Charting Stanford’s Path to Zero Scope 1 and 2 Emissions

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Stanford won’t stop its emissions reduction efforts after reaching 80% emissions reduction from peak levels in 2022. In fact, the Department of Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM)and partners have already begun planning a number of solutions to address the remaining 20%. Some solutions currently underway will take the university to 90% emissions reduction when fully implemented, such as elimination of natural gas use at the Central Energy Facility through lake water heat exchange and full electrification of the Marguerite bus system. However, the last 10% of emissions largely result from disparate natural gas fired equipment across campus, which is more difficult to eliminate.

In 2019, the Office of Sustainability conducted an inventory to document this equipment in partnership with Zone Management, R&DE, and other campus stakeholders. With the campus procuring 100% renewable electricity beginning in 2022, Stanford has the opportunity to decrease all emissions related to this disparate natural gas equipment through electrification. As part of the “Last 10%” emissions reduction project, the Office of Sustainability performed a life cycle cost analysis to better understand the costs associated with that transition. Based on that favorable analysis, a pilot rebate program will launch in FY21 that will subsidize electric replacement equipment based on the overall difference in life cycle cost between the natural gas and electric options. Additionally, a partnership between SEM and R&DE has already led to the launch of a kitchen electrification pilot in the Murray House to better understand the impact and functionality of fully electric cooking equipment.