Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Neil Leary
Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" 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:

Dickinson’s Strategic Plan III emphasizes sustainability as an area of learning that is critical to a 21st century skill set in a rapidly changing and complex world. The study of sustainability is identified as a distinctive characteristic of Dickinson’s curriculum and the plan notes the need to go further to take full advantage of sustainability’s potential for enhancing active learning by tying the curriculum to operations, service and the wider world. Integrating Dickinson’s sustainability and international education initiatives to create a nationally distinctive global sustainability dimension is set as a goal. Strategic Plan III also addresses sustainability in the contexts of student engagement, living laboratories, campus operations, facilities management and other areas.


A copy of the strategic plan:
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The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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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:
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The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):

The Center for Sustainability Education has a strategic plan covering student learning and faculty development available at http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2278/center_for_sustainability_education.

The Dickinson Campus Master Plan and Quality of Student Life Study both address sustainability objectives and are available online at http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20074/campus_operations/1695/planning_studies.

The majority of the policies can be found linked here as well: http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2186/policies.


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:

From the CSE 2021 Strategic Plan:
Goal 1: Enable and enhance a curriculum rich in opportunities for exploring sustainability
Objective 1.1: Offer multiple, varied, high quality and well attended faculty development opportunities each academic year.
Objective 1.2: Connect sustainability learning with global education and civic learning in ways that are mutually supportive.
Objective 1.3: Increase the engagement of arts and humanities faculty members in sustainability teaching and scholarship.
Objective 1.4: CSE staff will contribute to sustainability learning by teaching and co-teaching courses, assisting with course projects, visiting classrooms, directing independent student research and advising students about educational opportunities, career opportunities and graduate school.
Objective 1.5: Promote student awareness of and enrollment in sustainability courses and sustainability-related certificate programs.
Objective 1.6: Lead assessment of student learning outcomes for the sustainability graduation requirement and assist faculty members in applying the assessment results to improve learning outcomes.


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:

From the CSE 2021 Strategic Plan:

The Center works with faculty members in all academic departments and provides resources to assist them in integrating sustainability questions, principles and approaches in their teaching, scholarship and research with students.

CSE will enable, support and incentivize the faculty in offering impactful courses, programs of study and research opportunities through which Dickinson students explore social, cultural, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability using approaches from the arts and humanities, social sciences and physical sciences.

CSE staff will contribute to sustainability learning by teaching and co-teaching courses, assisting with course projects, visiting classrooms, directing independent student research and advising students about educational opportunities, career opportunities and graduate school.

CSE will offer, and will support and collaborate with multiple campus partners in offering, impactful living laboratory and other co-curricular opportunities for learning about, innovating for and practicing sustainability. Opportunities will be varied in the depth, length and nature of engagement. Opportunities can range from designing and implementing a year-long living laboratory project, to researching campus sustainability options, to performing community service over a semester, to participating in a field trip or workshop, to absorbing and reflecting on knowledge about sustainable practices through living on campus with eyes and mind wide open.


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:

From the CSE 2021 Strategic Plan:

Goal 2: Support and improve living laboratory and other co-curricular opportunities for practicing sustainability. CSE will offer, and will support and collaborate with multiple campus partners in offering, impactful living laboratory and other co-curricular opportunities for learning about, innovating for and practicing sustainability. Opportunities will be varied in the depth, length and nature of engagement. Opportunities can range from designing and implementing a year-long living laboratory project, to researching campus sustainability options, to performing community service over a semester, to participating in a field trip or workshop, to absorbing and reflecting on knowledge about sustainable practices through living on campus with eyes and mind wide open.

Objective 2.1: Introduce new students to the college’s sustainability efforts through orientation and pre-orientation programs.

Objective 2.2: Raise awareness and understanding of sustainability values, principles and practices of Dickinson students, faculty and staff by engaging them in the work of advancing campus and community sustainability.

Objective 2.3: Sponsor and co-sponsor multiple events each year that bring sustainability scholars, practitioners and activists to campus to share ideas and experiences from a variety of perspectives.

Objective 2.4: Increase the diversity of students who participate in co-curricular sustainability activities by developing programs that are inclusive of and responsive to concerns of the full spectrum of the Dickinson community.

Objective 2.5: Assess student learning outcomes for co-curricular sustainability programs.


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:

From the CSE 2021 Strategic Plan:

Goal 4: Nurture and strengthen mutually beneficial college-community partnerships for sustainability.

