Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.59
Liaison Victor Udo
Submission Date Sept. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bucknell University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00
"---" 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:

The Plan for Bucknell (Strategic Plan c2006) has five major strategies - strengthen the academic core, deepen residential learning experience, enhance diversity, build bridge, and secure financial future. The last three speak directly to social and financial sustainability. Environmental and social sustainability issues have been addressed as part of the academic core initiatives.

NOTE: We have attached a copy of the c2006 Strategic Plan. After the STARS reporting period ended, Bucknell completed a new strategic plan (The Plan for Bucknell 2025). As such the old plan was removed from the website. The new version of the strategic plan can be located at the below URL.


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)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
---

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:
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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):

Campus Master Plan, Landscape Master Plan, Diversity Plan (https://www.bucknell.edu/Documents/Diversity/DiversityPlan.pdf.), Civic Engagement Plan


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:

Bucknell's College of Arts and Sciences has adopted a core curriculum with specific requirements in the following areas relevant to sustainability education: Environmental Connections, Diversity in the U.S., and Global Connections. Each of the Arts and Sciences requirements administrated through the College Core Curriculum (see above) has its own assessment procedure. See the College Core Curriculum document available at this url: http://www.bucknell.edu/arts-and-sciences-college-of/college-core-curriculum.html

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment stated several measurable recommendations including:
1. Implementation of the Environmental Connections requirement, including the faculty support necessary for development of new courses fulfilling this requirement.
2. Continued development of “tracks” within the Environmental Studies major.
3. Continued assessment and tracking of environmental literacy among the general student population. The environmental literacy survey should be included as part of freshman orientation as well as the senior exit survey. Doing so would provide reliable and comparable data for measuring progress in this area

The 2010 Climate Action Plan stated several measurable strategies related to curriculum including:
1. Devote a portion of first-year orientation activities to learning about the local environment and necessary campus operations. As an example of progress, human resources department now regularly includes a segment on campus greening in their new employee orientation program. The environmental literacy survey could be expanded and administered yearly to each incoming class.
2. Offer more year-round educational content on issues like recycling and energy use during the first year, perhaps organized through the Office of Housing and Residential Life.


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 2010 Climate Action Plan stated several measurable strategies related to research including:
1. Establish research partnerships to investigate and support cutting-edge developments in these areas:
a. Afforestation in PA: (work with researchers at Penn State, contact Thomas Peterson, Eric Zenner (prof of silviculture) http://soilcarboncenter.k-state.edu/conference/USDA%20Abstracts%20html/Abstract%20Peterson.htm).
b. Carbon sequestration by algae
c. Carbon sequestration by soils
d. Plant biofuels
e. Chemical means of Carbon sequestration


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:

The 2010 Climate Action Plan stated measurable strategies related to campus engagement including:
1. Promote involvement by fraternities and sororities in service activities with an acknowledged sustainability component. Consider amending requirements so that some percentage of these service activities must be relevant to sustainability or the environment. An example might be installing solar panels in a local school or nursing home.


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

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

The 2010 Climate Action Plan stated measurable strategies related to public engagement including:
1. Partner with local experts to capture methane from dairy farms.
2. Meet with known regional organizations who have an interest in promoting sustainability (e.g. schools, businesses, environmental/conservation groups, Eagle Scouts, social clubs, Local Action Network, Susquehanna Economic Development Association-Council of Governments, local government, non-profits, etc.). Discuss ways to mitigate GHG emissions through education, awareness, special events, fundraising, etc.
3. Establish a community program to advise homeowners on energy-saving measures and improvements. For example, establishing a program for local homeowners to swap lights to CFLs.
4. Use the wide-ranging social network of the general campus community to branch out and forget brand-new relationships with individuals and groups who are interested in sustainability initiatives.

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained numerous measurable sustainability objectives related to public engagement including:
1. Establish outreach and education efforts directed towards changing attitudes and landscape practice among our Miller Run neighbors.


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 objectives of the climate plan are for a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2015, A 20% reduction by 2020 and a carbon neutrality by 2030. 2008 is the baseline year for these reductions.


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:

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment stated several measurable strategies related to buildings including:
1. Pursue grants that will offset some of the “start up costs” of going green and provide direct campus involvement (e.g. the Luce Foundation grant for Miller Run and the Getty Preservation grant).
2. NaturalStep training for employees across all levels.
3. Use life-cycle costs during design to encourage better informed economic decisions.
4. Commit to LEED silver certification as a minimum standard .
5. Pursue adaptive re-use of historic structures, especially in the Lewisburg Historic District (e.g. Cemetery house).
6. Conduct specific studies on reuse and recycle of building materials given the expected demolition of several buildings in the near future.
7. Donate salvage materials to Hand-Up (Milton) or Re-Use (Bellefonte), establish a working relationship on small renovation projects.
8. Revise contract language for construction waste handling to require greater reuse and recycling.
9. Provide education of staff and students in use of high VOC products.
10. Improve testing and monitoring of indoor air quality to consider a wider list of air pollutants (not just CO2).
11. To the maximum extent practical, incorporate green (vegetated) roofs, Passive solar design, solar hot water, low albedo, reflective roofs, earth sheltered design for buildings on the slope, light shelves and other day-lighting measures
12. Make a LEED AP (Accredited Professional) certification a hiring preference for new staff.


