Carnegie Mellon University

Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Carnegie Mellon started out by using the Clean Air Cool Planet (CACP) calculator for Greenhouse Gas Inventories.  We now use the Simap tool to calcuate our emissions and have entered historical data.  The university does not keep accurate Scope 3 data and we are working on providing better metrics.

The GHG Protocol defines direct and indirect emissions as follows:
Direct GHG emissions are emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the reporting entity.
Indirect GHG emissions are emissions that are a consequence of the activities of the reporting entity, but occur at sources owned or controlled by another entity.

The GHG Protocol further categorizes these direct and indirect emissions into three broad scopes:

  • Scope 1: All direct GHG emissions.
  • Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam.
  • Scope 3: Other indirect emissions, such as the extraction and production of purchased materials and fuels, transport-related activities in vehicles not owned or controlled by the reporting entity, electricity-related activities (e.g. transmission and distribution (T&D) losses) not covered in Scope 2, outsourced activities, waste disposal, etc.

Summary of 2013-2019 Annual Emissions [pdf]

Summary of 2012 Annual Emissions [pdf]

Summary of 2011 Annual Emissions [pdf]

Summary of 2010 Annual Emissions [pdf]

Notes: Annual GHG data may change as more complete information becomes available. The emission numbers reflect the University's growth and rebuilding efforts since year 2005. The inventory was calculated from 1995-present, to also reflect the pre and post 2006 regional EPA emissions factor reclassification.

Net Emissions: Inventory change in prior years, was due to switching from coal to natural gas for producing steam and purchasing REC's for 100% of the university's electricity.  For 2012, changes are due to a more accurate accounting of commuting, a decrease in air travel, and the CACP updates to the Greenhouse Gas Emission and Energy Factors used for emissions from trash in landfills.


 Sustainability at Carnegie Mellon: A Path Forward

The Fall 2018 EPP-SDS student project course identifies a course of action for campus sustainability.  Chapter 4 explores Sustainability in Transportation and collecting more accurate transportation data. 

Sustainabiliy at Carnegie Mellon: A Path Forward [pdf]

It's Not Easy Being Green

The following is a summary of a study that was done by an Engineering and Public Policy class at Carnegie Mellon in 2008.  The goal of the study was to provide a coherent framework and set of tools to allow institutions to understand their environmental impacts in relation to their peers, to determine appropriate sustainability goals and targets, and to identify and implement cost-effective programs to achieve these goals.

This project was awarded the honorable mention prize at the AASHE 2008 conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

It's Not Easy Being Green: Assessments and Strategies for Sustainable Institutions [pdf]

From Carnegie Mellon to Kyoto: How Far Can We Go?

An Engineering and Public Policy Project Course from May 2001 evaluated the feasibility and cost of reducing carbon dioxide below 1990 levels as per the Kyoto Protocol.  See their final report below

From Carnegie Mellon to Kyoto: How Far Can We Go? [pdf]