CSE will work with multiple partners to strengthen opportunities for Dickinson students, faculty and staff to engage with organizations in the Greater Carlisle area in creating positive changes, advancing sustainability goals and enriching student learning.

Objective 4.1: Participate in and contribute efforts to create a college-wide strategy and framework for supporting college-community partnerships.

Objective 4.2: Engage students with work of the Greater Carlisle Project and its member organizations in ways that benefit the community while developing students’ knowledge, competencies and dispositions as sustainability change agents.

Objective 4.3: Support and build the Greater Carlisle Project while assisting the network to become self-sustaining and less reliant on Dickinson leadership.


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:

From Dickinson's Climate Action Plan:
Reduce Dickinson's GHG emissions 25 percent from the 2008 level by the year 2020.
Achieve carbon neutrality by the year 2020.


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:

From Dickinson Strategic Plan III, How Do We Measure Success?
Sustainability KPI: All major construction/renovation to LEED “silver” standard or better.


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:

Our plans to advance sustainability in the Energy sector are not measured in kWh or MMBtu, but instead are focused on reducing our carbon emissions. Our current goal is a 25% reduction below a 2008 baseline and offset the remaining 75% of our emissions.


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:

Dining Services objective: become a Green Certified Restaurant; achieved in 3-star certification in 2016. See https://www.dickinson.edu/news/article/2168/green_dining

Also, objective 1.5 of the Center for Sustainability Education Strategic Plan 2021 includes supporting the Food Studies certificate program.


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:

Sustainability Guidelines from the Master Plan:
1. Evaluate materials and systems based on life cycle costs rather than on capital costs alone.
2. Evaluate systems that use natural ventilation, heating, and cooling during certain periods of the year.
3. Orient buildings to minimize solar gain and maximize usable daylight.
4. Consider the placement, eventual size and density of trees planted near buildings in relation to solar gain and natural daylight use.
5. Progressively replace existing fixtures with water conserving fixtures.
6. Treat and reuse storm runoff from roofs and other surfaces.
7. Select locally manufactured materials to limit transport-related costs and impacts.
8. Specify materials manufactured using environmentally sound production processes and renewable material sources. Favor certified wood products and recycled content materials.
9. Use materials that are durable, require limited maintenance, and are recyclable.
10. Eliminate CFCs, HCFC, halons and volatile organic compounds in building materials, mechanical systems, paints and adhesives.
11. Accommodate reclamation and recycling of chemicals in buildings; accommodate solid waste recycling within all new and remodeled buildings; protect indoor environmental quality.
12. Increase building materials salvage and construction waste recycling rates; encourage energy auditing by suppliers.
13. Increase on-site effluent treatment from laboratories to protect the campus environment.
14. Make consistent use of performance measures to determine the environmental and cost effectiveness of energy reduction and sustainability investments.
15. Use a consistent and tested set of guidelines to achieve project-wide sustainability.
16. Meet or exceed standards endorsed by the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUCCP).


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:

From the Campus Master Plan, page 49:

7. Select locally manufactured materials to limit transport-related costs and impacts.
8. Specify materials manufactured using environmentally sound production processes and renewable material sources. Favor certified wood products and recycled content materials.
9. Use materials that are durable, require limited maintenance, and are recyclable.


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:

From the Campus Master Plan page 50:

Public Transit Guidelines
1. Collaborate with Borough of Carlisle on enhancing transit service access.
2. Provide enhanced transit stop amenities to encourage use of transit.
3. Accommodate bus dimensions and turning requirements in the design of all transit stops.
4. Provide for future transit routes and stops that will give priority over other vehicles for college shuttle vehicles and 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:

From the College Master Plan, page 49:

9. Use materials that are durable, require limited maintenance, and are recyclable.
10. Eliminate CFCs, HCFC, halons and volatile organic compounds in building materials, mechanical systems, paints and adhesives.
11. Accommodate reclamation and recycling of chemicals in buildings; accommodate solid waste recycling within all new and remodeled buildings; protect indoor environmental quality.
12. Increase building materials salvage and construction waste recycling rates; encourage energy auditing by suppliers.
13. Increase on-site effluent treatment from laboratories to protect the campus environment.


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:

From the Campus Master Plan page 49:

5. Progressively replace existing fixtures with water conserving fixtures.
6. Treat and reuse storm runoff from roofs and other surfaces.


