Green House Gas Report of Universitas Airlangga

A sharp increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels is indicated in the atmosphere compared to the previous century, primarily due to technological advancement. The increasing human population requires higher energy consumption, mainly by burning fossil fuels, which results in large amounts of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions. Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) are components of gases in the atmosphere that absorb solar energy reflected from the earth’s surface as infrared radiation. This energy is transferred to the main non-GHGs (nitrogen and oxygen), increasing the overall temperature of the lower atmosphere. GHGs are very important for regulating the temperature of the earth’s surface because, with the presence of GHGs in the atmosphere, the earth’s average temperature becomes 15°C. In short, the earth would freeze and become uninhabitable without GHGs (Chandra & Niwa, 2023).

From pre-industrial times to the present, global emissions of several significant GHGs (CO2, CH4, and N2O) have increased exponentially. These GHGs have different Global Warming Potentials (GWP) based on their ability to absorb solar energy and when they exist in the atmosphere. As a result, the average temperature of the earth’s surface has increased by 0.6°C since the late 1800s, and it is predicted that there will be an increase of 1-5°C by 2100. This increase in temperature is not just a statistic, but a threat that is expected to affect climate patterns and the earth’s weather, and extreme events such as droughts, floods, and storms will occur more frequently. This indeed threatens marine ecosystems and human survival activities. Principally, the surge in energy demand enlarges the carbon footprint and negatively impacts the environment (Jeffry et al., 2021).

Khan et al. (2014) asserted that among all GHGs, carbon dioxide emissions exert the most substantial influence with a reasonably high level of energy contribution. Thermogenic sources such as burning fossil energy for electricity and vehicle fuel are the most significant sources causing a large amount of CO2 gas to be released into the atmosphere. Burning of fossil fuels in a company is categorized as direct emissions. In contrast, indirect emissions occur in the company’s supply chain, including all production stages of goods and services sent to the company (Hertwich & Wood, 2018).

Among corporations and cities, the GHG Protocol is a widely accepted standard that defines 3 Scopes when considering emissions calculations. Scope 1 encompasses direct emissions from activities within the organization, encompassing energy-related activities (such as those within industry, transportation, and construction), industrial processes, agriculture, land use change and forestry, and waste processing. However, it does not include direct CO2 emissions from biomass burning or greenhouse gases not covered by the Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, Scope 2 refers to indirect emissions outside the organizational boundaries but are associated with energy activities conducted within, including emissions arising from electricity and heating requirements and cooling. Scope 3 accounts for emissions beyond Scope 2, occurring outside the organizational or city limits yet connected to activities within it (Cai et al., 2019). Understanding the differences between these scopes is essential for identifying emission sources and taking immediate steps toward sustainability.

As an educational institution, Universitas Airlangga plays a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impacts it causes. At the university level, GHGs, especially CO2, are often produced more through Scope 1 and 2. According to Vásquez et al. (2015), GHG emissions in scope 1 are direct emissions originating from sources that are owned and can be controlled by the relevant institutions as producers. Sources of these emissions include burning fuel from vehicles owned by the university, such as flash buses, HiAce, ambulances, fire trucks, and other cars that still use fossil fuels. The university provides transportation facilities for students and academic staff for campus purposes. Because the fuel is purchased for university-owned vehicles, the emissions produced by this transportation are included in scope 1. The university’s responsibility for these emissions depends on how intensively the vehicle is used.

Scope 2 includes indirect emissions from the electricity consumption purchased by the university. Electrical energy consumption can be determined according to information obtained from electricity company bills provided to the campus consumer (Vásquez et al., 2015). Electricity consumption is typically the most significant component of the carbon footprint due to the carbon-intensive power generation inputs and the inefficient nature of electricity production and transportation. Electricity consumption is usually triggered by the large number of electronic equipment in special laboratories used in various fields and the high density of servers and computers used within universities. The emissions from electricity consumption are included in Scope 2 because the majority still comes from burning coal in power plants that supply electricity to university facilities. The resulting emissions are still the direct responsibility of the power generation company.

According to Sparrevik & Utstøl (2020), emissions from fossil fuels and energy production (often referred to as scope 1 and 2) must be reported in accordance with the ISO 14 064 greenhouse gas reporting standard because these emissions can be directly connected to the reporting organization. Universitas Airlangga is also responsible for the environment, including efforts to reduce the negative impact of climate change by reporting the greenhouse gas emissions produced. By understanding the differences between Scope 1 and Scope 2, emission sources can be identified, and steps to reduce environmental impacts can be taken to achieve sustainability goals. These steps could include transitioning to electric vehicles for campus transportation, implementing energy-efficient practices in laboratories and offices, and exploring renewable energy sources for electricity generation. Calculating the emissions produced by fossil fuel vehicles and using electricity supplied by PLTUs is a crucial first step in understanding how much universities contribute to global warming.

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