Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.39
Liaison Laura Draucker
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Amherst College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 4.00 Laura Draucker
Director of Sustainability
Office of Environmental Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

Amherst embraces environmental sustainability as a bedrock principle for our future development. In its recent statement, Amherst's Board of Trustees commits the College to a path that will make sustainability a key consideration in both our daily operations and our investment process. Our goal is to get every member of the community engaged in addressing the dangers of climate change and to make Amherst a meaningful contributor to local, regional, national, and international efforts to develop solutions. The College has put sustainable environmental practices in place to conserve resources, reduce waste, and use facilities and resources efficiently across the campus. In keeping with the commitments articulated in the trustees' plan, we will: develop a strategy to achieve a carbon-neutral footprint within a stipulated period of time; decrease our carbon footprint by building a second co-generation plant and exploring the options for alternative forms of energy; set aside a portion of the endowment to create a pool for investment in major on-campus capital projects that would enhance cleanenergy and energy-conservation efforts; create a revolving fund to support smaller projects suggested by members of the community; support the investment required to make sustainability a defining feature of Amherst's educational and community life; develop a framework for understanding the extent to which endowment managers incorporate environmental factors, as they do many other factors, into the investment process; invest with managers who thoughtfully and consistently incorporate environmental considerations into the investment process; and stay abreast of best practices in the field.


A copy of the strategic plan:
The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):

The Amherst College Framework Plan addresses sustainability in our campus footprint moving forward, and how we can create more sustainable buildings and landscapes.

https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/media/Amherst_Framework_Plan_Report_Final_Proof_for_viewing%2520%25281%2529_0.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Climate Action Plan includes curricular engagement of the decarbonization of the campus as a key outcome, helping to engage students who will be leaders after graduation. We will build curricular tie-ins through the implementation of the plan. Implementation of the plan will include regular updates on progress towards this goal.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:

With the curricular engagement of the Climate Action Plan we will include research opportunities to use data extracted from our decarbonization approach to support faculty and student research projects. Implementation of the plan will include regular updates on progress towards this goal.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Campus engagement is a key goal of the Climate Action Plan, with ways to engage faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Implementation of the plan will include regular updates on progress towards this goal.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Climate Action Plan includes specific goals to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. Implementation of the plan will include regular updates on progress towards this goal.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:

Building energy use will be addressed as part of the climate neutrality goals, including new buildings and retrofits that will be done in accordance with the planned energy system transformation. Buildings will be retrofitted to operate using low-temperature hot water heating systems. Implementation of the plan will include regular updates on progress towards this goal.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:

The Climate Action Plan calls for the transformation of our campus energy system away from fossil fuel combustion to ground-source heat pumps. Implementation of the plan will include regular updates on progress towards this goal.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
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The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
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Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment ---
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.