Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions refer to the six gases listed in the Kyoto Protocol: carbon dioxide (CO2); methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Scientists have determined that these gases have the greatest impact on climate change.
A GHG Inventory is a tally and calculation of the GHG emissions and removals that occur within a specific area. The inventory is expressed in terms of CO2 equivalents (Co2e,). This is a universal unit of measurement that indicates the global warming potential (GWP) of each of the six greenhouse gases, expressed in terms of the GWP of one unit of carbon dioxide. Inventory results are often referred to as a carbon footprint.
Within the inventory three scopes distinguish different sources of GHG emissions.
The Queen's campus GHG inventory includes scopes 1 and 2 emission sources within a defined area.
The specified area of the inventory for Queen's includes all facilities that are either owned or operationally controlled by the university within Ontario. The inventory excludes facilities like student houses, small satellite offices outside of Ontario and the International Study Centre.
The campus inventory includes two final CO2e numbers. Total emissions represents the total GHG emissions for Queen's and its central heating plant while adjusted campus emissions reflects the campus GHG emissions that Queen's controls directly.
Queen's has a district heating system on its main campus. Steam generated at the main heating plant and the cogeneration plant is circulated through a steam distribution network to the various buildings on campus. However, the steam network also supplies steam to three hospital buildings: St. Mary's of the Lake, Hotel Dieu and Kingston General Hospital. Roughly 30 per cent of the steam energy distributed annually through the network is supplied to these hospitals. Based on the 30 per cent of campus energy that is produced but not used by the university, the adjusted campus value is used to plan action and target reductions.