Since 2010, UTA has refreshed its Scope 1 and 2 GHG inventory consistent with The GHG Protocol, Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard every five years. This standard represents the best practice in GHG accounting for corporations, government entities, and universities.
UT Arlington Scope 1 and Scope 2 Emissions Inventory
(metric tons CO2e)
|2010||2016||2017||2018||2019||% Change from 2005||% Change from 2010||% Change from 2016||% Change from 2017||% Change from 2018|
|Total Scope 1 Emissions||25,522||21,092||21,080||18,059||19,832||22,052||-13.60%||4.55%||5%||22%||11%|
|Vehicle Fuel Use||4,629||1,953||788||845||760||646||-86.04%||-66.91%||-18%||-24%||-15%|
|Natural Gas Combustion||17,038||17,922||20,175||16,618||18,740||21,031||23.43%||17.35%||4%||27%||12%|
|HCFC – 22||3,856||1,217||117||540||238||220||-94.29%||81.90%||88%||-59%||-7%|
|Total Location-Based Scope 2 Emissions||58,456||54,857||60,032||54,386||51,134||51,801||-11.38%||-5.57%||-14%||-5%||1%|
Changes in totals and percentages are attributed to the following:
- Total Scope 1 and 2 emissions for UT Arlington increased we began monitoring data in 2005 because of a 12.5 percent increase in natural gas consumption and an approximately 15 percent increase in electricity consumption on the campus.
- The increase in GHG emissions associated with the increased electricity usage decreased since 2005 due to changes in electricity emissions factors used in the analysis to reflect an overall cleaner electric grid.
- UT Arlington reduced emissions from both refrigerant usage and its vehicle fleet between 2010 and 2016: HCFC – 22 emissions decreased by 90 percent and vehicle fleet emissions decreased by roughly 60 percent.
- Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by only 6.8 percent between 2010 and 2016 during which time we increased by 20 percent the square footage of buildings on campus (Figure 2). Although total emissions increased, facility emissions from natural gas and electricity per building square foot decreased by 12 percent between 2010 and 2016, as shown in Visual 11.
UT Arlington 2010 and 2016 GHG Emissions Intensity
(Scopes 1-2 per sq.ft)
GHG emmissions by Source CO2e (metric tons) by Source
Visual 12 below illustrate the portion of GHG emission that each source represents within the overall GHG inventory for two time periods. Electricity usage represented the largest source of emissions followed by emissions from natural gas consumption.
Electricity Usage — 4% Reduction
Natural Gas — 4% Increase
Vehicle Fuel — 0% Reduction
HCFC – 22 — 0% Reduction
2016 GHG emissions by scope.
Reducing Energy Consumption
The UT Aggregation Group (consisting of 12 University of Texas components in addition to UT Arlington) negotiated a 10-year retail electricity contract to begin in January of 2018 at a very favorable rate. During FY16, UT Arlington finalized a natural gas contract effective May 2017 through April 2022, also at a very favorable rate. Any cost savings resulting from these energy contracts may allow further improvements to our facility infrastructure to provide additional utility consumption reductions.
Energy consumption is UT Arlington’s largest source of GHG emissions, accounting for nearly 75 percent of the university’s total emissions. This energy is intimately tied to buildings: Heating, cooling, and lighting more than 6.5 million square feet of building space and powering electronic equipment, computers, and devices require a great deal of energy. With a growing campus community and a variety of energy-intensive buildings such as laboratories, data centers, and research facilities, energy conservation is a critical component of responsible growth and cost control.
Waste Type & Disposal Method
|Co-mingled Single Stream||425,617||716,060||692,640||627,640||269,390||377,600||254,560||396,000||363,180|
|Plastic/Aluminum Outdoor Dream Machine Kiosks||10,825||12,622||10,381||5,880||3,338||1,956||0||0||0|
|Oil (821 Gals. X 7.5)||445||3,997||3,749||3,830||6,158||5,100||2,250||3,000||914|
All waste data is reported in calendar year rather than fiscal year. Estimated weights are noted. Universal waste is disposed as hazardous waste. Our municipal waste goal uses 2006 as a baseline year, because 2005 waste data is not available from some waste providers. Waste data was provided by the Office of Facilities Management, waste vendors, and green building project contractors, and consolidated by the Office of Sustainability for this report.
