Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.57
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

California State University, San Marcos
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Sustainability Manager
Safety, Risk and Sustainability
"---" 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:
Sustainability Master Plan: https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/commitment/index.html
On our published plan, page 12 focuses on academics

Goal: Provide the knowledge, understanding, and skills graduating students need to be sustainability leaders no matter what field of study they pursue
Strategies to meet this goal include:
Strategy 1: Integrate Sustainability into the Curriculum:
- Review and publish on the sustainability website, a database of sustainability course offerings that is updated annually
- Coordinate with first year programs to integrate sustainability into the curriculum
- Identify opportunities to evaluate student knowledge, skills, and understanding related to sustainability
Key Performance Indicator: The total number of sustainability courses offered and number of students who take those courses is monitored

Strategy 2: Facilitate Faculty Development:
- Utilize the Sustainability Transforming Academics and Research (STAR) learning community and partner with the Faculty Center to continually provide trainings, workshops, and opportunities for faculty to integrate sustainability into their courses and research
- Expand the Campus as a Living Laboratory program and other grant opportunities to strengthen faculty’s ability to integrate sustainability into the curriculum
Key Performance Indicator: Expand the number of faculty committed to integrating sustainability into the curriculum

Strategy 3: Increase Sustainability Research:
- Share, connect, and collaborate with faculty conducting sustainability research and provide research and grant opportunities as available
- Document and communicate sustainability research projects and highlight on the sustainability website
Key Performance Indicator: The number of faculty conducting sustainability research is tracked

Strategy 4: Strengthen Sustainability Education Opportunities:
- Provide classroom presentations to all majors, to increase student understanding and learning related to sustainability
- Deliver high quality service learning and internship offerings to students that connect their learning with tangible, career ready skills
Key Performance Indicator:
The number of students participating in sustainability education opportunities is tracked

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:
The CSU Sustainability policy includes several sustainability objectives that address student, employee, and community engagement for sustainability. Examples of such objectives include:
The CSU will develop employee and student workforce skills in the green jobs industry, promote the development of sustainable products and services, and foster economic development.

Each CSU is encouraged to designate a sustainability officer responsible for carrying out and/or coordinating campus sustainability program efforts.

The CSU will cooperate with federal, state, and local governments and other appropriate organizations in accomplishing energy conservation and utilities management objectives throughout the state; and inform students, faculty, staff and the general public of the need for and methods of energy conservation and utilities management.

Each CSU campus will designate an energy/utilities manager with the responsibility and the authority for carrying out energy conservation and utilities management programs. The Chancellor's Office will have the responsibility to coordinate the individual campus programs into a systemwide program.

Campuses and food service organizations shall collaborate to provide information and/or training on sustainable food service operations to staff and patrons

Additionally, the Policy Statement on Energy Conservation, Sustainable Building Practices, and Physical Plant Management for the CSU (Executive Order 987) states that the “CSU shall incorporate appropriate training programs for CSU facilities personnel with the aim of promoting and maintaining the goals” outlined for energy conservation and sustainable building practices.

The policy also states that “the CSU will encourage continued energy conservation and lowest utilities operating costs on its campuses by instituting incentive plans designed to recognize and reward meritorious achievements by campus staff, faculty, and students beyond normal expectation.”

In addition, our goal at CSUSM is to integrate, promote, and advance an inclusive, equitable, diverse, and healthy campus culture across all levels of the institution. We plan to achieve this goal by focusing on access and affordability, campus climate, community engagement, diversity and social justice, and health and well-being. Key performance indicators include tracking of efforts related to collaboration and support of programs geared towards the basic needs initiative and other support programs, ensuring inclusive sustainability programming is effective and evaluated, monitoring and increasing collaboration with local and regional partnerships while expanding opportunities for students, programming and training that supports the growth of inclusive sustainability efforts with students, staff, and faculty is developed and effective, and ensuring programmatic support is developed and implemented to support the health and well-being strategic plan on campus.


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:
The CSU includes measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations in several published policies, including the CSU Sustainability Policy and the Policy Statement on Energy Conservation, Sustainable Building Practices, and Physical Plant Management for the CSU (Executive Order 987). Examples of operational sustainability objectives included in these policies are:
The CSU will strive to reduce systemwide facility greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels, or below, by 2020 consistent with AB 32, California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (HSC §38550)

The CSU will strive to reduce facility GHG emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2040. Campus tracking and reporting of their GHG inventory will be grounded in the American College and University President's Climate Commitment guidelines or equivalent, with consideration to campus requested improvements. Metrics will include GHG emissions per FTE.

The CSU will endeavor to exceed the State of California and California Public Utilities Commission Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) sooner than the established goal of procuring 33 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.

All CSU campuses will pursue water resource conservation to reduce water consumption by 10 percent by 2016, and 20 percent by 2020 including such steps to develop sustainable landscaping, install controls to optimize irrigation water use, reduce water usage in restrooms and showers, and promote the use of reclaimed/recycled water.

Campuses shall seek to reduce the solid waste disposal rate by 50 percent (PRC § 42921) by 2016, by 80 percent by 2020, and move to zero waste.

