Colgate has completed two greenhouse gas emissions inventories. In 2009, the campus carbon footprint measured 17,353 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTeCO2) and in 2010 our footprint dropped to 14,505 MTeCO2. See the bar chart below for a comparison between the two years.
Compared to some other colleges and universities, Colgate's overall emissions are low. Since 1981, Colgate's primary source of on-campus energy comes from the wood chip boiler which--according to international protocol and the guidelines established by the ACUPCC--does not contribute to the campus carbon footprint.
Likewise, Colgate's emissions associated with purchased electricity through its agreement with the Village of Hamilton municipal electric utility--totaled 1,885 MTeCO2 in 2009. These emissions are also low compared with the national and New York averages, because 84% of the electrical mix comes from non-carbon emitting hydroelectric power.
The two greatest contributors to Colgate's overall emissions across all scopes were “Fuel Oil” and “Air Travel.” See the pie chart below. Colgate consumes fuel oil, as the existing wood boiler does not have enough capacity to provide heat to all buildings connected on the steam line during the winter months. Colgate also burns fuel oil #2 in buildings not connected to the main steam line.
According to Colgate’s baseline greenhouse gas inventory for 2009, the greenhouse gas emissions associated with Colgate's secondary fuels (fuel oil #6 and fuel oil #2) combined for a total 6,232 MTeCO2 or 35% of our total emissions.
DATA COLLECTION AND BOUNDARIES
Colgate, like other higher education institutions, follows an international protocol for measuring and reporting our emissions. The protocol--established by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI)--ensures that there is consistency between institutions. Under these protocols, sources of greenhouse gas emissions are divided into three categories or “scopes.” These are:
Colgate's business-as-usual scenario (BAU) forecasts campus emissions if we do not take any measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We based our BAU scenario on future enrollment and emissions per full-time equivalent student (FTE). Colgate's emissions dropped from 17,353 MTeCO2 in 2009 to 14,505 MTeCO2 in 2010. We averaged 5.74 MTeCO2 of emissions per FTE for the two years we completed our inventory. Colgate plans to marginally increase enrollment in the years ahead from 2,784 FTE in 2009 to stabilize at 2,830 FTE by 2015 and beyond. Other key assumptions specific to Colgate's business-as-usual scenario include:
The 2009 Greenhouse Gas Inventory can be downloaded and read in its entirety by clicking here.