Greenhouse Gas Inventory

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Overview

zero emissions vehicleBerkeley’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory consistently reveals that over 75% of our emissions are associated with campus building energy use. 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 from the campus cogeneration (heating and cooling) plant, purchased natural gas, emergency generators, campus fleet, emissions from refrigerants
  • Scope 2 - Indirect Emissions: purchased electricity
  • Scope 3 - Indirect Emissions: business air travel, student commute, faculty/staff commute, solid waste, water

The campus reports its GHG inventory to both The Climate Registry and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Third party verification of the inventory is completed as part of the reporting process.

Berkeley GHG Emissions Inventory

Emissions Sources


Metric Tons



Metric Tons



Metric Tons



Metric Tons


Co Gen Natural Gas 131,594 134,640 130,955 121,704
Natural Gas 8,148 12,093 11,779 12,048
Campus Fleet 1,968 1,554 1,755 1,627
Refrigerants 237 170 469 1,596
De Minimis 281 281 281 281
Electricity 9,221 11,327 2,320 1,634
Air Travel 19,980 21,959 24,566 16,136
Faculty & Staff Commute 23,142 17,625 12,329 3,689
Student Commute 4,100 3,230 3,245 1,880
Solid Waste 996 942 693 466
Water 783 839 304 268
200,451 204,660 188,705 161,331

--Reduced emissions from 2019 to 2022 can be attributed to increased procurement of clean electricity, a decline in business air travel, and a rise in remote/hybrid work.

Emissions Profile


Green House Gas Emissions profile for 2022 (pie graph)

Normalized Energy and Climate Data

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

green house gas emissions per square feet (line graph)

Campus Green House Emissions per Square Footage of utilized space, 1990-2022

green house gas emissions per capita 1990-2022 (line graph)

Campus Green House Emissions per Capita, 1990-2022

energy use per capita (line graph)

Campus Energy Use per Capita, 2018-2022

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. Student- led research revealed that lifecycle emissions of products procured for Berkeley would account for up to 40% of the university’s carbon footprint.   UC Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory has provided some lifecycle analysis of campus emissions as have students in reports like this an award-winning student research project.

Climate Action

Climate Justice Now sign at Berkeley student-led climate strike

The University of California recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis and the responsibility of public universities to lead in reducing emissions. In 2023 the UC Sustainable Practices Policy made these commitments:

  • Campuses will achieve at least a 90% reduction in total emissions (Scopes 1, 2, and 3), relative to a 2019 baseline year, by 2045. 

  • UC will prioritize reduction of Scope 1 emissions. 

  • The use of carbon offsets will be limited only to use for regulatory purposes.