FAQs

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Using SIMAP

Where should I start?

First, you will need to set up your account and describe your institution. The steps are: 

  • Start with the "1. Account" tab, which can be found in the top left of the screen. Click the "Institution" link on the left panel and enter information about your institution. Note that anything marked with * is mandatory. 
  • Enter any other relevant information on the "1. Account tab" under the following links found on the left panel: Goals, Programs/Initiatives, Budgets, Physical spaces, and Populations. Note that these other sections are not mandatory to calculate your footprint. However, data sets describing institution characteristics will be necessary to view normalizations on the results tab, such as the population and gross square footage. 
  • The "Notebook" link is a space where you can record notes about your data entry, next steps, or anything else you would like to record. 

After you have entered your institution information, you can begin entering your institution's inventory data under the '2. Data entry' tab. This section is organized by scope. 

How do I import data?

You can import the current CCC Excel spreadsheet version 7.0 - 9.1. You can request your data from CarbonMAPto be emailed to you and then import the zip folder into SIMAP. The CarbonMAP site will be operational until the end of January 2018 to allow plenty of time to migrate the data into the new platform. We will be sending out reminders to the user email list. The link to upload your spreadsheet can be found under the "Data Magmt" tab in the left panel. 

My data set has not imported correctly. Why?

The import keeps reading all the Input tabs until there are no more rows to read and these rows have years and columns where data is expected, so their values overwrite the ones above. If you have any extra information on any of the input sheets, this information may end up in your data set. Make sure you delete anything outside the table with your data. 

How do I enter inventory data into SIMAP?

All institution data entry takes place under the "2. Data entry" tab. The data entry categories are organized by scope in the left panel. Each link will take you to a page with two sections: A green button that says "Enter Data" and a summary of the data already entered. To enter a data point, please do the following: 

  • Click the appropriate link in the left panel in the "Data entry" section. 
  • Click the green "Enter data" button 
  • Fill out the data entry form. Note that anything marked * is mandatory. 
  • Click the green "Add data" button to add that data point to your inventory. 
  • Continue this process until you have entered all data points for a given source

How can I view my results?

The results dashboard (tab '3. Results' across the top) gives you the following options for viewing your data: 

  • Footprints: Select the carbon and/or nitrogen boxes to indicate which graph(s) you would like to view. 
  • Report type: Your institution's footprint results can be shown as the total footprint, by scope, by category, by source, or by gas/pollutant. 
  • Graph type: You can view a line or bar graph. 
  • Normalization: The options selected above can then be normalized by a variety of metrics. Note that you will have needed to enter your institution's relevant information under the "1. Account" tab to use normalizations. 
  • Year range: Make sure the selected year range matches up with the data sets you entered. 

After selecting the above options, click "Calculate" to view your results. You will then see a carbon and/or nitrogen graph. The detailed results will be presented in tables below the graphs, organized by the report type you selected. 

You can also view the annual summary of your results under the Reports tab. 

How does my data get from SIMAP to Second Nature reporting system?

There is a report that is generated under the Reports tab. Currently, you can export the report or just use the table to add your data from SIMAP to the Second Nature reporting system.  Once the required data has been entered, SIMAP has an export function. It is the responsibility of the signatory institution to use SIMAP to calculate emissions data and then input required information into the Second Nature reporting systems.

For more information on reporting to Second Nature, please visit the Second Nature Reporting page.

Greenhouse gas questions

What is the difference between an implementation profile, a GHG emissions report, a climate action plan, and a progress report? When are they all due?

Scond Nature provides a helpful timeline for signatories with resources to help you with each report here.

How was the Greenhouse Gas Protocol created?

The GHG Protocol arose from an initiative by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). These two NPOs realized that an international GHG accounting and reporting standard would be necessary in light of climate change. In 1997, managers from WRI and WBSCD met to launch an NGO-business partnership to address methods for GHG accounting. They then met with environmental and industry groups to guide the stakeholder standards development process. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard was published in 2001. Since its publication, tools to assist agencies with data calculation have been created, along with guidance documents. WRI and WBSCD have also partnered with governments, companies and non-governmental organizations to help them adopt the GHG Protocol as the foundation for climate change strategies. (Greenhouse Gas Protocol, 2012)

How does selling renewable energy credits (RECs) impact my GHG inventory/footprint?

The selling of RECs will not impact your inventory directly. If your campus produces RECs and sells them, this money could be contributed to a Green Revolving Fund (GRF). This fund can be used to fund campus improvements that contribute to emission reductions. This is one way that selling RECs can indirectly impact your GHG inventory/footprint.

Nitrogen footprint

What is a nitrogen footprint?

A nitrogen footprint is the total amount of reactive nitrogen released to the environment as a result of an entity's resource consumption. The major areas of resource consumption that release reactive nitrogen include food production and energy consumption. Reactive nitrogen is necessary to food production (all plants and animals need nitrogen to grow), but excess reactive nitrogen is lost to the environment through pathways such as fertilizer runoff, processing waste, manure management, and food waste. Reactive nitrogen is emitted to the atmospheric as a by-product of fossil fuel combustion.

What is 'reactive nitrogen'?

Reactive nitrogen (Nr) includes all forms of nitrogen that are biologically, photochemically, and radiatively active.  Compounds of nitrogen that are reactive include the following: the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), nitrate (NO3-), nitrite (NO2-), ammonia (NH3), and ammonium (NH4+). Reactive forms of nitrogen are those capable of cascading through the environment and causing an environmental impact such as smog, acid rain, eutrophication, biodiversity loss, stratospheric ozone depletion, and climate change. The non-reactive form of nitrogen is N2  and makes up about 80% of our atmosphere.  This form of nitrogen does not contribute to the environmental impacts noted above. Unless otherwise noted, the term “nitrogen” or “N” throughout SIMAP refers to “reactive nitrogen” – not its non-reactive diatomic form.

Is there any overlap between the carbon and nitrogen footprint?

The carbon and nitrogen footprint have overlap for one gas: nitrous oxide (N2O). Both a greenhouse gas and a form of reactive nitrogen, N2O is included in both the carbon and nitrogen footprint accounting. It is reported in both footprints because it contributes to impacts in addition to climate change and the two footprints are reported separately. It should be noted that N2O makes up a very small portion of the nitrogen footprint.

Where can I read more about campus nitrogen footprints?

Read the Special Issue on Nitrogen Footprints in Sustainability: The Journal of Record, a peer-reviewed journal. The special issue highlights the following papers:

Can I calculate my personal nitrogen footprint?

Yes! You can calculate your nitrogen footprint at calc.nprint.org. Visit the nitrogen footprint's website (www.n-print.org) to learn more.

University of New Hampshire

Does UNH have a climate action plan (CAP)?  What is its goal?  Is it on track?

UNH has a CAP, which is called WildCAP. The goal of WildCAP is to reduce GHG emissions by 50% in 2020 and by 80% in 2050. The baseline for this goal is 2001. The Energy Task Force (ETF), which was established in 2005, and the Sustainability Institute oversee the WildCAP. WildCAP is on track and it is actually ahead of schedule due to EcoLine. EcoLine allows UNH to produce energy using the methane gas produced by a nearby landfill. UNH sells RECs to pay for the project. You can find past UNH GHG inventory reports here.

What is the relationship between Second Nature and UNH?

UNH is a signatory of the The Presidents' Climate Leadership Commitments. It is also the managing agency for the SIMAP, which is the calculation tool most recommended by the Second Nature for GHG emissions calculation.