Methodology

Methodology

A greenhouse gas inventory assesses the quantity of greenhouse gases the Institute produces, and identifies the emissions’ sources. The MIT Office of Sustainability (MITOS) uses the Operational Control Approach as defined by the World Resources Institute’s GHG Protocol, the worldwide corporate and campus standard for greenhouse gas emissions measurement. The GHG Protocol defines emissions using three "scopes," which are detailed below along with the specific greenhouse gases measured. 

MIT currently measures emissions from owned & leased academic buildings, fugitive gases, and campus vehicles. The emissions from these activities are calculated using the Campus Carbon Calculator — the most commonly used inventory tool for universities — which converts data into a single unit: metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e).

MITOS conducts and manages the annual inventories in collaboration with the Department of Facilities and the Environment, Health and Safety Office. The MIT Office of Treasury and Planning audits the findings for accuracy. MIT plans to expand the scope of its GHG inventory in the future and actively engage the academic and operational community in the use, refinement, and application of the inventory in order to reduce the carbon intensity of the campus.