ACUPCC Reporting System

GHG Report for University of Cincinnati

Submitted on September 15, 2010; last updated on September 15, 2010

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) 282,897 metric tons of CO2e 11.0 metric tons of CO2e 19.8 metric tons of CO2e 0%
Gross emissions (Scopes 1 + 2 + 3) 432,507 metric tons of CO2e 16.9 metric tons of CO2e 30.2 metric tons of CO2e 0%
Net emissions 432,202 metric tons of CO2e 16.9 metric tons of CO2e 30.2 metric tons of CO2e N/A

Emissions Inventory Methodology and Boundaries

Start date of the 12-month period covered in this report July 1, 2009
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.

The University of Cincinnati has two branch campuses:Raymond Walters and Clermont. We plan to submit carbon footprints for each of these branches separately at a future date.

Emissions calculation tool used Other
Please describe why this tool was selected.

Endorsed by ACUPCC and used by most other member institutions. Also used in prior University of Cincinnati assessment, so our results can be compared over time (longitudinally).

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

CA-CP Campus Carbon Calculator's default emissions coefficients.

Which version of IPCC's list of global warming potentials did you use? Third Assessment Report
Who primarily conducted this emissions inventory? Team led by graduate student, comprised of functional experts from relevant university departments.
Please describe the process of conducting the inventory.

Required inputs were assessed and functional experts for each were defined. (based on which department/function controls operations that generated the emissions). Previous modeling was reviewed for consistency, impact of changes in the university since the previous modeling were assessed, and a new expanded organizational scope was defined. Data was collected by functional experts then transmitted to the graduate student for entry into the model (or in some cases, raw data was compiled to generate model inputs). Some data (particularly paper purchases) was supplied by key vendors. Commute and non-commute travel data was developed from a survey of main campus students, faculty and staff. For some data inputs (particularly offsets from tree planting) literature research was conducted on ways to compute CO2 equivalents, and method chosen based on UC’s specific situation. Final model inputs and preliminary model results were reviewed with functional experts and a steering committee. Throughout the work, principles of the GHG protocol (WRI/WBCSD) were applied. The entire process took roughly 8 months (although compilation of source raw data, such as energy generation and use, occurs continually).

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


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

While commute and non-commute inputs are based on a survey of university personnel, results (particularly for non-commute travel) were extrapolated and converted into specific data points for input to the model.

Emissions Data

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

Scope 1 Emissions
Stationary Combustion 193,360.0 metric tons of CO2e
Mobile Combustion 904.0 metric tons of CO2e
Process Emissions 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
Fugitive Emissions 1,188.0 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 1 emissions 195,452.0 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 2 Emissions
Purchased Electricity 87,445.0 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 87,445.0 metric tons of CO2e
Scope 3 Emissions
Commuting 51,318.0 metric tons of CO2e
Air Travel 97,780.0 metric tons of CO2e
Solid Waste 512.0 metric tons of CO2e
Total Scope 3 emissions 149,610.0 metric tons of CO2e
Biogenic Emissions
Biogenic Emissions from Stationary Combustion No information provided
Biogenic Emissions from Mobile Combustion No information provided

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.)

not applicable

Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
Total RECs purchased 0 kWh
Percent of total electricity consumption mitigated through the purchase of RECs 0.0 %
Emissions reductions due to the purchase of RECs 0.0 metric tons of CO2e
REC verification program(s) No information provided
Description of RECs purchased (including vendor, project source, etc.)

not applicable

Sequestration and Carbon Storage
Sequestration due to land owned by the institution 228.0 metric tons of CO2e
Description of how sequestration was calculated

Based on; adjusted for average rate of uptake by trees in temperate zone (Cincinnati area) vs. tropical zone (used in calculator). Uptake rates published in Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry, IPCC, 2000 - Robert T. Watson, Ian R. Noble, Bert

Carbon storage due to composting 77.0 metric tons of CO2e

Normalization and Contextual Data

Building Space
Gross square feet of building space 14,322,628.0 sq ft
Net assignable square feet of laboratory space 997,258.0 sq ft
Net assignable square feet of health care space 98,167.0 sq ft
Net assignable square feet of residential space 622,696.0 sq ft
Total Student Enrollment (FTE) 25612.0
Residential Students 4404
Full-time Commuter Students 19404
Part-time Commuter Students 7326
Non-Credit Students 4082
Full-time Faculty 2063
Part-time Faculty 1456
Full-time Staff 3327
Part-time Staff 320
Other Contextual Data
Endowment Size No information provided
Heating Degree Days 5791
Cooling Degree Days 781
Please describe any circumstances specific to your institution that provide context for understanding your greenhouse gas emissions this year.

In order to get most accurate accounting of our carbon footprint, The University of Cincinnati added a number of satellite locations to this year’s report that were not included in our previous reports. A total of almost two million GSF was added to this year’s report. Much of the added space is research and instruction laboratory space. Predictably, this had a major impact on our greenhouse gas emissions.

Supporting Documentation

Completed inventory narrative No information provided
Completed inventory calculator Download

Auditing and Verification

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

Compiled data underwent internal review by functional experts who had not done the raw data compilations. Logic for extrapolations and estimation method choices were reviewed by functional experts and the review committee.