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 University Facilities Energy Team assesses energy usage in buildings and systems using a wide variety of resources and provides energy efficiency retrofits and strategies for the community campus wide. Evaluation of performance through continuous tracking of energy use allows team and community education to continuously evolve and improve thus reducing total campus energy consumption. The Energy Team makes its plans and progress available to the campus in a quarterly report. For the last several years, Energy Team has maintained the goal of a 2% reduction in energy consumption each year. Its quarterly report tracks progress toward this goal.

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained numerous measurable sustainability objectives related to energy including:
1. Collect energy consumption benchmarks from peer universities, and share these, as well as discreet action plans for energy conservation, with the upper administration.
2. Support Facilities’ goal of reducing energy use 2% per year over the next 5 years, for a 10% total decrease through the university budgeting process.
3. Secure funding to replace the heat pump system in Dana Engineering.
4. Implement the energy conservation measures identified by Facilities’ audit process, particularly in the library.
5. Complete laboratory hood upgrades throughout campus, but particularly in the Biology and Chemistry buildings.
6. Secure funding to improve metering on campus, so that every entry point of energy (heating/cooling and electric) in every building is monitored.
7. Add one to two support staff positions to improve monitoring and maintenance of existing and new BAS. These positions would also support expanded energy auditing, including implementing conservation measures.
8. Replace ALL remaining incandescent and less-efficient fluorescent bulbs. Investigate LED technology for both indoor and outdoor lighting.

The 2010 Climate Action Plan stated several measurable strategies related to energy including:
1. Switch 10% of cogeneration facility fuels to renewable fuels by 2020.
2. Achieve an additional 5% reduction in total energy usage by 2030 due to “greener” new construction and retiring/demolition of older buildings.


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:

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained numerous measurable sustainability objectives related to food and dining including:

1. Increase the amount of local food and the relationship with more local farmers especially in the area of protein (chicken, beef, pork, etc).
2. Consider purchasing more organic produce and free range meats.
3. Increase the awareness of the local food used in the cafeteria. Continue hosting the local food nights, and make a special meal once a week featuring a local item or items.
4. Show sample plates with good portion sizes and balanced meals.
5. Offer more and creative vegetarian and vegan options, especially with respect to protein sources.
6. Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into cooking.
7. Use smaller bowls and plates to reduce portion sizes and smaller drink cups as well.
8. Schedule nutrition information sessions in the cafeteria with Bucknell’s resident nutritionist to inform students about the benefits of a low fat, low cholesterol, well-balanced diet.


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

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

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained numerous measurable sustainability objectives related to grounds including:
1. Determine and monitor whether pesticides are entering groundwater or streams and if so, in what concentrations. Any problems that are identified could guide management decisions and provide opportunities for further projects aimed at mitigation.
2. Determine the source(s) of nitrates and other pollutants in the golf course.
3. Expand the biodiversity survey to cover trees on the golf course, west campus, and other parts of campus not surveyed in 2008, and to herbaceous plants, shrubs, vertebrates, and invertebrates on campus.
4. Continue monitoring and updating biodiversity databases and developing the Bucknell Arboretum web site
5. Adopt Low Input Lawn Care (LILaC)* practices wherever applicable and convert marginal lawn areas to prairie wildflower plantings.
6. Improve conditions for wildlife. In addition to providing food sources for birds and other wildlife, other landscape elements that favor wildlife should also be considered. These include strategic plantings of shrubs to provide food and cover, establishing corridors between habitat patches where practical to do so, developing vertically-layered vegetation (trees, shrubs, and ground layer plants), and installing nesting boxes for species such as bluebirds, owls, and bats.


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 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained measurable sustainability objectives related to purchasing including:
1. Adopt a set of environmental standards for university purchases. Although many good choices have been made in recent years in the procurement of products that are less harmful to the environment, these choices have been made somewhat inconsistently. A standardized environmental purchasing policy*, as adopted by several other universities, would ensure a basic adherence to environmental principles in all university purchases.
2. Continue to seek out and favor vendors who reduce packaging and reclaim their products.
3. Continue to seek out and support local vendors.
4. Continue to institutionalize and monitor Bucknell’s commitment to purchase Energy Star appliances.
5. Implement President Mitchell’s pledge to purchase additional hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles for the campus fleet.
6. Expand the purchases of durable goods with recycled content.
7. Adopt the proposed purchasing policy for certified, chlorine-free, 30% or greater post-consumer recycled content paper.
8. Promote the voluntary use of 100% post-consumer recycled paper to individual departments, along with voluntary paper reduction suggestions to help offset the increased cost.
9. Explore alternatives to Kimberly Clark products manufactured by companies with better environmental records, such as Seventh Generation.


