ACUPCC Reporting System

GHG Report for University of Louisville

Submitted on September 16, 2009; last updated on September 16, 2011

Summary Statistics

Making fair comparisons between higher education institutions is always challenging due to the rich diversity of higher education. The unverified nature of the information in this database and unavailability of unbiased normalization metrics means such comparisons are even more difficult. Users should therefore approach direct institution to institution comparisons with caution and recognize that all comparisons between institutions are inherently biased.
Total Per Full-Time Enrollment Per 1000 Square Feet % Offset
Gross emissions (Scopes 1 + 2) 152,279 metric tons of CO2e 8.8 metric tons of CO2e 21.8 metric tons of CO2e 0%
Gross emissions (Scopes 1 + 2 + 3) 192,803 metric tons of CO2e 11.2 metric tons of CO2e 27.5 metric tons of CO2e 0%
Net emissions 192,789 metric tons of CO2e 11.2 metric tons of CO2e 27.5 metric tons of CO2e N/A

Emissions Inventory Methodology and Boundaries

Start date of the 12-month period covered in this report July 1, 2007
Consolidation methodology used to determine organizational boundaries Operational control approach
If any institution-owned, leased, or operated buildings or other holdings that should fall within the organizational boundaries are omitted, briefly explain why.

Several buildings which are associated with the university but not owned or operated by UofL are not included in this report. Examples of these include fraternity and sorority houses, dormitories operated by third parties, the University Hospital, and off-campus leased space.

Emissions calculation tool used Clean Air-Cool Planet
Please describe why this tool was selected.

Estimated emissions were calculated using the Clean Air-Cool Planet® Campus Carbon Calculator v6.1 software utilizing annual facility data. The calculator was used for university data collection, storage and conversion into a common greenhouse gas emission unit, metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT eCO2). In the conversion process, the calculator uses scientifically-based factors for specific activities leading to GHG emissions (e.g., commuter miles traveled, tons of waste disposed, gallons of fuel burned, etc.). These conversion factors have been modified as more is learned about the global warming effects of various greenhouse gases.

Please describe the source(s) of the emissions coefficients used.

The default emissions coefficients supplied in the Clean Air-Cool Planet® Campus Carbon Calculator were used in preparing this report. The version of the Carbon Calculator we employed uses a global warming potential (GWP) factor from the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). GWP is the ratio of the degree of warming to the atmosphere that would result from the emission of one unit of a given GHG compared to one unit of carbon dioxide over a specified time period. This is used to convert emissions of other GHGs into units of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).

Which version of IPCC's list of global warming potentials did you use? Third Assessment Report
Who primarily conducted this emissions inventory? Business Affairs, Physical Plant and Sustainability Staff
Please describe the process of conducting the inventory.

Estimated emissions were calculated using the Clean Air-Cool Planet® Campus Carbon Calculator v6.1 software utilizing annual facility data. The calculator was used for university data collection, storage and conversion into a common greenhouse gas emission unit, metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MT eCO2). In the conversion process, the calculator uses scientifically-based factors for specific activities leading to GHG emissions (e.g., commuter miles traveled, tons of waste disposed, gallons of fuel burned, etc.). These conversion factors have been modified as more is learned about the global warming effects of various greenhouse gases.

Please describe any emissions sources that were classified as de minimis and explain how a determination of the significance of these emissions was made.

In calculating our carbon footprint, the university used rough, upper-bound estimates to designate as de minimis (or materially insignificant) small emissions sources that collectively comprised less than 5% of the university’s total GHG emissions. Some emissions considered de minimus for this report include nitrous oxides used in the medical and research facilities, perflurocarbons used in eye surgeries and MRIs, sulfur hexafluorides used in ultrasound imaging, and hydrofluorocarbons from campus refrigeration systems.

Please describe any data limitations related to this submission and any major assumptions made in response to these limitations.

