GHG Inventory Update 2017
The Portland Community College Sustainability Department completes an annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory to monitor our institution’s progress towards meeting our GHG reduction targets as outlined in the Climate Action Plan. These goals include:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2006 levels by 2030
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2006 by 2050
Between 2006 and 2017, PCC has reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions 2%, from a little over 67,000 tons of CO2e in 2006 to just under 65,000 tons of CO2e in 2017. More detail on these results are below, but while significant infrastructure investments and behavior change programming have had positive results, they compete with overall college growth when reducing our carbon footprint.
Scope I and II emissions, which account for energy consumption, have seen a significant reduction of 38%. This decrease in energy consumption is impressive, as the college has increased its square footage by 26% since 2006 and enrollment has significantly increased. As PCC has grown, we have invested in infrastructure that helps us reduce our energy use and climate impact, including LEED certified buildings and lighting upgrades.
Scope III emissions, also known as indirect emissions, have increased 18% since 2006. Since scope III emissions include commute, waste and college purchases, it is expected that these emissions will track with enrollment. As enrollment has gone up, so has our scope III emissions. Targeted behavior change efforts including inter-campus shuttles, the mini max waste reduction program, and sustainable purchasing have helped keep scope III emissions relatively stable despite large enrollment increases since 2006. Reducing scope III emissions is particularly important since they typically account for the majority of the College’s footprint, in fact about 78% of PCC’s emissions this past fiscal year were from scope III.
The college is working on a wide variety of initiatives to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint. Many of these efforts are outlined in the Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Leadership Council annual work plans. If you would like to learn more or are interested in getting involved, email email@example.com.