Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.39
Liaison Lynn Stoddard
Submission Date Dec. 31, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Eastern Connecticut State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.25 / 4.00 Torin Radicioni
Environmental Intern
Institute for Sustainable Energy
"---" 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? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
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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)? :
No

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

Chartwells, Eastern's food service provider, published their abbreviated Sustainability Platform: http://www.easternct.edu/sustainenergy/files/2019/04/Chartwells-Abbreviated-Sustainability-Platform.pdf

Eastern's Master Plan: http://www.easternct.edu/facilities/files/2016/07/Master-Plan-Final-Report-April-2016.pdf

Eastern Connecticut State University’s 2013–18 Strategic Plan is designed to provide students with rigorous and affordable academic programs and pre-professional experiences that prepare them for careers and graduate school. The plan promotes a diverse campus culture through which students are inspired by outstanding faculty and motivated classmates, develop a lifelong network, take on leadership roles, and become responsible and engaged citizens. Eastern continues to advance its position as a university of first choice, attracting students, faculty and staff who value its mission as a public liberal arts college.
http://www1.easternct.edu/president/strategic-planning/


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:

Taken from Eastern's Climate Action Plan:

"To achieve the goal of making 'climate neutrality and sustainability a part of the
curriculum and other educational experiences for all students' the Green Campus Committee will form a Sustainable Education and Research subcommittee that will assess formal and informal sustainability educational activities and actively encourage broader participation in these activities. As a component of this educational effort, the Green Campus Committee will maintain a website that documents progress toward reaching the goals described in this action plan."


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:

Taken from Eastern's Climate Action Plan:

"To achieve the goal of expanding “research or other efforts necessary to achieve
climate neutrality”, the Green Campus Committee will encourage greater faculty and student analysis of, and input into, decisions that determine campus sustainability. The Sustainable Education and Research subcommittee will help make campus energy consumption, solid waste disposal, and other relevant sustainability data accessible for faculty and student research projects. The Green Campus Committee will document staff, faculty, and student research and other activities related to sustainability on its website."


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

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

These measurable objectives that address Air & Climate were taken from Eastern's Climate Action Plan; our steering goal is to by Carbon Neutral by 2050:

•Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions Goal= 15% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2015, relative to baseline emissions in 2008

•Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions Goal= 40% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2030, relative to baseline emissions in 2008

•Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions Goal= 80% reduction in Total Scopes 1, 2, 3 Emissions by 2040, relative to baseline emissions in 2008

Goal: Carbon Emission Reduction by reducing each category's emissions (MT of CO2e) with the following strategies by the following amounts per year:
•Electricity: conservation and renewable energy, 186 MT/year
•Heating: conservation and solar energy, 69 MT/year
•Travel: conservation and offsets, 7 MT/year
•Solid Waste: increased recycling, 63 MT/year
-Total: 325 MT/year

• For Metric Tons of CO2e,
-2010 will be reduced to 13,000 metric tons;
-2015 reduced to 11.4;2020 reduced to 9.8;
-2030 reduced to 6.5;
-2040 reduced to 3.2;
-neutrality at 2050

For more information on Eastern's Climate Action Plan, please visit: http://reporting.secondnature.org/cap/cap-public!378 >> Click 'Climate Aciton Plan File'
>> http://reporting.secondnature.org/media/uploads/cap/378-cap.pdf


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:

This measurable objectives that address buildings were taken from Eastern's Climate Action Plan:
• All future building renovations will include building automation systems and a minimum of LEED certification
• Our Master plan has identified several buildings that will be demolished; some will be replaced with new more efficient buildings

Also according to Eastern's Master Plan, "New buildings and additions are required to comply with the High Performance Building Standards of the State of Conneticut. This relates approximately to a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Certified minimum rating or equivalent."


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:

This measurable objectives that address energy were taken from Eastern's Climate Action Plan:

• Eastern is working towards installation of a fuel cell that will greatly reduce our electric consumption and help with the heat plant function as well.
• Implementing additional lighting controls and efficiencies through advanced technology such as Encelium.
• The university will continue its exploration and implementation of new technologies; during the timeframe of our plan there are most likely technologies that will be developed that we cannot imagine yet.
• Adjusting the temperatures up in the summer and down in the winter through the use of the building automation system; ensuring that temperatures are lowered or raised when the buildings are not occupied during breaks

The following measureable sustainability objectives that also address energy can be found in Eastern's Master Plan:

