Climate Change & GHG Emissions

Understanding current GHG emissions is a necessary step towards developing goals for lowering future GHG emissions and strategies to combat global climate change. Below you will find summaries of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 GHG Inventory for East Carolina University.  There have been numerous changes in campus infrastructure over the years, with a potential to change source distribution and total amount of GHG emissions.  

Since the previous inventory completed in Calendar Year (CY) 2011 only accounted for Scopes 1 and 2 of emission sources, it is difficult to draw a comparison in terms of the overall distribution of GHG emissions.  However, when comparing gross area of total building space and the emissions from just the first two scopes, the previous inventory concluded that ECU produces roughly 12.4 kg CO2e per square foot and the current inventory found a reduction of 0.15 kg CO2e per square foot of building space.  Of course, this is partly owed to the fa t that gross area of total building space increased  by nearly 600,000 square feet, from 6,220,312 square feet in Calendar Year 2011 to 6,804,178 square feet in Fiscal Year 2016.

The largest contributor to the GHG emissions profile of ECU still remains to be Scope 2 Purchased Electricity, which accounts for about half of all the University's footprint.  Scope 1 emissions sources including On-Campus Stationary, Direct Transportation, Refrigerants, and Agricultural combined for a little more than 23% of total GHG emissions.  Attributing nearly one third of the total GHG emissions, Scope 3 sources include Commuting, Directly Finance Travel, Solid Waste, Wastewater, Paper and Scope 2 T&D Losses.  Taking all three scopes into account, the 2016 GHG Inventory Report finds that ECU produced a total of 141,263 MT CO2e.

GHG Inventory Snapshot

GHG Inventory Profile
Sustainability Video Link