June 27, 2023 - Ann Arbor Public Schools Releases Greenhouse Gas Inventory

First School District In Michigan to Achieve this Significant Milestone

The Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) released its first-ever AAPS Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHGI), becoming the first school district in Michigan to release a report quantifying the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions the district produces.  The report is based on the Scope 1, 2 and 3 methodology of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and includes 13 years of utility data for electricity, natural gas, water and other sources of carbon emissions and carbon sequestration.  

The GHGI report is part of the AAPS Environmental Sustainability Framework adopted by the AAPS Board of Education in December 2022.  The Framework is organized into three sections: Responsible Operations, Maintenance and Construction; Environmental Education and Climate Literacy; and Healthy and Sustainable School Campuses. 

AAPS Executive Director of Environmental Sustainability Emile Lauzzana shares, “Publishing the district’s first-ever greenhouse gas inventory is a huge step forward.  We now have a method for measuring progress towards achieving our carbon emissions reduction goals.”

In the 2021-2022 school year, total emissions from Scopes 1, 2 and 3 sources were 32,018 Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent emissions (MT CO2eq). The greenhouse gas emissions were from several sources, including 57% from electricity, 39% from natural gas, 4% from diesel fuel and less than 1% each from water and gasoline. Since the  2009-10 school year, AAPS has reduced overall emissions by 10%, or 13% per student, as the student population has grown over the time period.  

Carbon capture and renewable energy are also part of the GHGI reporting.  The 700+ acres the district owns and maintains removed 2,200 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, equivalent to 6% of the District's 2021/22 school year emissions. In the same time period, solar energy production avoided 367 MT CO2eq emissions or 1% of the district’s emissions.  With multiple additional solar installations coming online, the CO2eq emissions avoidance is expected to grow to over 6% by the end of the 2023/24 school year.  

The AAPS GHGI will be updated annually by the district and will quantify emissions reductions as the district seeks to eliminate emissions from electricity by 2024 and from natural gas and diesel by 2035. Superintendent Jeanice Swift notes, “Monitoring our progress in the systematic reduction of emissions is a key and critical step for the AAPS and provides an authentic learning opportunity, a ‘teachable moment’ for our students as well.  Through implementing environmentally sustainable organizational practices, as well as in quality teaching and learning around the critical importance of these steps, our students will learn and rise to meet the challenges of an uncertain climate change future. In these important ways, the Ann Arbor Public Schools will continue to lead and live our commitment to environmental sustainability.”