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:

From Dickinson's Strategic Plan III, Building Our Community of Students: Enrollment Management
Strategic Goal B
Objective 2. Diversity. The ratio of students of color in the national school-age cohort is rising rapidly, and Dickinson has made notable strides in raising their representation. Our goal for the next five years is 12 percent or better, sustaining and improving on our recent progress. - P. 9

Also, see Dickinson's Diversity Strategic Plan at http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/2159/diversity_strategic_plan.


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:

The Board of Trustees' Committee on Investments (COI) develops sustainability objectives for investment and finance in consultation with the Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group (DSIG). The objectives are informed by DSIG's Investment Beliefs Statement and are monitored using DSIG's guidelines for Sustainable Investment Reporting. Past objectives that have been set by the COI and met by our external investment office Investure include establishment of a Global Equity Sustainability Series in 2010, commitment of funds to the Sustainability Series and investment of committed funds in sustainable equities through the Sustainability Series. In 2018 the commitment to the Sustainability Series was raised from $8 million to $16 million and this higher commitment has already been met by new investments.

Investment Beliefs Statement of Dickinson's Sustainable Investment Group:

As an educational institution, Dickinson College interprets investment as a broad
concept that includes but is not limited to the allocation of resources to student
learning and curriculum development, educational support, facilities, community
partnerships and financial assets. Consistent with Dickinson College’s values and
commitment to sustainability, we seek investments in all these forms that produce
long-term benefits for the college as well as the broader community. Our investment
strategy seeks to take account of the relationship between good environmental,
social and governance (ESG) practices and long-term sustainability in all these
forms of investment. For the endowment, this includes the goal of selecting financial
asset managers who weigh and give consideration to ESG factors while
seeking to achieve Dickinson’s objectives for financial returns and risk management.
We believe that ESG considerations can have a material effect on the long-term value of
an investment’s performance, in terms of both opportunities and risks, and therefore a sustainability perspective that integrates ESG analysis should be a part of
our overall investment decision-making. We desire that our investments be consistent with our shared understanding of ESG principles, but recognize that ESG involves a complex and evolving set of perspectives and issues that should be considered in conjunction with Dickinson College’s overall financial and risk management goals.
 
This Investment Beliefs Statement provides a framework for conversations among those entrusted with managing investments on behalf of Dickinson College toward aligning our investment policies and practices with our ESG values.


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)?:
Yes

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

We have objectives for using our campus as a living laboratory for sustainability learning.

From Dickinson’s Strategic Plan III, Strategic Goal B, Objective 1. One integral element of our sustainability initiative is to turn the campus into a living laboratory by adding an educational dimension to green operations and projects. As indicated in the report of our 2010 Sustainability Symposium: “In creating a productive learning environment and working campus infrastructure, campus operations must be a platform for curricular and co-curricular learning experiences, not a separate physical entity.”

From the CSE 2021 Strategic Plan, Goal 2: Support and improve living laboratory and other co-curricular opportunities for practicing sustainability. CSE will offer, and will support and collaborate with multiple campus partners in offering, impactful living laboratory and other co-curricular opportunities for learning about, innovating for and practicing sustainability. Opportunities will be varied in the depth, length and nature of engagement. Opportunities can range from designing and implementing a year-long living laboratory project, to researching campus sustainability options, to performing community service over a semester, to participating in a field trip or workshop, to absorbing and reflecting on knowledge about sustainable practices through living on campus with eyes and mind wide open.


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)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The following excerpts from Dickinson’s Strategic Plan III are formal statements in support of sustainability that are endorsed by our Board of Trustees:

"Over two centuries later, Dickinson continues to answer Rush’s call for education that responds to demands of the times and thereby prepares students for lives of meaning and accomplishment. This education forms the heart of our case for the value of enrollment at Dickinson. We offer students the opportunity to develop characteristics, already articulated in the Dickinson Dimensions, calibrated to ready them for our complex era:

• Intellectual curiosity and creativity—a strong commitment to inquiry that makes students lifelong learners and generators of new knowledge, ideas, and perspectives.
• A commitment to engagement in local, national and global communities imbued with a strong sense of personal and social responsibility.
• Cross-cultural and global perspective; willingness to appreciate and thrive in a diverse, complex world.
• Responsiveness to the challenges of rapid change and sustainability; an appreciation that change is inevitable and can be engaged productively.
• A commitment to civility and dialogue that includes both finding one’s own voice and cultivating the capacity to hear others.

