Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.19
Liaison John Pumilio
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colgate University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Pamela Gramlich
Sustainability Office Program Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" 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:

Sustainability is highlighted in Colgate's 2014 Strategic Plan (see the cut and pasted excerpt below from our strategic plan executive summary). Furthermore, sustainability principles, values, and tangible actions are a large part of our updated Campus Master Plan.

"Colgate University is committed to sustainability through innovative projects and programming that enhance teaching and learning, create long-term economic resiliency, build and restore robust ecological systems, and support a healthier and more just society. Our approach to sustainability embraces our deeply-rooted physical and cultural connection to central New York in a way that defines our identity and shapes our formal and informal approach to place-based education. As noted in the Sustainability Master Plan, we are on track to be carbon neutral by our bicentennial in 2019. Campus planning and building design will incorporate sustainable practices from inception to implementation. Further, we will continue to enhance curricular ties to our physical environs and sense of place in central New York and to build up programs that make the most of our locale, such as our Outdoor Education Program."


A copy of the strategic plan:
The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
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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:
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):
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:

Climate Action Plan

One mechanism to further promote sustainability in the curriculum is through the annual faculty retreat held at the White Eagle Conference Center. In Spring 2011, the first sustainability in the curriculum seminar was held at White Eagle. During this discussion, faculty shared best practices about how they incorporate sustainability into their programs and explored the meaning of sustainability as it relates to their area of expertise. There have been sessions at the faculty retreat most years since 2011 and in the years ahead, the Sustainability Office will continue to work with faculty and the faculty retreat organizers to enhance and expand the sustainability session at White Eagle.

Additionally, as outlined in the climate action plan, our Patagonia Sur Carbon Offset project intended to create an opportunity for student engagement. For the first time in January of 2018, students will be visiting Chile and the reforestation project as a part of an "Extended Study" Class.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research 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 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:

As outlined in the Climate Action Plan:

Colgate has a goal to reach 70% of the student body through the green living program. Colgate plans to engage the campus with the following actions:
1. Establish Eco-Rep training program that facilitates student ambassadors for sustainability on campus. (Complete)
2. Hire student interns to help research, promote, and implement programs in specific living areas. (Complete)
3. Install building dashboard energy monitoring system in first-year housing in FY 2013 and in second-year housing in 2014. (Complete)
4. Establish Eco-Olympics and RecycleMania as annual spring semester events with broad awareness and participation. (Complete - Eco-Olympics was replaced with 13 Days of Green)


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 Sustainability Office is a resource for the community and offers routine programming and support to our local community through the Lifelong Learning Program, Hamilton Initiative, village and town offices, and other programs (such as the Central New York Energy Challenge). This public engagement is ongoing without a formal time-frame or measurable objective.


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:

Climate Action Plan and Bicentennial Plan

Colgate University is committed to climate neutrality by 2019 as stated in our 2011 Sustainability and Climate Action Plan and 2014 Campus Strategic and Master Plans.


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:

Green Building Standards

Energy Conservation Measures
In 2013, Sanford Field House energy conservations measures were implemented saving $25,622 in annual operating costs while reducing our campus carbon footprint by 35 MTeCO2.
Electricity consumption in Sanford Field House is reduced by over 600,000 kWh during Fiscal Year 2015 compared to the baseline in 2010.

In 2014-15, McGregory Hall energy conservation measures were implemented saving $21,495 in annual operating costs while reducing our campus carbon footprint by 60 MTeCO2.
Electricity consumption in McGregory Hall is reduced by 155,204 kWh during Fiscal Year 2015 compared to the baseline in 2010.

Green Building
All new construction and major building renovations strive for LEED Silver standard or equivalent and a 30-40% energy performance improvement over ASHRAE 90.1 2007.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

Colgate has a goal to reduce gross emissions by 2% each year through mitigation and energy reduction strategies. As outlined, Colgate will integrate Green Building Standards into the university’s Building Design and Construction Standards, and put them into practice by 2017.

Climate Action Plan

Colgate’s geothermal system has lead to a reduction of emission by 70 MTeC02 per year. Colgate is currently transitioning towards relying on biomass more heavily and moving away from other, less clean, fuel sources. A significant proportion of Colgate’s biomass use originates from Colgate’s 8-acre willow plot that will yield about 900 dry tons of biomass over a 20-year period. The harvested willow chips will be used in our central heating plant.

Since 2011, Colgate has updated several academic buildings to ensure fuel efficiency resulting in an overall reduction of nearly 600 MTeC02. All new, major renovation must adhere to our green building standards.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

Overarching goal:
30% of Colgate's food purchases come from local sources (within a 250-mile radius). Currently, Colgate is averaging about 28%.

Per Colgate's outlined goals:

An advisory group was formed in 2014 to monitor long­-term progress and provide cross­-departmental support in advancing sustainability in dining services;

A full­-time Sustainable Dining Coordinator was hired in 2016.

A complete assessment of our local, community-­based, and third-­party certified food purchases is underway and an institutional goal to purchase 30% sustainable has been made.

Sustainability was an emphasis of dining services contract renegotiations in 2015, especially as it relates to direct, local procurement from farmers and producers.

By 2015, these goals were all accomplished and we are currently in the process of establishing a robust tracking system for food procurement and increasing the amount of local, community-based, and third-party certified foods we purchase on campus.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

COMMITMENT: Complete a comprehensive update of Colgate's Forest and Open Lands Stewardship Plan that was published in 2007 by July 1, 2018.