Campuses shall strive to increase their sustainable food purchases to 20 percent of total food budget by 2020.


California State University San Marcos has 8 plans that include measurable sustainability objectives.

(1) Energy and climate resiliency: the goal is to have net zero energy by 2040. Strategies to achieve this goal include increasing renewable energy, expanding energy efficiency efforts on campus, and integrating a climate and resiliency strategy into the sustainability master plan. Key performance indicators include large scale renewable energy is operational at CSUSM by 2020, energy efficiency efforts are visible/the campus community is aware of an helping us meet our goals, and by 2020 we have a climate and resiliency strategy to add to our sustainability master plan.

(2) Environmental health and safety: the goal is to ensure our laboratories are operating in the most sustainable way possible. Strategies to achieve this goal include reducing laboratory waste and energy use, implement storm water management plans, and create innovative programming. Key performance indicators include annual increase in our Waste-to-Energy programs and the development of a green lab certification program, to continue to exceed any state-mandated regulatory requirements related to storm water, and training programs are monitored to ensure sustainability is a key component.

(3) Food and dining: the goal is to achieve 20% sustainable food purchasing from primary food service providers by 2020 and 30% by 2025. Strategies include developing a robust tracking system, providing educational opportunities to the campus community related to sustainable food, participate in campus initiatives and programs, and collaborate with campus partners, caterers, and vendors to achieve campus and system-wide goals. Key performance indicators include quarterly sustainable food percentages are shared, educational events are tracked and shared on sustainability website, dining continues to compost food scraps, and all campus partners are following policy.

(4) Green building infrastructure: the goal is to build high-performance net zero energy buildings by 2030. Strategies include developing energy use intensity (EUI) targets for all new construction, developing sustainable design standards for new construction and building retrofits for projects limited in scope/size, safeguarding natural space on campus for academic and research, and reducing water usage in buildings. Key performance indicators include all construction meets targets set forth in this document and the CSU sustainability policy, standards have been developed by 2020, monitor growth of campus and ensure outdoor academics space is accessible, and monitor water usage and change fixtures as needed.

(5) Natural and landscape management practices: the goal is to protect, enhance, and ensure our natural and managed ecosystems and landscapes are maintained to safeguard regional biodiversity and the well-being of our campus community. Strategies include practicing integrated pest management (IPM) throughout campus ground maintenance, safeguard natural spaces and locations used for teaching, research and service, develop a tree and plant replacement policy, and reduce water usage. Key performance indicators include annually inspect landscape activities to ensure compliance with IPM, outdoor classroom space is retained as campus grows, tree and plant policy is developed by June 2020, and continue to monitor water usage for irrigation needs.

(6) Sustainable procurement: the goal is to integrate environmental and social considerations into the procurement process across all university business endeavors, including auxiliaries. Strategies include sustainable procurement language, university-wide standards, and environmentally preferred products. Key performance indicators include sustainable language is inserted into all applicable contracts and services by 2020, standards are developed and accepted, and across the campus, people are purchasing using the environmentally preferred products list.

(7) Transportation: the goal is by 2020, 15% of our campus community will utilize alternative modes of travel to and from campus; after 2020, a steady increase by 1% yearly. Strategies include education and engagement, evaluate current and future transportation needs, and comply with CSU and state requirements (such as AB 32). Key performance indicators include the number of education and engagement opportunities offered yearly and number of attendees are tracked, TDM plan is reviewed and updates as required, and annual evaluations are conducted to reduce our GHG emissions.

(8) Zero waste: the goal is to achieve zero waste by 2025. Strategies include create a zero-waste plan, education and outreach initiatives, and recycle and compost. Key performance indicators include implementing a developed plan, educational programming and number of departments starting to implement sustainable behavior are tracked, and composting program is up and running and we are recycling at least 80% by 2020.


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:

Our campus goal is to address sustainability in leadership and administration by integrating a holistic understanding of sustainability (social, environmental, financial, and health) into institutional decision making and communicate the importance of sustainability at all levels of the institution. Strategies for this goal include further integrating sustainability into the CSUSM mission, vision, and values, sustainable investing, continue to support the sustainability advisory committee, and report sustainability. Key performance indicators include sustainability successes and stories are shared across campus at events, gatherings and within publications annually, CSUSM investment portfolio includes ESG options, the Sustainability Advisory Committee continues to support the campus’ sustainability efforts, and CSUSM achieves higher level recognition within reporting programs within the CSU and nationally.

In addition, Wellbeing - Policy on Student Mental Health (EO 1053)
Campuses shall provide psycho-educational workshops, programs and services that address critical student issues as well as prevention and wellness programs. Programs must be responsive to the diversity of the CSU student population and enhance the ability of students to develop healthy and effective styles of living and learning.

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?:
Minor 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 institution’s definition of sustainability:
The collective actions and efforts that create: a vibrant economy and a high quality of life, socially just communities, and environmentally sound practices to ultimately meet the needs of current and future generations.

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 No
SDG Accord 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:
In addition to our campus wide sustainability master plan, we are mandated by our CSU Systemwide Sustainability Policy (this is for 23 institutions).

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

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.