Energy Usage

Energy Use at the College

Energy use at the college has been slowly declining since 2010. Energy conservation projects, replacement of old and inefficient equipment and a retro-comissioning project have slowed energy use despite the rise in demand and addition of new space. 


Electricity use for the past 3.5 years

Natural gas use for the past 3.5 years

What Is the Carbon Footprint of Empire State College?

 Scope 1Scope 2Total
2011 393 598 991
2012 472 596 1068
2013 247 592 839
2014 357 583 941
2015 323 576 900

What does this mean?

This carbon footprint of the college is the amount of CO2 equivalents given off from college operations. CO2 equivalents is a metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases based on their global-warming potential (GWP). Carbon dioxide equivalents are commonly expressed as "metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCDE)."  

We measure the college’s carbon footprint to understand the contribution college operations has on climate change. As a signatory college of the American College and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment we have pledged a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse has emissions from 2010 to 2023.

What is included?

The college’s carbon footprint is made up of three types of emissions:

  • Scope 1 emissions  is the measure of the amount of natural gas used by the college-owned and operated buildings for heating, as well as the amount of gasoline used in the fleet vehicles for college business travel.
  • Scope 2 emissions is the measure of electricity used by college-owned and operated buildings.
  • Scope 3 emissions is the measure of the emissions given off by travel by employees of the college for work purposes, including air travel, rail travel, travel in personal vehicles and reimbursed by the college, travel in rental vehicles and commuting by faculty, staff and students.

In 2010-2013, all of the above-listed emissions were included in the carbon footprint; that data is available by contacting the sustainability director. However, starting in 2015, emissions are reported only for scope 1 and 2. Scope 3 emissions are left off for a number of reasons. 

  1. Due to a change in the procurement of rail and plane tickets, miles traveled via this means of transportation is no longer obtainable.
  2. The amount of miles commuted was measured by a survey administered by the sustainability committee and the department of decision support in 2010. Due to student, faculty and staff turnover, as well as changes in habit, the survey is no longer considered valid.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions are measured and controlled by the college. The committee has chosen to focus on reducing these emissions, though programs to encourage carpooling and public transportation are still implemented.