Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.97
Liaison Dennis Carlberg
Submission Date Aug. 2, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Boston University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 4.00 Dennis Carlberg
Associate Vice President for University Sustainability
sustainability@BU
"---" 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:

Boston University's Strategic Plan released in 2007 included ten high level commitments. One of these commitments was, "A commitment to aligning our policies, processes, services, operations, and the development of our campus with our values." This included, "Even as our campus grows upward and outward, we will decrease our environmental footprint. We intend to focus on conserving energy and decreasing greenhouse-gas emissions in all of our operations." This commitment lead to the creation of a sustainability committee, revolving loan fund, and office.


A copy of the strategic plan:
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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:
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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 Institutional Master Plan integrates sustainability into campus planning through green buildings, transportation, and water conservation. Chapter 9 is dedicated to sustainability: http://www.bu.edu/community/files/2012/09/BU-IMP-1-17-13.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 the creation of an academic Initiative on Climate Change and Sustainability to integrate these subjects into the education and research missions of the University: http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/


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:

The Climate Action Plan includes the creation of an academic Initiative on Climate Change and Sustainability to integrate these subjects into the education and research missions of the University: http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/


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:

Key Performance Indicators developed in the Climate Action Plan include formalizing the use of the campus as a living learning laboratory for climate change and sustainability, integration of the CAP into the University's Strategic Plan (a process launched currently underway), providing community-wide training, and improvements to sustainability communications and outreach: http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/files/2017/09/Community_engagement_2017-09-201.pdf


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:

The Climate Action Plan emphasizes the importance of working with the City of Boston and broader community, especially to address mitigating our collective impacts on the climate system and to build a more resilient community for the effects from climate change that can't be avoided: http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/


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 sets a goal for the University's operational emissions (Scope I and Scope II) to be net neutral by 2040 and to source its electricity from new, renewable sources: http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/


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:

For new Building Design + Construction projects achieve LEED Gold and meet Architecture 2030 Energy Use Intensity (EUI) targets and for Interior Design + Construction achieve LEED Gold: http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/files/2017/12/17-11-25-New-Buildings-Final.pdf


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

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

In 2014 (STARS 1.2 criteria) the University set a goal to purchase 20% of the food and beverages it serves through local and sustainable sources by 2018 and 25% by 2020.
It also set a goal to have 100% of its dining halls Green Restaurant Certified.

https://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/files/2017/09/Supply-Chain-and-waste-2017-09-20.pdf


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?:
Yes

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

The Climate Action Plan recognizes the importance of addressing the supply chain in concert with the waste stream and the need to address the emissions associated within these areas. Key Performance Indicators for purchasing include for durable goods prioritizing reuse and refurbished products, for consumable goods address five issues from adding a sustainability and climate change component to each category of sourcing in contracts to leveraging suppliers with sustainability expertise to conduct campus sustainability assessments. http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/files/2017/09/Supply-Chain-and-waste-2017-09-20.pdf


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

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

For Scope 1 emissions:
a) Improve data collection and analytics to support decision making
b) pilot a change in the BU Shuttle route to allow for improved on-time services
c) conduct a feasibility study of the BU Shuttle fleet conversion to electric - pilot electric fleet vehicles by 2020 and phase in electric vehicles as technology develops.
For scope 3 emissions:
a) To replace outdated parking technology to allow for the integration of Permit Management System and Parking Access and Revenue Control Systems
b) To introduce zone parking policies and dynamic pricing
To address emissions from air travel:
a) Tracking of air travel for both faculty and staff for trips funded by third parties
b) Identification of an offset program for students and faculty engaging in frequent air travel
http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/files/2017/09/Transportation-Draft-2017-09-22.pdf


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

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

The Climate Action Plan recognizes the importance of addressing the supply chain in concert with the waste stream and the need to address the emissions associated within these areas. Key Performance Indicators in the near term include, hire a Zero Waste Manager, collect accurate, “real time” weight and volume data, pilot Zero Waste Certification, minimize waste 35% from 2006 levels, and increase the diversion rate to 60% by 2025. The longer term goal is for BU to be a Zero Waste Institution by 2030 with measurable greenhouse gas reductions. http://www.bu.edu/climateactionplan/files/2017/09/Supply-Chain-and-waste-2017-09-20.pdf


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?:
Yes

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

The Strategic Plan acknowledges that "diversity and excellence go hand in hand. The tradition of Boston University puts this mission at the core of the institution." In 2015 "nearly 16% of our freshman class are from underrepresented groups and 14% are Pell Grant recipients, [BU is] committed to increasing both numbers and to creating an inclusive and diverse faculty."


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)? :
No

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 No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

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

American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge:
In 2015, weeks before the historic agreement on climate change was signed at COP21 in Paris, Boston University was represented at the White House by Andrew Cho (CAS’16), student body president, and sustainability@BU intern Lindsey Chew (Questrom’16) to affirm our commitment to address climate change through the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge.
http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/about-us/mission/white-house-act-on-climate-pledge/

We are still in:
We have joined Mayor Walsh and now over 3,500 mayors, college and university leaders, governors, businesses, and investors that intend to continue to support the climate action necessary to meet the Paris Agreement and say that we are still in. For its part in the Paris Agreement, the US committed it would reduce emissions from 2005 levels 26 to 28 percent by 2025. At BU, we are well on our way meeting the commitments in the University’s Climate Action Plan to achieve net carbon neutrality for its operations by 2040.
http://www.bu.edu/sustainability/about-us/mission/continuing-our-climate-commitment/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.