An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5º Celsius above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways was released October, 2018.  The report concluded we are already at 1º Celsius warming beyond pre-industrial averages. Limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit) — beyond which scientists expect more significant damage to global ecosystems — requires “rapid and far-reaching transitions” in energy systems, land use, industry and urban infrastructure.  Read the full report here.

Since 2002 UMass Amherst has reduced its total Scope I and II greenhouse gas emissions by 25% (FY2002–FY2019) and the campus continues to explore ways to reduce energy consumption and building energy intensity, continue to transition to clean renewable energy systems, and support the clean energy economy.  In November, 2018 the UMass Chancellor's Office announced the formation of two task forces to address both climate resiliency and carbon mitigation.  

UMass Amherst provides annual energy consumption updates to Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Leading by Example Program as mandated by the Executive Order 484 and the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and voluntarily reports to Second Nature to honor the UMass system’s commitment to the Carbon Commitment.  

Second Nature Carbon Commitment Logo

FY2020 Emissions Inventory

FY2019 Emissions Inventory

Second Nature Annual Progress Evaluation - 2018

Second Nature Annual Progress Evaluation - 2016 (formerly called GHG Report)

Second Nature GHG Report - 2013

Second Nature GHG Report - 2012

Second Nature GHG Report - 2010

Second Nature GHG Report - 2008


SCOPE I, II, & III Emissions:

In 2019, buildings accounted for 85% of the campus emissions, while transportation accounted for the remaining 15%.  NOTE: Scope 3 emissions from Employee & Student Commuting have not been calculated since 2015.  Data from 2015 was carried over to 2019 as an estimation.

Pie chart of UMass Amherst Greenhouse gas emissions

Emission Type Percentage of campus emissions (85.4% related to Buildings, 14.7% related to Transportation)
Diesel for Fleet 0%
Air Travel 4%
Employee and Student Commuting 10%
Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel for Central Heating Plant 5%
Propane <1%
Oil 2 <1%
Natural Gas 60%
Liquefied Natural Gas for Central Heating Plant 9%
Purchased Electricity 11%
Gasoline for Fleet 1%



UMass Amherst Scope I and II emissions per 1,000 sq. ft. has been on a downward trend and reduced 21% since 2008 (the MA Global Warming Solutions Act baseline year) when we first reported our emissions to Second Nature.

MTCO2e = megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent

Year Total scope 1 & 2 emissions per 1,000 square feet 
2008 12.2 MTCO2e
2010 11 MTCO2e
2012 10.8 MTCO2e
2013 11.1 MTCO2e
2016 9.7 MTCO2e