeavor has greatly simplified the process.

It is important to remember that the process is not exact, but it is a great start to creating a greener campus.  The process does not end here; however, it can be improved upon to create more accurate data collection.  To create an environmentally friendly campus, it requires large support for monitoring and improving.
Carbon Inventory Results Summary
Before any mitigation strategies, the total 2008 emissions for all 3 scopes were 10,885.5 MTeCO2. Figure 1 shows the breakdown of emissions by scope, but Figure 2 shows a more detailed breakdown. It appears Scope 2 is the most significant contributor to our total emissions according to Figure 1. Figure 2 shows purchased electricity is the most significant contributor to our total emissions.
 
Figure 1: 2008 Emissions by Scope

 

Figure 2: Emissions by Source

  
 
The most significant Scope 1 emissions are from Other On-Campus Stationary, which includes distillate oil and natural gas. It makes up 20.6% of total emissions and is equivalent to 2,239.7 MTeCO2.  Overall Scope 1 emissions made up 21.0% of overall emissions and are equivalent to 2,292.5 MTeCO2.

Scope 2 emissions consist solely of purchased electricity, which makes up 55.1% of total emissions and is equivalent to 5,996.4 MTeCO2. The majority of our mitigation strategies aim to decrease our electricity emissions since it is such a significant part of LVC’s carbon footprint.
 
Scope 3 emissions contribute 23.9% of total emissions. Faculty, staff, and student commuting make up 13.9% of Scope 3 emissions combined which is equivalent to 1516.1 MTeCO2.