Updated Methodology

These are changes in methodology between the Carbon Campus Calculator v9.0 excel tool and SIMAP platform. This page will be updated with any additional changes as they occur in the process of development. 

Scope 1: On-site renewable energy 

Formerly the CCC and CMAP only allowed for entry of “attributable” solar or wind.  New capacity in SIMAP allows users to track all on-campus renewable installations, whether or not RECs are retained and retired, retained and sold, or not retained by the institution. (This includes, for example, on-campus solar arrays that are owned and managed by third parties through power purchase agreements. If RECs associated with that installation are subsequently sold, the user will also be asked to enter the information about that sale under the Scope 2 “Renewable Energy Data” tab, and the emissions calculations will be altered accordingly. 

Scope 2: Utility consumptions calculation methodology

In alignment with the WRI scope 2 best practice recommendations, we have updated our utility consumption and renewable energy accounting methodology:

  • Market based - takes into account your renewable energy [best practice preferred method]
  • Location based - uses eGrid based on your location [eGrid EF are calculated using actual emission factors based on location]
  • Custom Fuel Mix - best if provided by your utility [this method is not recommended bacause of the variables which may change the calculations] - see User's Guide for details

Scope 2: Residual Calculation for Market Based methodology

Scope 2: Purchased and sold renewable energy 

In alignment with EPA Renewable Energy Certificate methodology, the data entry process for renewable energy was updated. There will be no change to your footprint—just where the renewable energy purchase is accounted for in the calculations.  

Data entry for purchased or sold renewable energy in SIMAP is now as follows:  

  • Scope 2: Utility consumption:  
    • Enter the total purchased electricity
  • Scope 2: Renewable Energy:  
    • Enter any purchased or sold renewable energy 

Note that this may be duplicative data entry with your total purchased electricity, but the renewable energy purchase or sale must also be entered in the 'Renewable Energy' section. 

  • SIMAP will calculate your purchased electricity footprint as: 
    • Purchased kwh + Sold renewable energy kWh – Purchased renewable energy kWh = Net kWh 
    • The net kWh will be multiplied by the appropriate emission factors 

Scope 3: Student Travel to/from home data entry 

This sector is new to SIMAP: it was not available in the CCC, but it was in CarbonMAP.  In CarbonMAP, users had to do a conversion. In SIMAP, this conversion is built into the calculation. 

Scope 3: Directly Financed Air Travel

Added the entry field for $ values for air travel. This was not an option in the CCC but was available in CarbonMAP. The calculator converts the dollars into miles traveled based on a formula of dollar cost per mile, derived from the daily dollar value of air travel from international and domestic air industry. For more details, see Reference section. 

Biogenic allocation for incinerated waste 

  • In SIMAP, the allocation of incinerated waste between the biogenic category and scope 3 emissions has been updated. A portion (53%) is in the biogenic category and a portion (47%) is in scope 3. For more information, please see:  https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/airem.html  
  • In CCC and CarbonMAP, it was assumed that no incinerated waste was biogenic; all incinerated waste was in scope 3. 

Sinks and offsets 

This section has been split into individual sections for three data input types. Details on updates for each section are listed. 

  • Compost:  
    • You can now enter composted dining waste and agricultural waste. 
  • Non-additional sequestration:  
    • 'Forest preservation' has been moved from 'Offsets with Additionality' in the CCC to 'non-additional sequestration' in SIMAP. 
  • Offsets:  
    • You can now track your offsets by origination (on- or off-campus), type (land-based or other), and verification in SIMAP. 
    • The distinction between 'high end' and 'low end' retail offsets found in the CCC is not in SIMAP because the market no longer makes this distinction. 

Renewable Energy Credits have been moved to scope 2 data entry (see above). 

Weighted campus users 

  • SIMAP now uses weighted campus user as a per capita metric to align with AASHE STARS. The CCC used per capita metrics of number of full-time equivalents and community members. 
  • The following language from AASHE STARS explains the weighted campus user metric: 
    • “Weighted campus user” is a measurement of an institution’s population that is adjusted to accommodate how intensively certain community members use the campus. This figure is used to normalize resource consumption and environmental impact figures in order to accommodate the varied impacts of different population groups. 
    • For example, an institution where a high percentage of students live on campus would witness higher greenhouse gas emissions, waste generation, and water consumption figures than otherwise comparable nonresidential institution since students’ residential impacts and consumption would be included in the institution’s totals. 
    • SIMAP calculates the figure according to the following formula. Please note that users will not have to calculate this figure themselves; the result will be calculated automatically when the data are entered into change to SIMAP. 
    • Weighted campus users = (A + B + C) + 0.75 [ (D - A) + (E - B) – F ] 
      • A= Number of students resident on-site 
      • B= Number of employees resident on-site 
      • C= Number of other individuals resident on-site and/or staffed hospital beds 
      • D= Total full-time equivalent student enrollment 
      • E= Full-time equivalent of employees (staff + faculty) 
      • F= Full-time equivalent of students enrolled exclusively in distance education"