New Resource Available: Measuring Emissions Related to University Investment Holdings

CAUBO members understand the urgency of addressing climate change. Most CAUBO members have set, or are planning to set, a goal to become net-zero or carbon neutral. Measuring GHG emissions across the entire value chain is a crucial step to setting and achieving the institution’s reduction targets and goals.

In 2022, CAUBO issued the Common Measurement Approach and Tool for Scope 3 GHG Emissions report, as part of its Climate Change Mitigation Strategies project to support members’ efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Scope 3 report outlined a recommended approach that could be adopted by post-secondary institutions to support consistent and transparent measurement of Scope 3 emissions[1] across the sector.

Emissions related to investment holdings can account for a material proportion of an institution’s Scope 3 emissions. To supplement the guidance provided in the Scope 3 report, Mercer Canada Sustainable Investment was engaged to develop a new resource for CAUBO members.

Measuring Emissions Related to University Investment Holdings provides an overview of how post-secondary institutions can measure the GHG emissions of their investment portfolio, outlining the current best practices for carbon measurement of investment holdings as well as the limitations that exist.

Stay tuned for more information on any professional development opportunities for members to discuss this topic in 2024.

[1] GHG emissions are categorized into three “scopes” (scope 1, scope 2, and scope 3) for GHG accounting and reporting purposes. According to the GHG Protocol definitions, Scope 1 emissions are defined as direct GHG emissions from operations (e.g., emissions associated with operating facilities); Scope 2 emissions are defined as indirect GHG emissions from energy usage (e.g., emissions associated with electricity use); and Scope 3 emissions are defined as other indirect GHG emissions from business activities (e.g., emissions associated with employee travel).