Metrics & Reports

                                                                                SDSU Sustainability Fact Label

All metrics are also available in spreadsheet form.

Carbon Emissions - Breakdown by Source

The largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is the co-generation plant, at 48.4% of emissions. Energy as a whole accounts for 56% (including other sources). Commuting is the next largest contributor at 36.9%. Other sources include air travel at 4.7%, water and wastewater at 1%, solid waste at 0.6%, fleet vehicles at 0.6%, and non-air financed travel at 0.2%.

Fiscal Year 14/15

Carbon Emissions Pie Chart

Over time, total emissions have grown. This is primarily from operational emissions associated with larger square footage. Operational emissions increasing from 35,287 MT CO2e in 1990 to 51,883 MT CO2e in 2016. Estimated total emissions increased from 85,871 MT CO2e in 1990 to 96,268 MT CO2e in 2016. 

Historical emissions by scope.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Scopes & Definitions

Scope 1:  Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.

Sources included:  Natural gas for co-gen, other on-campus stationary sources (boilers), direct transportation (fleet vehicles).

Scope 2:  Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy.

Sources included:  Purchased electricity.

Scope 3:  All indirect emissions (not included in Scope 2) that occur in the value chain of the reporting company, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

Sources included:  Faculty/staff commuting; student commuting; directly financed air travel; other directly financed travel; solid waste, water and wastewater; Scope 2 transmission and distribution losses from purchased electricity.

Carbon Emissions - Operational

Operational carbon emissions include emissions that the campus is directly responsible for, including energy use and fleet vehicles. SDSU has the most control over these emissions (also called Scope 1 and 2). Emissions have grown over time, primarily due to campus growth. Normalized on a square foot basis, carbon emissions have actually decreased.

Operational Emissions over time by contributor


Operational Emissions per square foot over time



Water Use by Campus Unit

Campus water use has reduced by nearly 17% from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2016. The primarily user on campus is the general fund, non-auxiliary. Housing is the next largest user, consuming 20% of total water.

Annual Water Use

Water Use by End Use

The largest end use of water on campus are the cooling towers, which are used in the process to cool and power campus. Evaporation from the towers is responsible for 17.5% and blow down is responsible for another 8.5%. Irrigation is the next largest user. Much of campus irrigation is metered; this accounts for about 17% of campus water use. Other areas of campus are not meters, bringing the total estimated irrigation usage to 25%. Housing consumes about 18% of total water. Associated Students, off campus, and Aztec Shops combined account for less than 8% of campus use. The remainder is domestic (restroom fixtures) or unidentified, which includes usage in the other categories that have not been captured.

 Water Use Breakdown

Waste Generation - Breakdown, Excluding Construction & Demolition

Without including construction and demolition waste, campus recycled about 22% and composted 4.5% of its generated waste in fiscal year 18/19. The remaining 64% was sent to the landfill. This indicates a large opportunity to improve our efforts towards zero waste.

Non CD Diversion

Waste Generation - Breakdown, Including Construction & Demolition

When construction and demolition is included, the overall diversion rate jumps to 57% in fiscal year 18/19. About 42% of all waste was construction and demolition material that was recycled. 

Total Diversion


How Are We Improving?

waste compared

Diversion Rate by Dumpster Location - All Campus

The SDSU waste hauler, EDCO, weighs dumpsters each time they are picked up. This allows us to identify areas that are underperforming and excelling in waste diversion. The highest performing building in fiscal year 15/16 was the business services building, which generates a lot of paper products at the print shop. The average diversion rate per dumpster is 26%. 

Diversion Rate by Location

Transportation Mode Split 

A transportation mode split characterizes the portion of people who commute with different methods. Among faculty, staff, and students, the most popular way to get to campus is by driving alone. More than 80% of faculty/staff, and 63% of students come to campus in a single occupancy vehicle. The next largest category is transit, with less than 10% of faculty/staff taking transit and about 15% of students. About 11% of students walk to campus, though only 5% of faculty and 3% of staff do so. Active transportation (walking, biking) are used by 11% of students, 5.3% of faculty, and 3.4% of faculty. A small minority take another means of transportation and the rest did not regularly commute during the survey time period.


transportation mode split

San Diego State University encourages faculty, staff, students, and visitors to come to campus via active transportation (including walking, bicycling, and skateboarding), public transit, and carpooling. For those who cannot use these modes, we have developed programs to encourage the use of electric vehicles, which greatly reduce carbon emissions. One of these programs include installing charging stations for electric vehicles on campus! You can see how much campus uses these stations in the Chargepoint graph below.

chargepoint 2020 data

To see how we are mitigating our transportation impact, see our transportation section.

Survey Data

The past couple years, we have been conducting a campus-wide Sustainability Literacy and Culture Survey. The results can be found below.

2018 Data

2020 Data