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Skidmore College

Greenhouse gas inventory

In 2009, Skidmore's Campus Environmental Committee, in conjunction with Facilities Services and president's cabinet, conducted a greenhouse gas inventory to quantify the gases released by college-related activities that contribute to global climate change. The college used an energy management firm to help with survey design, data collection and verification. 

This initiative is driven by Goal III (Informed, Responsible Citizenship) of Skidmore's Strategic Plan, which states in part that Skidmore will "enhance our ability to function as a socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizen" and "make the Skidmore campus an environmental laboratory, increase our emphasis on responsible planning for sustainable operation, and continue efforts to reduce the College's 'environmental footprint.' "

One of the primary goals of this inventory is to establish a quantitative baseline of Skidmore's greenhouse gas emissions to inform the college's carbon-reduction goals and strategies and thereby contribute to the overall goals of sustainability.

The data collected was divided into three categories defined as scopes.Scope 1 includes direct emissions from sources that are owned and controlled by the college (e.g., combustion of natural gas). Scope 2 includes indirect emissions resulting from the generation of purchased energy (e.g., electricity), and Scope 3 includes indirect emissions that are a result of activities related to the college but are not owned or controlled by the college (e.g., employee commuting). Scope 3 emission data is more difficult to collect and therefore is treated as a more approximate estimation than scopes 1 and 2.

During fiscal year 2009, Skidmore emitted approximately 27,288 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCDE) with 8,277 MTCDE in Scope 1, 9,203 MTCDE in Scope 2 and approximately 9,808 in Scope 3. Please click the menu at left to download the full report.

The Campus Environment Committee (CEC) presented the full report to the Institutional Policy and Planning Committee, the Student Government Association and the Environmental Action Club. The report was highlighted at the college's Earth Day celebration on April 24.

The intention of the inventory is to inform the creation of a Skidmore College climate commitment, which will set a percent carbon reduction by a target date.In parallel to the creation of the commitment CEC, in conjunction with Facilities Services, will also draft a climate action plan.That plan will recommend a blueprint for greenhouse-gas reduction initiatives that will guide the college toward its climate commitment. The CEC will reach out to the Skidmore community to contribute greenhouse-gas–reduction ideas and to help the college achieve its goal through energy-saving behaviors.

The Campus Environment Committee would like to thank the many people who helped complete the college's inventory, in particular Facilities Services, president's cabinet and the college's energy management firm.