Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.19
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date July 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Ian Johnson
Sustainability Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 an integral part of the College's strategic plan. The Colorado College Plan: Building on the Block contains multiple different facets, many of which relate to the colleges dedication to a more sustainable future. Recommendation four of our strategic plan 'Enhance our Distinctive Place of Learning — Our Campus — to Support our Engaged, Globally Connected Academic Community and Embody our Regional and Historical Identity' helps to develop a community wide sense of place. As a whole, Colorado College's strategic plan hopes to maintain small class size and strong community engagement in an era of global change in order to foster a sense of social responsibility in its students as well as encourage future action in issues like sustainability.


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:
---

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, specifically landscaping and pedestrian/bike paths: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/campus/masterplan/


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:

State of Sustainability Report
1. This plan will Increase STARS points under the Curriculum section. Additionally, adding to the list of approved classes is a critical step in creating a robust Sustainability Certificate at CC. Supporting this plan will provide students with a sustainability literacy as part of their education as well.

2. Supporting the sustainability certificate and broader participation further improves STARS performance. Additionally this plan contributes to the development of a broader stakeholder base and increased involvement in the certificate development and refinement process.

3. Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching
A steering group made up of 6-9 faculty and staff will begin the Center’s work by setting in motion specific pilot projects to demonstrate how the Center will contribute to the mission of the College in the future.

4. The "Sustainability Across the Curriculum workshop" will result in the creation of more sustainability focused and sustainability related courses with adopted sustainability learning outcomes. Additionally, the workshop results in more courses eligible for the sustainability certificate as stated in plan (1) to advance sustainability in Curriculum.


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:

State of Sustainability Report
1. The measurable objectives from the creation of a research database are an increase in STARS rating under research as well as access to research for the Office of Sustainability, admissions, students seeking thesis advisors, alumni, et cetera.


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:

State of Sustainability Report and Campus Strategic Plan
1. Increased communication and student participation in sustainability efforts will result in better environmental performance specifically an improved STARS performance and reduced carbon emissions. It will remove barriers to campus-wide participation in sustainability efforts, increase Office of Sustainability and Sustainability Council presence on campus, promote student involvement with sustainability efforts, and create project accountability.

2. The measurable objectives associated with tracking community service hours are; setting a goal to increase community service hours in the future (once current hours can be accurately tracked); Growing and encouraging a volunteer base; Creating awareness of differing social statuses; Fostering positive relationships with the outside community; and increasing STARS performance.

3. The creation of a Sense of Place Living Learning Community further institutionalizes Sense of Place beyond just New Student Orientation and Office of Sustainability Sense of Place trips. Students living in this community will experience sense of place every day and will be heavily involved in engaging the campus community around sense of place as well. In this way, students living in the LLC become learners and student educators furthering an ethic of sustainability at Colorado College.

4. The Semester in Environmental Education will increase the number of environmental education certified students and solidify Colorado College's collaborative relationship with the Catamount Center. This semester has the potential to foster the creation of a Sustainability Literacy Assessment while also increasing the number of students exposed to this assessment. In the fall of 2015, all of the students at the TREE semester took this assessment.

5. The Global Sustainability Summer Internship program results in more CC students being exposed to international development and sustainability at Colorado College. These students create real projects at local organizations to target sustainability efforts locally which have a tangible impact on communities, NGO's, and students.

6. The State of Sustainability Report is continually used as a reference manual for students, faculty, staff, and especially the Campus Sustainability Council. The report informs goals and decisions related to sustainability and directly impacts the STARS rating of the school as well as the number, type, and robustness of sustainability efforts. This report will continue to have tangible impacts into the future.

7. This plan is an innovative step in improving the sustainable culture and involving the
entire college community; it will engage the college employees in demonstrating the commitment of the college community to the core value related to nurturing an ethic of
environmental sustainability; The students and local community would observe, experience, learn, and participate with college employees in changing the culture and setting examples for integrating sustainable practices into everyday work and living activities; and those positions with specific responsibilities for achieving sustainability related performance goals would have those relevant duties listed by supervisors.

8. The measurable outcomes include: Additional program staff would affect carbon neutrality goal and STARS Platinum goal through increased time to focus on and coordinate these efforts; Provide full-time assistance to sustainability director to oversee growing
sustainability efforts across campus; Ability to continue growth of sustainability efforts across campus; Improve ability to focus on and achieve carbon neutrality and STARS
Platinum; Paraprofessional position would create an interim career-track position
that sets a trajectory and provides professional experience and references
beyond the current sustainability intern positions; Paraprofessional position creates a peer bridge between students and Sustainability Director; Permanent manager position would allow for continuity in operations; Program growth further removes barriers to participation. The paraprofessional position will be created for the fall of 2016 or 2017.


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:

1. The goal will result in an increased Office of Sustainability and Sustainability Council presence on and off campus; Promotion of student involvement and public engagement with sustainability efforts; and an improved community engagement STARS category.

2. Strategic Plan: Innovation Institute
CC's President Jill Tiefenthaler has appointed a strategic action team to further the execution of the Innovation Institute.

