Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

The fiscal year 2016 carbon footprint for the Ithaca Campus is 33% lower than the 2008 baseline…

FY 2016 emissions are estimated at 212,000 metric tons CO2-equivalent (CO2-e), 33% lower than the original baseline (FY 2008) carbon footprint of 319,000 metric tons CO2-e! This significant reduction is the result of many initiatives including the recent combined heat and power plant, Cornell’s Beyond Coal initiative (which eliminated coal as a fuel source), the building energy conservation initiative, increased output from the campus hydroplant, and a significantly lower grid electric emission factor.

Ithaca Campus PCC GHG Inventory

Component(1) 2008 CO2-e Emissions (metric tons) 2016 CO2-e Emissions (metric tons) Change CO2-e Emissions (metric tons)
On-Site Fossil Fuel Combustion(3)
176,000 176,000 (27,000)
Purchased Electricity 87,000 5000 (70,000)
Commuting(2) 29,000 28000 0
Air Travel 27,000 30,000 3,000
Emissions Associated with Exported Electric - -26,000 -26,000
Solar PV Remote Net Metering 27,000 -600 -600
Totals 319,000 212,400

(106,600) decrease

Notes: (1) Cornell's fiscal year is from July 1 to June 30th of the following year (2) projected based on 2006 commuting mode survey and 2016 population (3) adjusted for exported electric

As a signatory of the Carbon Commitment,Cornell submits greenhouse gas (GHG) reports annually (beginning FY 2016). GHG reports for Cornell University (and all other signatory colleges and university) can be viewed on the Second Nature Reporting System.

For consistency in reporting, GHG emissions are reported in the following three categories:

  1. Direct and fugitive emissions including electrical generation, heating, cooling, and fleet vehicles.
  2. Indirect emissions occurring as a result of purchased electricity consumption.
  3. Indirect emissions occurring as a consequence of an entity's activities.