Our Municipal Waste Goal
Our waste reduction goal is focused on waste, which comprises items we throw in trash cans as well as construction and demolition waste from building activities. Despite years of awareness building and efforts to reduce waste, we continued to encounter year-over-year increases since we started tracking this metric in 2012. Over the last few years, we’ve started to notice decreased single-stream recycling managed by local vendors. We believe this is due to less materials used overall and our ability to increase recycling of other materials, such as food waste, oil, metal, batteries, wood, glass, and printer cartridges on campus. Nevertheless, we saw an increase of nearly 13% increase of all forms of recycling from our 2012 baseline by the end of 2018. We believe this is an impressive achievement, given our rapid growth over the past five years. We will continue to find ways to reduce and divert our waste through efforts described in this section.
We are taking action to reduce our municipal waste by 20 percent by 2020 from 2006 levels through these approaches
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
The University Sustainability Committee’s Waste Reduction work group collaborates with academic and administrative departments to find ways to reduce the unnecessary use of materials, reuse items and supplies, and increase recycling. In order to foster deep and lasting reduce-reuse-recycle habits, we must adopt a systematic, sustained approach that influences nearly 40,000 individuals across the campus community. The effort must include the coordination of every department and the education and engagement of every student, which is quite a challenge. It also requires multiple points of communication and training over a long timeframe. We are building on our current successes and working to identify additional opportunities to expand our influence and reach. For example, we will continue to engage environmentally-minded student groups, such as those mentioned in the Encouraging Recycling section, to help get the word out.
Recycling on Campus
In 1994, the UT Arlington Staff Advisory Council received presidential approval to begin a recycling program. Since then, UTA has made steady strides in developing an award-winning program. The university adopted a recycling policy in 2011 to provide campus-wide guidelines.
In addition, our green building policy calls for recycling high-tonnage construction and demolition materials in accordance with LEED building requirements during construction and renovation projects. The policy promotes reporting of recycled construction and demolition materials on major projects. As a result, the recent period of intense construction activity positively impacted our recycling program and diversion rate.
The ISGI works through the Office of Facilities Management and coordinates with every university department to manage recycling efforts. Over the years, the recycling program has received awards from the National Wildlife Federation and the Tarrant County Corporate Recycling Council.
Our two main recycling challenges are logistics and behavior change. From a logistics perspective, a large campus with diverse activities means we need enough bins in the right places to capture as much recyclable material as possible.
To encourage behavior change, the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact (ISGI), the Administration and Outreach Work Group, and several student organizations and volunteers work hard to increase recycling awareness throughout the campus community. The university’s sustainability website includes a special recycling section that provides tools and tips as well as an interactive map of all on-campus recycling stations.
Partnership with U.S. EPA WasteWise
UT Arlington became a U.S. EPA WasteWise partner in the 2011-2012 academic year. WasteWise is a national program that helps organizations reduce waste and manage materials through waste prevention and recycling efforts. The university is the only higher education WasteWise program partner in the state of Texas.
Focus on Food Waste
Food waste is an emerging issue with environmental, social, and economic impacts, and UT Arlington recognizes the importance of minimizing food waste on our campus. We approach this issue in multiple ways, including collaboration with our dining services provider, involvement in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, and development of our award-winning composting program.