COMMITMENT: Complete a full re-measurement of all sample plots identified in our 2013 Forest Carbon Inventory & Projections report by July 1, 2018.

Campus Master Plan and Forest Stewardship Plan and Forest Carbon Inventory Plan:

By 2015, establish eight acres of campus grounds that are reforested. By 2025, establish a total of 30 acres of campus grounds that are reforested.

In 2013, Colgate began accounting for annual forest sequestration rates by demonstrating a long-term commitment to forest preservation and by undertaking field measurements using commonly accepted methodologies. Our forested lands were also officially certified under the American Tree Farm Program. In 2018 we will remeasure our forests for sequestration rates.

Each year we plant trees on about an acre of currently mowed grass. By 2018, establish eight acres of campus grounds that are reforested. By 2025, establish a total of 30 acres of campus grounds that are reforested.

In 2013, signage and marketing materials were created to promote walking at Seven Oaks Golf Course.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

By 2017, Colgate has in place an environmentally preferable purchasing policy that encourages employees to consider the environmental and social impacts of our purchasing decisions.

By 2017, Colgate has in place a vendor code of conduct that sets expectations that our vendors are to meet minimum standards of environmental and social responsibility.

By 2015, 50% of Colgate's computers and monitors are EPEAT certified models.

In 2012, Colgate established a new paper purchasing policy that eliminated the purchase of non-recycled paper.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

COMMITMENT: Colgate will replace its current vehicle fleet with zero-emission or low-emission vehicles on a rolling basis.

Colgate’s vehicle fleet consists of approximately 95 vehicles (22 student/faculty vans, 68 Buildings and Grounds vehicles, and 5 Campus Safety vehicles) and is responsible for approximately 570 MTeCO2 emissions per year, about 4 percent of Colgate’s total emissions.
In 2015, Colgate partnered with Enterprise to lease cars and vans in our vehicle fleet. As part of this arrangement, Colgate will replace larger vans with smaller, more fuel-efficient options. Additionally, we will continue to monitor the availability of electric, hybrid, and compressed natural gas powered vehicles that will be able to meet our transportation needs.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

Reduce landfill waste by an additional 100 tons from about 750 tons in 2015 to 650 tons in 2019 with an aspirational goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2025.

Climate Action Plan:
By 2013, we implemented a pre-consumer composting program at Colgate University.
In 2015, Colgate enhanced it's Free Office Swap program by implementing a campus-wide salvage and reuse program.
In 2012, we promoted 0.5" margins by informing employees how to set this as a default at their workstations.
We continue to encourage event planners/organizers to encourage attendees to bring their own cups/mugs instead of providing one-time use disposable cups. This could reduce our landfill waste totals by 5-10%.


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:

Bicentennial Plan:

COMMITMENT: Reduce water consumption by an additional 10 million gallons from about 60 million gallons in 2015 to about 50 million gallons by July 1, 2019.

Climate Action Plan:

By 2013, we replaced over 400 2.5 gpm showerheads in first- and second-year housing with 1.5 gpm low-flow showerheads.

By 2018, install a new retention pond at Seven Oaks Golf Course to eliminate the purchase of 1 million gallons of water used for irrigation annually.


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:

Strategic Plan:

Colgate has a goal to be a needs-blind admission Institution, and to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need for domestic applicants by 2019 (the end point of our strategic plan). Overall, this would result in a more highly qualified and more diversified student body at Colgate.


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:

Some of Colgate wellness initiatives can be found here: http://webedit.colgate.edu/working-at-colgate/work-life-programs.


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:

As outlined in the Bicentennial Plan:

Ecosystems and Land Stewardship
Colgate owns approximately 1,780 acres of land of which 515 acres include the built environment, 876 acres are protected forest, and 389 acres are leased to local farmers. The built environment includes Taylor Lake, the Seven Oaks Golf Course, and over 2,200 inventoried trees. The Chenango Valley provides a scenic backdrop for Colgate’s beautiful campus and historic stone buildings. According to the 2010, 2014, and 2015 editions of the Princeton Review, Colgate was ranked #1 for having the most beautiful campus in the country.
Colgate University recognizes the importance of well-managed forests (both locally and globally) in providing critical wildlife habitat, essential ecosystem services, and in addressing global climate change. As such, we manage our forests with great care and stewardship. In 2014, Colgate's 1,059 acres of forested land received American Tree Farm System certification, verifying our high-level commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible forest management. As a result of our forest stewardship and carbon sequestration work on campus, Colgate has emerged as a national leader in this field.
Bicentennial Plan for a Sustainable and Carbon Neutral Campus 34 of 48
Colgate University
COMMITMENT: Complete a comprehensive update of Colgate's Forest and Open Lands Stewardship Plan that was published in 2007 by July 1, 2018.
Lead responsibility: Campus forester and Director of Sustainability.
Colgate's Forest and Open Lands Stewardship Plan emphasizes long-term sustainable forestry management that:
• enhances our academic mission through research and teaching;
• provides aesthetic value and ongoing recreational opportunities;
• provides revenue through timber and biomass energy production;
• provides essential ecosystem services such as clean air, water, and healthy soils; and
• protects the diversity and health of the plants and animals that inhabit our forested lands.


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 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 Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
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:
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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.