These characteristics are supported by what we call a “21st-century skill set.” This set of abilities, rooted in proven skills commonly attributed to the liberal arts, includes competency in critical thinking and analysis; facility in communication in written and oral form; understanding of the major fields of knowledge as organized in the humanities, social sciences and natural and physical sciences; competence in foreign language, and mastery of tools of research and information technology. In addition, Dickinson places special emphasis on areas that connect powerfully with current and future challenges.

• Global education: the college has developed a global education program that makes the campus the hub of a worldwide network of study centers and research.
• Sustainability: Dickinson has emerged as a national leader in operations and in education for a sustainable society, for living in a world in which “less is more.”
• “Connectivity:” the complexity of our era places a premium on “connecting the dots”— addressing problems by drawing on knowledge and methods from multiple fields; Dickinson has unusual strength in interdisciplinary (i.e. connective) programming.
• Active learning: Dickinson’s faculty seeks to make students active learners, for example, through laboratory research in the sciences, fieldwork in the social sciences, and creative work and performance in the arts.

Dickinson Student Experience, Strategic Goal B: Dickinson’s vision of a useful education focuses on the development of a “21st century skill set.” The college endorses all of the skills identified by the American Association of Colleges & Universities’ VALUE project: inquiry and analysis, critical thinking, creativity, written and oral communication, reading, quantitative literacy, information literacy, teamwork, problem solving, and integrative and applied learning. Underlying these individual skills is the foundational ability to “learn how to learn,” to apply the multifaceted capacities engendered by a liberal-arts education innovatively in a rapidly changing, complex world. While thus envisioning the skill set we desire for our students broadly, SP III cites the following for special attention either as elements of distinction for Dickinson and/or requiring particular enhancement:

Objective 3. The study of sustainability has become a distinctive element of our program, and we have already established a leadership position in this arena. We need to push this initiative by identifying Dickinson’s unique approach to sustainability, defining more fully the place of sustainability in the curriculum and taking full advantage of sustainability’s potential for enhancing active learning by tying curriculum to operations, service and the wider world. One definite focus for us must be melding our international and sustainability initiatives to create a global sustainability dimension unique among American colleges and universities. Most immediately, we must fully endow the Center for Sustainability Education.

Facilities, Strategic Goal B: Dickinson has achieved a position of national leadership in sustainability education, in no small part as a result of the efforts of our facilities staff to “green” the campus. We must continue to apply the goal of greater sustainability as a key criterion in operations and in facility renovation and construction for reasons of greater efficiency, meeting our responsibilities under the Presidents’ Climate Commitment and enhancing our learning environment.

Objective 1. One integral element of our sustainability initiative is to turn the campus into a “living laboratory” by adding an educational dimension to green operations and projects. As indicated in the report of our 2010 Sustainability Symposium: “In creating a productive learning environment and working campus infrastructure, campus operations must be a platform for curricular and co-curricular learning experiences, not a separate physical entity.”

Objective 2. We must in the next five years undertake projects and continue to operate in ways that advance us toward the goals set in Dickinson’s climate action plan. For example, we should continue to set “silver” LEED status as a minimum criterion for all construction on campus and maintain our 25 commitment to using sustainable sources of energy. Similarly, we should seek to follow the Master Plan’s guidance on reducing the intrusion and use of automobiles on campus.


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

Improving the human condition equitably in this and future generations while conserving environmental systems necessary to support healthy and vibrant societies.
http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2180/what_is_sustainability


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) Yes
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) Yes
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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Sustainability Plan: the report of the 2010 Sustainability Symposium established recommendations and priorities to guide Dickinson's sustainability initiative that serve as a sustainability plan for Dickinson. The President's Commission on Environmental Sustainability sets measurable objectives that derive from the Symposium report as well as Strategic Plan III, the Campus Master Plan and other documents. http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/2486/sust_performance_sustainability_symposium_pdf.

A more detailed and comprehensive sustainability plan is in review at Dickinson. Information about the draft plan can be found online: http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/3423/planning/1

Strategic Plan III - http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20084/institutional_research/355/strategic_plan_iii

Campus Master Plan - http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20074/campus_operations/1695/planning_studies

Center for Sustainability Education strategic plan -
http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/6417/cse_2021_strategic_plan.pdf

Climate Action Plan - http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/2483/sust_performance_cap_2009_pdf

Diversity Strategic Plan - http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/2159/diversity_strategic_plan

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.