Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.40
Liaison Margaret Lo
Submission Date June 12, 2023

STARS v2.2

Ball State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Robert Koester
Director of CERES
Center for Energy Research/Education/Service (CERES)
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

From the current 2019-2024 Strategic Plan

Goal 1 E
“... offer every student … a course that focuses on a societal issue or global challenge and that engages students with people across diverse disciplines, cultures, and thought.”


Goal 2 A
“… offer high-demand degrees and credentials in fields that align with our current and potential expertise.”


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

From the current 2019-2024 Strategic Plan
Goal 3 D
“… implement a regional plan to improve population health and wellbeing.”


Goal 4 B
“… connect … scholarship with the vibrancy of the city of Muncie and East Central Indiana in ways that can be replicated in communities around the world.“


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

As included in the current 2019-2024 strategic plan:
Goal 5 H
“… support academic excellence and enable operational efficiency and effectiveness.” ... with an Executive Dashboard that includes the benchmarking of carbon neutrality


Moreover, The BSU Climate Action Plan indicates five-year increments of targeted reduction which aligns the energy conservation and carbon emissions planning with the five-year cycling of strategic academic planning.


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

As included in the current 2019-2024 strategic plan:
Goal 5 A
“… embed cultural competencies across curricular and co-curricular experiences … and result in greater diversity in people and ideas throughout the campus.”


Goal 5 F
“… advance our legacy of environmental stewardship.”


Goal 5 N
“ … update … [the] campus master plan [to] align with our mission, goals, strategic imperatives, and enduring commitments to environmental stewardship and inclusive excellence.


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

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The university has adopted a public statement on sustainability which includes the definitions of vision, commitment and action.

University Sustainability Statement
Ball State University seeks to be a campus where:
• All students, faculty and employees are provided opportunities to become literate in the environmental, social and economic interactions of human and biophysical systems.
• Such opportunities are made available through strong undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional-specialization, faculty development and staff training offerings that provide diverse opportunities for learning.
• Collaborative faculty and student research on related issues is encouraged and supported.
• Development of university leadership and expertise is seen as a continuous, participatory process of learning that contributes to local and regional sustainability efforts, fostering links with other institutions.
• Understanding and concern for sustainability issues provide the foundation for a dynamic sense of campus cohesion and community.
• The University's practices reduce both the consumption of materials and energy and the emission of pollutants to their lowest levels possible, without decreases in the level of education, scholarly work, and services provided.
We, the Ball State University community, affirm our commitment to protect and enhance the environment through our learning, research, service and administrative operations. We seek to foster a community that sustains ecological systems and educates for environmental awareness, local action, and global thinking. We seek to incorporate environmental principles and environmentally responsible practices as fundamental and integrated components of all BSU operations and programs. Our fundamental principles are to:
• Incorporate environmental concerns as a significant priority in university decision making.
• Seek alternative practices and procedures to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
• Conserve natural resources and restore environmental quality.
• Protect the biodiversity of our region and serve as a living laboratory and habitat for local species.
• Consider the social, economic and environmental impacts of Ball State University's operational policies and foster a participatory process in developing these policies.
Our decisions and actions will be guided by the University's Mission Statement, reflective of the University's resources, and informed by the University's Strategic Plan. As a learning institution, we recognize that planning for sustainability will be an evolving practice.

25 March 2002: Adopted by COTE
15 April 2002: Endorsed by - Senior Staff
17 April 2002: Endorsed by - Academic Deans
25 April 2002: Endorsed by - University Senate
7 February 2003: Accepted by - Board of Trustees


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

As stated in our current 2019-2024 Strategic Plan:

We engage students in educational, research, and creative endeavors that empower our graduates to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives enriched by lifelong learning and service, while we enhance the economic, environmental, and social vitality of our community, our state, and our world.

This clear commitment to the inclusion of the major 'components' of sustainability builds on our explicit published commitment to sustainability dating to 2002 and is reflected in the many other commitments to national leadership in this arena as evidenced in the sections which follow.

Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following?:
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability ---
SDG Accord ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) Yes
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Our university community has adopted a Statement on Sustainability. We are a signatory to the Climate Leadership Commitment, the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Talloires Declaration, and we are a charter school member of the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS). We have integrated sustainability into our Unit-level Strategic Plans and are installing a 47-building Geothermal District Heating and Cooling System to reduce our Greenhouse gas emissions.

We have hosted nine international Greening of the Campus (GOC) Conferences and our Council on the Environment (COTE) is the longest-standing such committee among colleges and universities in Indiana. We offer a broad range of academic programs that engage sustainability, and we sponsor student groups such as the Ball State Energy Action Team (BEAT), Emerging Green Builders (EGB), the Natural Resources Club (NRC), and Students for Responsible Consumerism (SRC).

Finally, we report our progress and achievements in:
... our STARS reporting
... our GRI reporting
... our member reporting to the Council on the Environment
... our C2P2 reporting
... our carbon and nitrogen reporting

See web sites below:

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

For more than 20 years, Ball State University has consistently integrated sustainability into its five-year strategic planning cycles; each such plan calls out specific initiatives connected to the updates and re-framing of our vision, mission and values as we seek to provide social, economic, and environmental leadership in sustainability education, research and service.

2019-2024_Destination 2040: Our Flight Path

18 x ’18_The Centennial Commitment

Goal III-15
“…enhance recognition as a national model for sustainability; by:

Offering a Minor in Sustainability

2012-2017_Education Redefined 2.0 Advancing Indiana

Goal 3, Objective 3
“continue to position the university as a steward of the environment by…
building on the university’s expertise and success in sustainability.”

District-Scale Geothermal Heating and Cooling

2007-2012_Education Redefined

Goal 4F
“…by 2008,…create sustainability plans for each [administrative] unit [on

2001-2006_Making the Grade

Goal II
“…promote a learning climate that values civility, diversity,
multicultural awareness, appreciation of the arts, healthy and productive
living, and… environmental Sustainability”

Council on The Environment

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.