3. The ASHOKA change maker designation will result in a continued relationship with the Care and Share Food Bank with the specific goal of reaching zero-waste for the food bank. The designation will also result in the college coming closer to its goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2020 as it receives the carbon offsets from Care and Share's diversion of waste.

4. Tracking community service hours will increase the STARS rating while also institutionalizing the college's relationship with the outside community holding the college and community partners more responsible for current and future collaborations.

5. The measurable objectives include: Ownership of verifiable carbon offsets towards carbon neutrality; Creates community engagement; Projects can be selected to provide financial payback and ROI; Innovative solution that serves as a nationally innovative model; Independent of utility company/grid connection implications. The plan is to be an overarching goal of Campus Sustainability Council in the coming years.


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:

Carbon Action Report, Strategic Plan, State of Sustainability Report
1. Carbon Neutrality
In order to meet its ACUPCC goal, the College has adopted the following strategy:
-Invest $22 million for local solar installation and a combined heat and power system at the College's Central Plant
-Use savings from solar and central plant investments to fund efficiency strategies in existing buildings and at the Central Plant

2. Increasing annual sustainability funding will: Stimulate and accelerate the achievement of the college’s attainment of carbon neutrality; Validate that Colorado College is committed to its Strategic Plan, as it seriously “walks-the-talk”, and merits being recognized as a national leader in environmental sustainability; Individual sustainability-funded projects will aid in reaching STARS Platinum; and Since the 2008 baseline year, utility cost avoidance has been nearly $3.4 million and the cost avoidance for 2015 is estimated at $676,000. Additional annual sustainability projects funding would achieve greater cost avoidance.

3. This goal will result in: Reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions to reach carbon neutrality; beneficial ecological impacts of reducing/offsetting carbon emissions; Enhancing CC’s unique field trip program, educational potential in reducing and/or offsetting these emissions. A local carbon offset program could be used as a teaching tool in courses; and increased collaboration with faculty and students will encourage creativity and
innovation.


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:

Strategic Plan
1. The goal to make Olin Hall's replacement/renovation a net zero laboratory building has great implications: It is a significant step closer to the goal of carbon neutrality by 2020; It will boost STARS ratings in the “buildings and operations” category and
distinguish us from other institutions; It will result in reductions in energy use which lead to ecological sustainability by limiting carbon emissions and increased economic savings; It will provide the opportunity for education about sustainability and environmental issues.

2. The net zero library design will result in significant energy reductions contributing to Carbon Neutrality by 2020 and will be a model library for schools across the country.

3. This will result in a reduction in waste, energy use, etc. for Scopes 1, 2, and 3 towards carbon neutrality goal; Reduction in waste, energy use, etc.; Improve sustainable living habits in residential halls; Increase education around low-impact living; and remove barriers to campus-wide participation in sustainability efforts.

4. A green office certification will result in: Improved waste diversion; Altered purchasing behaviors and individual habits among faculty and staff; and removed barriers to campus-wide participation in sustainability efforts.


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:

Strategic Plan, Carbon Action Report
1. This goal will contribute to the carbon neutrality goal by 2020 while also reducing emissions and helping department who use funding for high-energy lab equipment.

2. The Tutt Library Design Review will result in: Net zero building energy use; Net zero carbon emissions; Reduced annual energy costs; Reduced total building envelope performance; Reduced artificial lighting; A building that educates occupants about its sustainable features and how to properly use them; and a building that supports campus recycling practices all by 2017.

3. This plan will result in improved central plant efficiency and reduced water use and cost within the next few years.

4. This plan will result in a decreased carbon footprint contributing to Carbon Neutrality by 2020 and education for students about PV solar power at the Baca Campus. The panels have already been installed.

5. The updated controls allow the College to apply more sophisticated logic and manage energy consumption more closely. In addition to updating controls, the project allows more space for archiving data and alarms. This data is essential for benchmarking continuous operational improvements. The plan is currently in phase 2 of 3.

6. This plan takes advantage of utility rebates; will improve lighting levels; and will reduce energy consumption. The project is on-going.

7. The project will result in increased security of the college's natural gas supply and up-to-date energy facilities for optimal performance. The project is in the construction phase.

8. The electrical services upgrades plan would result in reduced energy costs in the next few years as it is still in the planning phase of implementation.

9. The central plant controls upgrade will result in improved central plant efficiency, improved reliability, and improved after-hours response to campus emergencies. The project is in its planning phase of implementation.

10. The measurable objectives include: summer energy savings, improved system reliability, and improved occupant comfort. This plan is in the planning phase to be completed in the next few years.

11. The measurable objectives include: improved system reliability and comfort and improved occupant comfort. The project is in the design phase to be completed in upcoming years.

12. The measurable objectives of retro-commissioning are: reduced energy use and increased occupancy comfort. The project is in the planning phase to be completed in upcoming years.


