Montgomery County Community College’s 2014 Carbon Inventory Report is now available.
Each January, the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) requires participating institutions to submit an inventory of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their campuses. The College submitted its 2014 report on Jan. 2, 2015.
To assist with the inventory, the College uses Campus Carbon Calculator, developed by Clean Air-Cool Planet (CA-CP) and now operated by the University of New Hampshire and Sightlines. All emissions are recorded in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCOE).
GHG emissions are divided into three scopes. Scope 1 includes natural gas, college vehicles and agriculture; scope 2 is electricity; and scope 3 is students, faculty and staff commuter emissions, air travel and solid waste.
In 2013-2014, the College’s scope 1 emissions increased by 2,162 Mcf (1 Mcf = 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas) over the previous year. The increase was due, in part, to a colder average winter temperature of 34 degrees, in addition to the Culinary Arts Institute coming fully online. 1,168 Mcf were attributed to the CAI.
The College’s scope 2 emissions dropped by 684,184 kWh (kilowatt-hour) over the previous year, despite the CAI coming fully online, which added 391,680 kWh. The decrease is a result of chiller plant optimization projects at Central and West campuses as part of MCCC’s Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc. The College also offset 7,585 metric tons of CO2 by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) through its electricity supplier. Combined, scope 2 reduction efforts enabled the College to save $120,826 on its electric bill in 2013-2014.
As a commuter institution, transportation emissions, scope 3, significantly contribute to the College’s carbon footprint, despite a reduction of 1,263,862 total vehicle miles traveled in 2013-14, due, in part, to a slight overall decline in enrollment. However, these numbers do not reflect miles saved through transportation programs like the Campus Shuttle and Zimride.
The below chart summarizes all emissions calculations, which totaled 11,678 for 2014–the lowest total number since the College began calculating GHG emissions in 2007.
~ by Alana J. Mauger and Charlie Scandone