Oregon State University

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measurement and Reporting

Measuring and Tracking Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Fiscal Year 2012 Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report

 

The OSU Sustainability Office measures OSU's greenhouse gas emissions annually through a very detailed inventory process and issues a public report that illustrates emissions by emissions source. FY12 emissions from major emissions sources are shown in Figure 1.

OSU FY11 Comprehensive Emissions

 

Defining Climate Neutrality

A central tenet of the American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is the "pursuit of climate neutrality".  Climate neutrality is defined as having no net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  This is to be achieved by minimizing emissions as much as possible, and using carbon offsets or other measures to mitigate the remaining emissions. This applies to all Scope 1 and 2 emissions (defined below), as well as those Scope 3 emissions from commuting and from air travel paid for by or through the institution.

  • Scope 1: direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by the institution such as combustion of natural gas, gasoline, propane and diesel, and other sources
  • Scope 2: indirect emissions from purchased electricity

Measuring GHG Emissions

Scope and Boundaries

Identifying scope and boundaries issues is a critical step in emissions reporting.  In an effort to measure all emissions resulting from OSU activity, the boundaries were drawn to be fairly broad: any emissions from an entity over which OSU has financial and/or operational control were included.

Some emissions sources are intentionally omitted due to unavailable data, poor data quality or the inability to properly calculate emissions, mainly as a result of uncertain emissions calculation methodology.  Omitted sources include

  • Miscellaneous directly-financed travel
  • Water treatment and distribution
  • Long-distance student travel
  • Lifecycle/embodied emissions
  • Off-campus vehicle use and solid waste

Past inventory comparison

Past, current and future inventories may not be absolutely comparable for all source categories.  Fiscal year greenhouse gas emissions reports are static; once submitted, data are not altered.  Yet in the most current annual report, past year emissions totals are updated to present the highest-quality data using the latest calculation methods. Because of this, comparing emissions from emission sources based on annually reported values may not align with comparative values described in a report.  For instance, the FY09 report notes a 10.6% decrease in air travel emissions from FY08 to FY09.  Using emissions data presented in the FY08 report, the decrease would be 41.0%.  This difference is due to a data reporting miscommunication in the FY08 report. For the most accurate year-to-year comparisons, reference the most recent annual report.  Updated net emissions from FYs '07, '08, '09. and '10 are shown in Figure 2.

Net Emissions Comparision

 

Peer institution comparison

An integral piece of measuring emissions is comparing data with peer institutions.  All ACUPCC signatories are required to submit emissions reports to the ACUPCC reporting website.  Figure 3 shows inter-institutional emissions comparisons with peer institutions.

 

Emissions Reports

Fiscal Year 2013 Report

In June 2014, the OSU Sustainability Office completed the Fiscal Year 2013 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report.

View the full Fiscal Year 2011 Inventory report of OSU greenhouse gas emissions.

Fiscal Year 2012 ReportInstitutional Comparison

Emissions by source are shown in Figure 4.

FY12 Emissions by Source

View the full Fiscal Year 2012 Inventory report of OSU greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fiscal Year 2011 Report

In January 2012, the OSU Sustainability Office completed the Fiscal Year 2011 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report, similar to the most recent reports below.

View the full Fiscal Year 2011 Inventory report of OSU greenhouse gas emissions.

Fiscal Year 2010 Report

In March 2011, the OSU Sustainability Office completed the Fiscal Year 2010 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report. Very similar in scope and boundaries to the FY09 report, this latest report includes for the first time emissions from the Energy Center, non-contract car rentals, non-TRES reimbursed travel, and more.

View the full Fiscal Year 2010 Inventory report of OSU greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Fiscal Year 2009 Report

In March 2010, the OSU Sustainability Office completed the Fiscal Year 2009 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report. Very similar in scope and boundaries to the FY08 report, this latest report implements best practices in greenhouse gas measurement and reporting. It is the most accurate and comprehensive performed to date.

View the full Fiscal Year 2009 Inventory report of OSU greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Fiscal Year 2008 Report

In March 2009, the OSU Sustainability Office completed the Fiscal Year 2008 Greenhouse Gas Inventory report. The Sustainability Office refined and implemented major changes relative to FY07 in the FY08 scope and boundaries, and updated processes based on internationally-recognized updates in greenhouse gas reporting.

View the full Fiscal Year 2008 Inventory report of OSU greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Fiscal Year 2008 OUS Lifecycle/Embodied Emissions Analysis

In the summer of 2009, the Oregon University System contracted with Good Company to provide an analysis of the embodied emissions (emissions produced during the lifecycle of a produce) of goods and services purchased by the seven OUS institutions.  These emissions, which include emissions from construction, food, paper, equipment and furniture, were calculated based on expenditures incurred during FY08 and totaled nearly 85,000 t CO2e for OSU.

View the full analysis of lifecycle/embodied emissions of Oregon University System campuses.

 

Fiscal Year 2007 Report

In June 2008, the Sustainability Office completed the greenhouse gas inventory report for FY07. This was the first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory completed by OSU.

The FY07 report details emissions sources and their relative contribution to OSU's emissions profile, contains an apples-to-apples comparison with the CY04 report and also elaborates about methodology and the new expanded scope that, in its time, made the FY07 inventory the most accurate produced for OSU.

View the full Fiscal Year 2007 Inventory report.

 

Calendar Year 2004 Report

In 2006 and 2007, the Oregon University System hired Good Company to create the first ever greenhouse gas inventory for the seven OUS campuses. As part of that work, Good Company created profiles for each institution based on available data, which varied from campus to campus.

View the full Calendar Year 2004 Inventory Report of Oregon University System campuses.

 

1990 estimate report

In 2009, the Oregon University System hired Good Company to estimate 1990 emissions resulting from buildings for all seven OUS campuses. This emissions estimate was calculated using campus building square footage and a study on building energy use for the western United States. 

View the 1990 estimate draft report for the Oregon University System campuses.

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