Inventory Overview

commuter bicycle on campusGreenhouse gas inventories reveal that electricity and steam usage account for about 63% of campus emissions and 72% of our emissions are associated with campus buildings. The majority of the remaining emissions come from campus related travel.

UC Berkeley reports on ten emissions sources and analyzes emissions in three different categories:

  • Scope 1 - Direct Emissions: natural gas, campus fleet, emissions from refrigerants
  • Scope 2 - Indirect Emissions: purchased electricity, purchased steam
  • Scope 3 - Optional Emissions: business air travel, student commute, faculty/staff commute, solid waste, water consumption

The campus reports its GHG inventory annually to both The Climate Registry (TCR) and the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and makes it available to the public. Third party verification of the inventory is completed as part of the reporting process; inventories for 2005 through 2012 have been successfully 3rd party verified.

2015 Berkeley GHG Emissions Inventory

In 2015 greenhouse gas emissions for the Berkeley campus totaled 153,455 metric tons CO2e. This represents an increase in emissions of 4.5% or 6,588 metric tons CO2e relative to the previous year. This increase from 2014 is attributed mostly to changes in greenhouse gas reporting methodology, which increased the CO2 emissions from the commute.  2015 emissions are still 4.3% below 1990 levels. Scope 1 and 2 emissions represent about 71% of Berkeley’s profile – reducing these emissions to net-zero by the year 2025 is the ongoing reduction target the campus is striving for, as called for UC goal.

See the 2015 inventory report for more detail.

emissions Sources

Metric Tons

Metric Tons

Metric Tons


Steam 60,457 66,125 55,717 54,229
Electricity 40,296 62,384 42,588 43,048
Air Travel 19,980 21,865 23,472 23,786
Faculty & Staff Commute 23,142 18,027 10,733 14,870
Nautral Gas 8,148 12,453 10,468 10,507
Student Commute 4,100 3,824 1,013 4,271
Water 783 864 551 529
Campus Fleet 1,968 1,701 1,254 1,190
Solid Waste 996 981 652 625
237 66 138 120
De Minimis 281 281 281 281
TOTAL EMISSIONS  160,389 188,572 146,868 153,460

Emissions Profile


Normalized Energy and Climate Data

The campus analyzes emissions, energy use, and transportation scaled to campus population and square footage over time to monitor normalized progress and for comparison purposes.

Carbon Footprint Lifecycle Analysis

UC Berkeley recognizes that the reported emissions inventory does not fully reflect the complete carbon footprint of campus activities. A lifecycle analysis includes greenhouse gas emissions from all stages of a product/service lifecycle, including mining, manufacturing, and transportation. In 2006, a preliminary lifecycle analysis was done. UC Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory has provided some updates to the lifecycle analysis of campus emissions. See the most recent campus LCA research and analysis done through an award winning student research project.