Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory 

The University of North Florida strives to protect the environment and has identified responsibility to the natural environment as one of its core values. In October 2010, UNF President John Delaney signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which challenged the university to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to eventually become carbon neutral. This would require the University to measure and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in an inventory and develop a climate action plan that will serve as a roadmap to carbon neutrality. 

 

The purpose of the inventory is to provide an accurate greenhouse gas emissions profile that can be tracked over time. Additionally, campus sustainability programs can be developed to target problem areas outlined in the inventory. The 2009 UNF Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Projections provided a baseline against which to measure reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The inventory is updated and reported every other year. A brief summary of the report is outlined below and the full report can be found on the right side of this page under 'Quick Links'.

Methodology and Boundaries

The UNF GHG emissions inventory was conducted using the Campus Carbon Calculator tool developed by Clean Air-Cool Planet. This tool is available in both a web-based and spreadsheet format that contains input fields for campus data and extensive calculations on greenhouse gas emissions and projections of future emissions. It is available free of charge and conforms to standards set by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The spreadsheet format calculator was used in the 2009 report whereas the new web-based format will be used in the 2012 report.

 

Data collected and reported in the inventory encompasses all of the UNF campus and represents emissions over one fiscal year.  

Results  

UNF's net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2009 were 74,229 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (MT eCO2), or 18.9 MT per gross square foot, or 5.3 MT per student.

 

UNF's GHG emissions by source are shown in the figure below. Purchased electricity generates by far the largest fraction of GHG emissions at 52%, followed by Commuting by faculty, staff and students, which totals 28%. Then several other sources make roughly equivalent contributions: Directly Financed Air Travel (6%), On-Campus Stationary (5%), and Scope 2 T&D Losses (5%). On-Campus Stationary consists largely of natural gas use, and Scope 2 T&D Losses are transmission and distribution losses from purchased utilities like electricity.

 

 GHG Results

Projections

 

UNF's projected GHG emissions through 2025 appear in Figure 3 below. These projections are generated by assumptions and calculations in the spreadsheet that address inflation and other predictably changing variables. Growth trends were assumed to be linear for institutional data fields. Projections to 2025 are important because Governor Charlie Crist has issued an executive order setting a goal for state government to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 2025.

 

GHG Projections

Future Directions

The UNF GHG emissions inventory for 2009 revealed that purchased electricity, commuting, and on-campus stationary sources provided the largest contributions to UNF's carbon footprint. These three items are most commonly the top three contributors at many other campuses. These data will serve as the baseline toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions as an essential component of UNF's sustainability mission. Without a climate action plan and some mitigation efforts, projections indicate a steadily rising level of GHG emissions.

 

To better understand the findings of this report, the UNF Environmental Center commissioned a study on commuting behaviors in 2011 called the UNF Commuting Preferences Survey. Additionally, a climate action plan was released in 2012. The next GHG emissions inventory will be released in January 2014.