Composting is a key component of our larger waste strategy. It’s no easy feat and after years of striving for an overall waste diversion rate of 20%, we are confident that we are on track to achieve this goal based off a 2006 baseline by 2020. This is seen in the data. By the end of 2018, we composted 46 tons of organic matter. That’s nearly 15.2 tons more that composted in 2012 when we first started tracking this detail.
|Waste composted (in tons)||30.8||35.8||32.7||35.5||42||46.2||46||43||12|
|Community Garden Donated Food (in tons)||7.6||0.9||0.8||0.5||0||0.2||0||0||0|
|Change (in tons) from 2012||–||-1.7||-4.9||-2.4||3.6||8||7||4||-26.3|
|Change (in %) from 2012||–||-4.4%||-12.8%||-6.3%||9.4%||20.8%||19.8%||10.9%||-68.34%|
Reducing Food Waste
U.S. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge
UT Arlington is one of 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. and among the first in Texas to become a partner in the U.S. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, a food waste-reduction initiative within the EPA’s WasteWise program. Partners commit to at least a 5 percent increase from their baseline year in at least one of the three food diversion categories (prevention, donation, and composting) or to a combined five percent increase across all three food-waste diversion categories. UT Arlington has committed to increase the amount of composted food waste by five percent and has surpassed that goal since 2015.
Green Dining Initiatives
UT Arlington contracts with ARAMARK, a dining services provider committed to sustainability. The Dining Green program at UT Arlington, a partnership with ARAMARK and UTA, features trayless dining that reduces food, water, and chemical waste; plastic and paper waste recycling; and biodegradable to-go containers and utensils. All used cooking oil is turned into biofuel, and all pre-consumer food waste and post-consumer coffee grounds are composted on campus.
Composting food waste is an opportunity to reduce waste that goes to the landfill. It serves to provide materials that can be used to enrich the land for growing food or other plants. This is an example of a circular economy where waste has value and is reused. The Recycling Alliance of Texas, the Greater DFW Recycling Alliance and the North Texas Corporate Recycling Alliance have all provided grant awards to support the composting program.
As the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex continues to grow, competition among municipal, agricultural, industrial, residential, and commercial needs for the region’s finite water supplies also increases. Since the post-World War II era, engineers have been altering the region’s natural watershed and riparian habitat by diverting the Trinity River and its eight tributaries to flow through fixed channels, reservoirs, and stormwater management structures that supply the region. After the water is used, it is pumped back to the reservoirs for treatment and reuse, like most municipal water systems built in the last century.
Our Local Watershed
Municipal water is supplied by the Trinity River watershed, which includes the river and tributaries that were dammed to form Ray Roberts Lake, Lewisville Lake, Grapevine Lake, Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Fork reservoirs. None of these lakes are designated protected water sources, and they all provide biodiversity value through grassland, savanna and woodland or forest, that serve as habitat to a wide range of wildlife species, including many migratory songbirds and waterfowl. Collectively, the watershed provides value to local communities by providing municipal, domestic, agricultural and industrial water supplies as well as flood control and recreation. UT Arlington’s water use does not significantly affect the municipal water supply.
We are creating a sustainable, water-wise campus environment that serves as a role model for North Texas by taking action through the following key approaches:
Maximize water efficiency through equipment and technology.
Transition open spaces to water-wise habitats.
Manage stormwater impacts.
Conserving water has both environmental and economic consequences. The Texas Water Development Board estimates that municipal water needs are expected to increase from approximately 11 percent of the entire state’s water needs in 2020 to 38 percent in 2070. As water demands and shortages increase, the negative impacts will affect existing businesses and future economic development. We recognize our responsibility in setting conservation goals to conserve and protect our life-sustaining water sources.
The university uses water for a variety of activities: building operations and maintenance, research and development activities, landscaping and irrigation, dining, sanitation, and domestic use. To meet our water consumption goal, we retrofit a portion of our facilities with water-efficient equipment and technologies each year. The pace of our progress varies based upon annual budgets and operational priorities.
