Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.73
Liaison Megan Litke
Submission Date Jan. 31, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

American University
PAE-5: Climate Plan

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Chris O'Brien
Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a plan to mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions that meets the criteria for this credit?:

A brief summary of the climate plan’s long-term goals:

Carbon neutral by 2020.

A brief summary of the climate plan’s short-term goals:

Adopted Tangible Actions:

1. Establish a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver standard or equivalent.

Yes: Green building policy is in effect. To access policy: http://www.american.edu/policies/upload/Green-Building-Policy.pdf

2. Adopt an energy-efficient appliance purchasing policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products in all areas for which such ratings exist.

Yes: Sustainable purchasing policy is in effect. Policy can be accessed at: http://www.american.edu/policies/upload/Sustainable-Purchasing-Policy.pdf. For specific language documenting the requirement of purchase of EnergySTAR rated products, see policy addendum.

3. Establish a policy of offsetting all greenhouse gas emissions generated by air travel paid for by our institution.

Yes: Proposed policies are in development

4. Encourage use of and provide access to public transportation for all faculty, staff, students and visitors at our institution.

Yes: The university operates a free shuttle bus service for students, faculty and staff between three campus locations and DC's metro train system. The university operates a fleet of vans and offers a car sharing program (Zipcars) to enable student access to community commercial and volunteer opportunities. In addition, the university offers a bicycle lending program and a car pool matching program (Zimride) to support sustainable university commuting.

5. Within one year of signing this document, begin purchasing or producing at least 15% of our institution's electricity consumption from renewable sources.

Yes: The university is currently purchasing renewable energy certificates to offset carbon from 25% of campus electrical use and is engineering the installation of a steam turbine on campus to utilize waste heat from the university's central steam plant to produce electricity on campus.

6. Participate in the Waste Minimization component of the national RecycleMania competition, and adopt 3 or more associated measures to reduce waste.

Yes: AU participates in the RecycleMania competition. To access RecycleMania profile: http://recyclemaniacs.org/university_detail08.asp?ID=617.
Waste reduction measures include:
adopting a Zero Waste Policy
establishing a campus recycling program
establishing a campus surplus exchange and reuse system
promoting inter-office reusable envelopes for campus mail
replacing paper materials with online alternatives, e.g. new student orientation packet, telephone directory, course catalog, and more
discourage unlimited printing in computer labs and copy rooms by charging for copies
offering discounts for using reusable mugs in campus dining operations
using bulk condiment dispensers instead of single serving packages in dining operations

Year the climate plan was formally adopted or approved:

The website URL where information about the climate plan is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.