Greenhouse Gas Inventory
In 2009, Skidmore's Campus Environmental Committee in conjunction with Facilities Services and President's Cabinet conducted a greenhouse gas inventory to quantify the gases released by college-related activities that contribute to global climate change. The College utilized an energy management firm to help with survey design, data collection and verification.
This initiative is driven by Goal III (Informed, Responsible Citizenship) of Skidmore's Strategic Plan, which states in part that Skidmore will "enhance our ability to function as a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen," and "make the Skidmore campus an environmental laboratory, increase our emphasis on responsible planning for sustainable operation and continue efforts to reduce the College's 'environmental footprint'."
One of the primary goals of this inventory is to establish a quantitative baseline of Skidmore's greenhouse gas emissions to inform the College's carbon reduction goals and strategies and thereby contribute to the overall goals of sustainability.
The data collected was divided into 3 categories defined as Scopes. Scope 1 includes direct emissions from sources that are owned and controlled by the College(for example, combustion of natural gas). Scope 2 includes indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy (for example, electricity), and Scope 3 includes indirect emissions that are a result of activities related to the College, but are not owned or controlled by the College (for example, employee commuting). Scope 3 emission data is more difficult to collect and therefore is treated as a more approximate estimation than Scope 1 and 2.
During fiscal year 2009 Skidmore emitted approximately 27,288 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCDE) with 8,277 MTCDE in Scope 1, 9,203 MTCDE in Scope 2 and approximately 9,808 in Scope 3. Please click the menu to the right to download the full report.
The Campus Environment Committee (CEC) presented the full report to the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee, the Student Government Association, the Environmental Action Club and the report will be highlighted at the College's Earth Day Celebration on April 24th. In the fall, CEC plans to hold an open forum for the campus community to discuss the greenhouse gas inventory.
The intention of the inventory is to inform the creation of a Skidmore College climate commitment, which will set a percent carbon reduction by a target date. In parallel to the creation of the commitment, CEC in conjunction with Facilities Services, will also draft a climate action plan. The climate action plan will recommend a blueprint for greenhouse gas reduction initiatives that will guide the College towards its climate commitment. The CEC will reach out to the Skidmore community to contribute greenhouse gas reduction ideas and to help the College achieve its goal through energy saving behaviors.
The Campus Environment Committee would like to thank the many people who helped complete the College's inventory, in particular, Facilities Services, President's Cabinet and the College's energy management firm.