- Calculations to determine total fuel consumed in university vehicles was based on an average price per gallon. Total fuel consumption figures include fuel used to power equipment in addition to fleet vehicles.
- Wastewater volume is not measured, nor is freshwater input as the water utility does not provide the university with annualized gallon data. In the future, gallons of water consumed by the university could be calculated based on average costs, but currently there is no central repository for the information and the university receives some 150 different water bills each month.
- The university recognizes that its true carbon footprint includes emissions from facilities that it does not own (such as private residence halls and leased off-campus space), however it is difficult for the university to track or control these emissions.
- While the university houses no farm animals, it is responsible for laboratory animals used in medical research. Fugitive emissions from these animals (e.g. releases of methane produced as part of normal digestive processes) could not be monitored.
- The TARC bus service tracks each leg of any trip taken by university-affiliated customers, and not rides taken on transfers. Thus, the university estimated an average of 1.5 rides for each trip reported in order to control for transfers inflation.
- Miles commuted by car to campus are not directly tracked. Instead, the university calculated those who bought parking permits were driving an average round-trip distance from their home zip code at a rate of five times per week for employees and three times per week for students, controlling for time-off and semester breaks.
- Air miles booked on behalf of the university but not using the university's contracted travel agent could not be directly accounted for. Instead, the university estimated based on a historic average of 51% of university air trips booked through contract a prorated miles traveled for the additional 49%.
- The Athletics department has a separate budget from the University Budget. The department was unable to report travel statistics. Based on this neither the budget nor the emissions are included in the calculations. Furthermore, the university was not able to include an accounting of emissions resulting from Athletic events, other than utilities consumed. Unlike other expenses, Athletics department utilities are paid out of the University's general funds and are therefore reflected in this survey. In future years, the university intends to include all of the Athletics department's emissions in our GHG reporting, but unable to reliably do so in time for this report.

Emissions Data

Emissions from the following sources (in metric tons of CO2e)

Scope 1 Emissions
Stationary Combustion 39,878.0 metric tons of CO2e
Mobile Combustion 981.0 metric tons of CO2e
Process Emissions 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Fugitive Emissions 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 1 emissions 40,859.0 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 2 Emissions
Purchased Electricity 111,420.0 metric tons of CO2e
Purchased Heating 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Purchased Cooling 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Purchased Steam 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 2 emissions 111,420.0 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 3 Emissions
Commuting 17,633.0 metric tons of CO2e
Air Travel 10,604.0 metric tons of CO2e
Solid Waste 627.0 metric tons of CO2e
Paper purchasing 641.0 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 2 T&D losses 11,019.0 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 3 emissions 40,524.0 metric tons of CO2e
Biogenic Emissions
Biogenic Emissions from Stationary Combustion 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Biogenic Emissions from Mobile Combustion 0.0 metric tons of CO2e

Mitigation Data

Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets purchased 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Offset verification program(s) No information provided
Description of offsets purchased (including vendor, project source, etc.)

No information provided

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Total RECs purchased None kWh
Percent of total electricity consumption mitigated through the purchase of RECs None %
Emissions reductions due to the purchase of RECs No information provided
REC verification program(s) No information provided
Description of RECs purchased (including vendor, project source, etc.)

No information provided

Sequestration and Carbon Storage
Sequestration due to land owned by the institution No information provided
Description of how sequestration was calculated

No information provided

Carbon storage due to composting 14.0 metric tons of CO2e

Normalization and Contextual Data

Building Space
Gross square feet of building space 7,000,000.0 sq ft
Net assignable square feet of laboratory space No information provided
Net assignable square feet of health care space No information provided
Net assignable square feet of residential space No information provided
Population
Total Student Enrollment (FTE) 17214.0
Residential Students No information provided
Full-time Commuter Students No information provided
Part-time Commuter Students No information provided
Non-Credit Students No information provided
Full-time Faculty 1550
Part-time Faculty 580
Full-time Staff 3443
Part-time Staff 565
Other Contextual Data
Endowment Size 714988000
Heating Degree Days 4373
Cooling Degree Days 1233
Please describe any circumstances specific to your institution that provide context for understanding your greenhouse gas emissions this year.

No information provided

Supporting Documentation

Completed inventory narrative University of Louisville Baseline Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2006–2008
Download
Completed inventory calculator Download

Auditing and Verification

These emissions data have been audited, verified, or peer-reviewed.
Please briefly describe this verification, if any.

Upon completion, the baseline greenhouse gas inventory report was presented to a panel of university reviewers prior to submission.