McGill University manages a stock of buildings of over 600,000 m², which are on average fifty years of age and older. A leader in education and research, McGill is characterized by very research-intensive activities, a travelling population, and high energy intensity.
In 2015 McGill emitted 58,819 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). This is equivalent to the emissions from 12,488 cars in one year. We decreased our carbon footprint to 56,004 tCO2e by 2017. Over two thirds of our emissions arise from energy consumption, and in particular natural gas used to heat and cool a large number of buildings on our campuses. Air travel, daily commuting and fleet vehicles are some of our other significant emission sources.
The University has already reduced absolute greenhouse gas emissions from building energy use 33% below the 1990 levels (equal to 52% reduction per full-time equivalent student). The Vision 2020: Climate and Sustainability Action Plan and iterative phases of McGill’s Energy Management Plan outline strategies to further reduce the environmental impact of our buildings, and align with government targets as well as McGill’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.
McGill University’s greenhouse gas inventory calculations and reports are compiled and written so as to comply with the GHG Protocol's “Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard”. This has required the recalculation of the original 1990 and 2015 inventories to align with McGill’s current expanded scope and updated methodologies. Summarized versions of the 2015 through 2017 inventories are presented below. The full inventory for 2017 is also available.
The full version of the 2015 greenhouse gas inventory has been removed from our website temporarily as it is being updated to reflect the recalculated inventory, as described above. The report will be back online by Fall 2019. In the meantime, for any questions, please contact jerome.conraud [at] mcgill.ca (Jerome Conraud), Interim Director, Utilities and Energy Management, or aileen.rivers [at] mcgill.ca (Ali Rivers), Climate Officer.