Fiscal year comparison of gallons
of water consumed to water usage
By the end of 2019, there was a 10% increase in water consumption compared to 2009 but at the same time the Sq. footage of campus space increased by 22% This is because our as our student body continues to grow, and we have added student housing, research space, and more campus landscaping that must be irrigated to survive. UT Arlington’s 220,000 square foot Science and Engineering Innovation and Research Building (SEIR) opened in August of 2018. This building is equipped with state-of-the-art high efficiency mechanical systems and water-saving plumbing fixtures. The result is a research facility with a predicted energy usage of 30% or more below typical research buildings.
Cultivating Sustainable Behaviors
Behavior change—for example, making it second nature to place a plastic bottle in a recycling bin rather than a waste bin—is the greatest key to successfully meeting our environmental reduction goals. Behavior change requires ongoing education, outreach, support, feedback, and recognition to be successful.
Reaching out to such a large and diverse university population is challenging: as one class enters the university, another one graduates. Behavior change is a continuous effort undertaken by the Administration & Outreach Work Group, the ISGI. These groups increase student awareness and encourage habits that help reduce waste, increase recycling, and conserve resources.
Air and Waste Management Association
Campus Ecology for University Students
Global Water Brigades
Habitat for Humanity
Real Estate and Sustainability Society
Student Sustainability Society
U.S. Green Building Council – UT Arlington
Prior to winter break, UT Arlington distributes a document entitled “Winter Break Energy Savings Initiative” to all faculty and staff asking them to help conserve energy on campus by taking the following measures when leaving for the break:
Energy Savings Initiative
Lower the heating temperature and turn off air conditioning in areas controlled directly by an occupant.
Turn off and unplug all electrical devices.
Turn off all lights.
Turn off all ice makers.
Our hope is that lessons extend beyond our campus community and that when students leave for break they go onto share best practice for environmental stewardship.
Direct Energy Consumption by primary source
|Solar (on-site generated)||1,753||1,660||1,692||1,734||1,343||1,632||1,430|
Indirect Energy Consumption
|Renewable Energy kWh||10,438,220||11,742,064||13,393,424||17,945,213||21,776,688|
|Percentage Mix Renewable||10.30%||11%||12.20%||15.60%||18.40%|
UT Arlington’s energy consumption in FY11 was 132,383 btu/gsf. Total gross energy input to campus per gross square footage. For FY17 (more than halfway through the ten year goal measurement period) it was 111,038 btu/gsf—a reduction of 16.12 percent.
Over the period 2013-2017, we were able to reduce our energy consumption and costs. These reductions were the result of pre-performance and pre-procurement contracts over those years.
Due to the climate in Texas, utility use for lighting, heating, and cooling our buildings is an ongoing challenge. However, we feel that savings realized are due to specific reduction measures, such as equipping buildings with exterior shading to enhance thermal comfort levels, lighting retrofits throughout campus, and installing chilled beams in labs to accomplish sensible cooling in air transfer without having to condition large volumes of outdoor air.
UTA Energy Utilization Index
BTU Consumption Per Square Foot Per Year
(Figured using GSF as reported to the THECB)
Energy Usage Reduction and Cost Avoidance
|FISCAL YEAR ENERGY USAGE REDUCTIONS & COST AVOIDANCE VS.|
|Energy Usage Reductions Attributable to Performance Contracts||Cost Avoidance Attributable to Performance Contracts
|Cost Avoidance Attributable to Procurement Contracts
|Total Cost Avoidance|
UT Arlington is located in the midst of the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan region, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Population density and growth place pressure on the region’s transportation corridors and increased traffic congestion contributes to vehicle emissions and negatively impacts air quality.
Idling engines create local air pollution and increase health risks to faculty, students, staff, drivers, operators, and the community at large. The city of Arlington prohibits idling for more than five minutes from April through October. The university’s anti-idling policy, which is based on the city’s codes, applies year-round to all UT Arlington fleet vehicles and visiting vehicles over 14,000 pounds. The campus police fine all violators.
We are taking action to reduce vehicle emissions through two key approaches:
- Lowering barriers to eco-friendly mobility
- Reducing university fleet emissions
Lowering Barriers to Eco-Friendly Mobility
While we cannot directly control commuter choices, we do have the means to lower many barriers that prevent commuters from choosing alternative transportation.