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:

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained measurable sustainability objectives related to transportation including:
1. Institute a policy requiring that all new vehicles purchased for use in the campus vehicle fleet (including the Car Pool, Public Safety, University Relations, etc.), use the most efficient fuel technology available consistent with the vehicles intended usage. If at all possible, vehicles should use electric or hybrid (gas/electric) technology. Otherwise, vehicles should be able to use available alternative fuels such as biodiesel, propane, natural gas, etc. Written justification should be provided for any new vehicle purchase that is exclusively powered by gasoline.
2. Identify local sources and support local biodiesel production through purchase for all on-campus use.
3. Replace all vehicles in the public safety fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles.
4. Replace current mini-busses with Sprinter buses.


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 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained measurable sustainability objectives related to waste including:
1. Conduct an in-depth waste audit to determine what proportion and what kinds of recyclables are being discarded into the general municipal solid waste stream.
2. To reduce container waste, revise operations in the Bison. Re-consider use of biodegradable “to go” containers. Provide biodegradable “to go” containers to diners that are taking food from the Bison; install dish-washing equipment and employ reusable (washable) dining ware to all “in-diners”.
3. Explore options for students to exchange and re-use dormitory furnishings and accessories in good condition. These are often cast off into dumpsters during the moving-out period at the end of the year.
4. Ensure that all copy machines and high volume printers have recycled paper bins nearby.
5. Continue to identify print publications that could be eliminated or minimized using electronic alternatives.
6. To reduce food and water waste, implement a “no tray” policy in cafeterias.
7. To reduce food waste, re-consider the “all-you-can-eat” policy in cafeterias.
8. Increase the size of recycle bins at residences to facilitate on-site sorting of materials.
9. Provide recycling instructions and statistics at all recycle locations.
10. Continue to evaluate the need for additional recycling containers across campus and at special events.
11. Consider implementation of incentive-based programs that motivate people to act in accordance with the positive attitudes they already have toward recycling.
12. Develop a hazardous waste management and disposal program which will identify satellite accumulation areas, improve labeling and document waste characterizations.
13. Collect and publicize data on the following: food waste, paper consumption, recycling statistics, disposable dining service-ware.
14. Continue participation in Recyclemania and discuss strategies for improving Bucknell’s performance.
15. Continue support of student recycling coordinators in residence halls.


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

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

The 2009 Comprehensive Environmental Assessment contained measurable sustainability objectives related to water including:

1. Establish a water use awareness program; include effects of heating and cooling on water usage as well.
2. Install individual water meters on buildings, specifically residence halls and heavily used student buildings such as KLARC and LC. Use metered data to identify water savings opportunities.
3. Continue to audit and minimize irrigation.
4. Investigate alternative sources of irrigation water, such as rainwater collection, gray water, and other non-potable water supplies.
5. Conduct an appliances survey for every building on campus to include all fixtures and appliances. Recruit the Environmental Club or student interns to conduct the above inventory and a water use survey (possibly as part of the water conservation campaign).
6. Calculate the costs and payback periods of changing over to these newer appliances and/or adding water-saving appliances to new buildings.
7. Develop standards for all new and replaced water fixtures.
8. Determine actual wastewater amounts from sewer authority and track over past 10 years
9. Determine how the proportion of campus covered with impervious surfaces has changed over the past 10-40 years using aerial photos or historic photos available in the library
10. Maintain minimum base flows in Miller Run (by limiting groundwater pumping during sensitive seasons).
11. Measure pesticides and petroleum-based residues in Miller Run.
12. Use research in the stream restoration course in spring 2009 to develop restoration plan for Miller Run.


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 President's Diversity Council has adopted a five-year diversity plan. The full plan can be viewed here: https://www.bucknell.edu/Documents/Diversity/DiversityPlan.pdf. The Diversity Plan lists four major goals with specific strategies and timeframes. There are many measurable strategies including:
1. Develop a strategic response team and response plans for bias-related incidents.
2. Establish a diversity fund from which members of the campus community can seek grants for undertaking specific diversity initiatives.
3. Track and assess diversity progress revealed by national student surveys (e.g., NSSE , DLE), enrollment demographics, retention data, GPA at graduation, graduation rates, etc.
4. Undertake a comprehensive curriculum inventory every 2-3 years to identify the extent to which diversity is addressed (a) throughout courses, (b) as components of courses. (Seeking total percent and percent within Colleges and departments/programs.)
5. Connect IEA (Intercultural Equity and Advocacy) with first-year courses/foundations.
6. Integrate diversity into first-year foundation seminars and residential college experiences. (Goal: All students are introduced to diversity issues in first semester of first year at Bucknell.)


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):

We define sustainability to encompass principles and practices that advance the the long-term viability and resilience of our environmental, social, and economic support systems. These principles and practices work at every scale, from local to global, and are fundamental to creating a more just, equitable and abundant future.


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 Yes
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.