2013 GHG Inventory Shows Dramatic Drop in Emissions

The Office of Sustainability submitted the College’s 2013 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory Report to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) on January 16, 2014. 

The results of the latest inventory are excellent, showing a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 15 percent since 1990. This is particularly remarkable given the increase in the physical size of the campus by over 350,000 square feet and the increase in the size of the campus community (students, faculty, and staff) by about 700 people.

When compared to the 2004 numbers, the change is even more remarkable, showing a 29 percent decrease in College emissions. The drop is largely due to a number of factors, all of which reflect positively on decisions made for the campus about various aspects of energy and waste. These included; shift from using heating oil to using natural gas in our heat plant; switching many of residential houses from oil to gas; energy efficiency measures across campus; and changes in the waste disposal methods used at the landfill where waste generated at the College is deposited.

There are other factors as well, but these are the areas that have had the greatest impact. Of note, Ursinus emissions numbers from 2013 are up a bit over our 2012 numbers. This is largely due to fluctuations in temperature. Excessively hot summers or excessively cold winters, such as this winter, results in an increase in energy use. This is the third GHG report filed by the College. The report and the inventory spreadsheet (containing all the numbers and upon which the report is based) are available on the ACUPCC’s website: http://rs.acupcc.org/ghg/3031/ .