Our Campus Master Plan calls for campus transformations that improve parking and traffic challenges while “greening” the campus. As part of planning, UTA conducted a transportation assessment that considered traffic circulation and access, parking, regional transportation, and pedestrian facilities. The findings informed the gray-to-green objective of the plan, which aims to transform surface parking lots to open spaces and improves pedestrian and bicycle connections throughout the campus.
New multi-story parking structures such as the College Park parking garage built in 2011 will be sited around the campus perimeter, saving space and reducing vehicle traffic on campus. The campus shuttle system will become even more important as existing surface parking lots are displaced by the development of new buildings and other campus facilities or converted to open spaces. Students and employees will become increasingly dependent on the shuttle system for transportation between available parking and their on-campus destinations.
The College Park District development is a catalyst for the revitalization of the adjacent downtown Arlington district, creating a hub that attracts more students and faculty to live on and near campus than ever before.
Reducing University Fleet Emissions
UT Arlington manages the third-largest vehicle fleet in Arlington. Vehicles range from cars, trucks, utility vehicles, and shuttles to electric vehicles and motorcycles. Together, the fleet moves people and goods around campus, hauls light and heavy cargo, supports building and grounds maintenance, and transports campus security.
Although UTA fleet emissions account for less than 1 percent of the university’s GHG emissions, the fleet is under our direct control and presents opportunities for reductions in emissions. Leading by example, the Office of Vehicle Fleet Management is looking at ways to reduce the environmental impacts of our fleet while serving a growing campus community in a cost-effective manner. The University’s Vehicle Fleet Management Plan, developed, and implemented by the Office of Facilities Management in August 2011, provides guidance for campus vehicles. The plan encourages university personnel to use the smallest and least expensive vehicle appropriate for the assigned task and to transition security, maintenance, and shuttle vehicles from larger vehicles to smaller, more fuel-efficient options.
|Fuel Consumption (gallons)||CY2013||CY2014||CY2015||CY2016||CY2017||CY2018||CY2019||CY2020|
Air North Texas
Reducing Waste Generated on Campus
In the course of providing education, research, administrative, and supporting services, we generate a lot of waste, which requires handling. We rent and purchase on-site dumpsters, containers, and bins, all of which are stored on a space-constrained campus. We pay waste vendors to pick up our waste and truck it to their final disposal or storage site, and we track and report our waste to internal committees and regulatory agencies. When we reduce, reuse, and recycle materials, we set an example for conserving natural resources and saving money. We also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that solid waste generated in landfills – accounting for 2.4 percent of UT Arlington’s carbon footprint.
Our Waste Streams
Our waste streams fall into four main categories: municipal, universal, other non-hazardous, and hazardous. Municipal waste is unregulated. Universal and hazardous waste are regulated by a variety of state and federal agencies.
Report Development Process
Municipal waste is ordinary trash or construction and demolition waste that is placed in a garbage can or dumpster, collected by a waste collector, and disposed of in a landfill.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality defines universal waste as certain types of batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing thermostats, and lamps; paint and paint-related waste; and electronic waste. Because universal waste can contaminate municipal landfills, it is treated separately from regular municipal waste, but is not deemed hazardous enough to be treated as hazardous waste. The university recycles compact discs, DVDs, videotapes, and small computer components, also known as technotrash; oil and oil filters; fluorescent lamps and ballasts; photography chemicals; and printer cartridges.
3. Other non-hazardous
Small amounts of biological waste generated from biology laboratory classes are incinerated in our state-regulated on-campus incinerator.
Hazardous and non-regulated chemical waste practices are managed by EH&S, which provides policies, procedures, training, and incident tracking and cleanup practices for colleagues who handle these materials. A UT System-approved hazardous waste contractor manages the hazardous, universal, and non-regulated chemical waste in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.