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

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

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:

State of Sustainability Report
1. The measurable objectives associated with this goal are: the submission of the Tree Campus USA application by December 2016,the institutionalization of tree conservation and sustainable tree management on campus; an increased rating in the STARS report; and increasing the accredits to the institution as a sustainability-driven campus.
2. The measurable objectives of this goal are: the voluntary compliance with policies and regulations promulgated by the Department of Agriculture for public buildings and health care facilities and the prevention of loss or damage to structures or property by pests. Its measurable strategies include that all pesticide storage, transportation, and application will be conducted in accordance with the requirement of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 United States Code136 et seq.), Environmental Protection Agency regulations in 40 CFR, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations, Colorado College policies and procedures, and local ordinances. An Integrated Pest Management decision is made by following five steps: 1. Identify pest species, 2. Estimate pest populations and compare to established action thresholds, 3. Select the appropriate management tactics based on current on-site information, 4. Assess effectiveness of pest management, and 5. Keep appropriate records. Furthermore, Colorado College will maintain records of all Service Provider visits and pest control treatments for at least three (3) years. The IPM committee will address issues as needed and at least annually.


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

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

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:

Campus Master Plan
1. The measurable outcomes associated with improving sustainable transportation include: Reduce faculty commuting and improve Scope 3 carbon emissions; Increase STARS performance from reduced Scope 3 emissions and available transportation alternatives; Increase overall sustainable transportation use on campus; and provide transportation options to students, faculty, and staff who don’t have access to other transportation options.


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:

Campus Master Plan
1. Implementing the new waste initiative across campus will result in: Improvements for Scope 3 carbon neutrality; Address the college waste stream going into the landfill as it is currently actually about 80% recyclable materials; create room for considerable improvements in waste diversion through education and better processes for waste minimization and proper recycling of waste materials. According to a student study there was a 13.1 % reduction in landfill waste with a comparable increase in recycling diversion accredited to the new custom designed MAX-R recycling cabinets in common areas and this is expected to be maintained as these cabinets are implemented throughout campus.

2. This goal will contribute savings that can be used to substantiate sustainability
expenditures towards goal of increasing sustainability funding; cause substantial reductions on paper consumption; Save money on paper and ink; Reduce printer maintenance; and Increase awareness of individual printing habits, especially as compared to other societal norms and access while also bolstering CC's STARS rating.


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:

SMART irrigation controls
grounds to monitor and minimize runoff
maintaining xeric and natural landscapes with minimal water waste
ultra low flow toilets in spencer center
minimize leaks and waste water in HVAC and valve systems
All initiattives listed in Operation and Maintenance Plan


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:

1. Strategic Plan: Diversity and Inclusion
To achieve its goal of fostering a more diverse and inclusive campus, the College is adopting innovative strategies for hiring and retention. For example, recently the College added a talent acquisition manager to the community to ensure that the institution does all it can to hire and retain a highly talented, diverse staff and faculty. Furthermore, President Tiefenthaler appointed an "action team" to ensure the execution of the diversity and inclusion goals included in the Strategic Plan. The team's objectives include undertaking an inventory of student support services at CC, evaluating best practices at other liberal arts projects for supporting students from disperse backgrounds, and making recommendations for changes and/or new programs. The team will report on progress throughout the year.


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

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

State of Sustainability Report
1. This plan will provide mechanisms to ensure that notices are reviewed and voted on according to established guidelines, including socially responsible guidelines; Engage stakeholders who may not otherwise be in a position to participate in proxy voting processes; and improve CC's STARS rating.

2. Investigating Portfolio 21 will result in: (If decided that keeping this fund is worthwhile and viable to continue) Redirect funds into this investment; Potential to increase donor funds if sustainable investment options exist; Opportunity to investigate and increase investments in socially responsible funds; and improved STARS rating.

3. The creation of a Sustainability Investment Advisory Committee has implications on all of the divestment conversations and discussions at CC. It will shift the conversation from divestment to a socially responsible investment and provide an educational opportunity for students to gain experience in investing.


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

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

Strategic Plan
1. In 2015, the Wellness Resource Center at Colorado College administered a National College Health Association assessment. This assessment will be administered every 2-3 years so that data trends among students may be observed and the effectiveness of the Center's initiatives assessed. The Campus Climate Survey was administered in February of 2015. This survey looks at power and gender based violence among students. The survey will be completed annually or bi-annually so as to look at data trends and patterns and create effective campaigns to lessen these issues.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
Yes

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

1. The measurable objectives associated with this plan are: External metrics like STARS and the Climate Commitment reward written policy; Will create ease and efficiency when trying to implement STARS related projects, increasing ratings; Communication of commitment; Continuity of procedures. This is an overarching plan for the Steering Committee of Campus Sustainability Council to be pursued in the future.


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:
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

The Colorado College mission commits us to providing the finest Liberal Arts education in the country by embodying our core values. Among our core values are to live with integrity; serve as stewards of the traditions and resources of Colorado College; nurture a sense of place and an ethic of environmental sustainability; encourage engagement and social responsibility at local, national and global levels; and seek excellence, constantly assessing our policies and programs. Sustainability isn't optional for the Colorado College community; it's who we are and how we have defined ourselves. We aspire to make Colorado College a model for campus and community sustainability - an academic village that instantiates a commitment at all levels to a sustainable and desirable future, not only for the human economy but for the larger ecosystem in which it is embedded.


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:

Colorado College has made a formal commitment to second nature to become carbon neutral by 2020.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.