• Initiate a lighting retrofit program and utilize available utility incentive programs for energy efficiency, for both interior and exterior lighting (e.g. roadway, parking or path lighting). This could include lamp and ballasts or bulb replacements or full fixture replacements. Highest priority is to eliminate T12 fluorescents and incandescent bulbs.
• Conduct energy audits of existing buildings. Use the existing energy data to prioritize buildings with the highest energy use for an audit. Based on the age and condition of buildings at Eastern, significant opportunities for energy savings exist. Energy audits allow for detailed analysis of energy conservation measures with return on investment (ROI) analysis.
• Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is a measure of total energy consumption of a building (i.e. electricity, natural gas and/ or fuel oil) expressed in kBtus per square foot per year. This metric normalizes a buildings’ energy use for comparison purposes against similar building types. The average EUI of buildings at Eastern connected to the campus loop is 100.0 kBtu/SF/year. This is comparable to a poorly performing office building. A new office building would range between 60-80 kBtu/SF/year. This suggests there are considerable opportunities for energy savings in the Eastern building stock.
• Take advantage of planned renovation or deferred maintenance projects to maximize energy savings potential within those projects. For example, when replacing a roof consider increasing insulation beyond the minimum required by code.
• Perform retro-commissioning programs for existing buildings and especially new construction projects to ensure predicted energy savings are being realized.
• Maximize the use of the building management and energy systems and install metering on all buildings linked to the campus loop. Increase the logging of data to be captured so Facilities staff can trend energy performance over time (i.e. years) within the system.
• Assess the feasibility of renewable energy on campus, including photovoltaic panels in suitable locations that will not detract from the campus setting. Implement a design standard that all new construction have PV-ready roofs.
• Develop Campus Standards for energy and water efficiency for all new construction and renovation projects. Examples could include:
- Conduct and revisit feasibility studies for renewable energy systems, particularly solar photovoltaic systems, as their capital cost continues to decrease while efficiency increases over time. Incentive structures also change and impact ROI.
- Lighting fixtures – all new fixtures should be LED fixtures, as applicable for specific end use. The cost of LED fixtures has reduced significantly in recent years to make them equal or even cheaper than fluorescent fixtures.
- No new installations of DX systems except in special circumstances.
- Evaluate feasibility of daylighting strategies


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:

Chartwells is committed to fostering and promoting sustainable business principles at Eastern Connecticut State. Our associates will lead by example through activities that minimize our impact on the environment by practicing the 3Rs, with a primary focus on reduction. Our programs will include the necessary information to encourage informed choices on both the foods we consume, and the ways we interact with the natural environment.

Our abbreviated Sustainability Platform contains several sustainability objectives (found here: http://www.easternct.edu/sustainenergy/files/2019/04/Chartwells-Abbreviated-Sustainability-Platform.pdf ).

A few objectives from our Sustainability Platform are as follows:

By 2020:
-20% of our produce and other products will be purchased from local/regional sources.
- We will double our volume of proteins that are certified humane compared to 2014 base line ( 1.3 million pounds).
-We will serve only wild caught and aquaculture seafood from environmentally responsible sources or from sources that are on a clear path towards improvement.
-Operations participating in the Carbon Foodprint Toolkit program will reduce pounds of CO2e emissions per guest by 20%, compared with 2014 basis (annual average: 6.92 lbs./guest).
-Operations participating in the Carbon Foodprint Toolkit program will reduce water use in gallons per guest by 20% compared with 2014 basis (annual average: 3.93 gal/guest).


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

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

The sustainability objectives that address grounds can be found in Eastern's Master Plan:

• On steep slopes or shaded locations, consider changing to meadow or perennial ground cover
• Deploy a variety of low maintenance native and adaptive plantings
• Increase planting, particularly deciduous shade trees, along streets, pathways, entranceways and across quadrangles
• Conserve and preserve mature trees. Where removed or lost, replace with multiples of new, smaller trees.
• Reduce depth of mulch used for new tree plantings to no more than 2-3”.
• Configure new quadrangles with distinct character and uses. Landscape Recommendations
• Expand pedestrian pavement in high traffic routes that have worn “cow paths” / desire lines.
• Incrementally replace short foundation plantings with species that do not require annual shearing that can result in odd shapes
• Plant ample, flexible-use mown lawns at dormitories, academic buildings to allow for impromptu or infrequent social events
• Locate utility transformers and enclosures away from building entrances, or front elevations
• Locate and screen garbage dumpsters appropriately
• Prevailing horticultural practice recommends against placing “mulch volcanos” around trees.


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

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

The sustainability objectives that address purchasing can be found in Eastern's Climate Action Plan:

1. Adopt a Sustainability and Green Campus Initiative to include in quotations and proposals as follows:

In the interest of supporting ECSU’s initiative to reduce waste and extraneous use of natural resources, ECSU is requesting the following.

• All proposals should be submitted on two-sided recycled paper where possible.
• Proposers should refrain from using excessive and unnecessary packaging when shipping or mailing their responses.
• Proposers should refrain from using superfluous binders where possible, especially for the copies being requested.
• Proposers should consider presenting peripheral information (i.e. company and product brochures) on CD or DVD where possible or practical.

2. Reduce delivery of office supplies from five to two days per week.
3. Purchase only energy star appliances or electronics.
4. Currently use 26,000 reams of paper per year, would like to initiate double-sided copying to reduce current usage.
5. Current laundry vendor is to purchase carbon offsets on behalf of ECSU.


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:

Measurable sustainability objectives that address transportation can be found in Eastern's Climate Action Plan.

Objectives:
• Continue to upgrade the University fleet. This includes the continued purchase of efficient vehicles as well as the conversion of diesel vehicles from diesel B5 to B20.
• Start the production of biodiesel on campus, using waste vegetable oil from the dining hall and area restaurants.
• Build a special lane for the bicycle users.
• Create incentives for carpooling.


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:

This information was taken from Eastern's Climate Action Plan:

"Our Goal Is To Increase Recycling On Campus To 55%
Several steps will help us achieve our goals. Specific strategies include:

Adoption of a Single Stream Recycling Program: The University will adopt the single stream recycling service provided through the contracted hauler. The convenience of single stream recycling is expected to garner greater participation.

Container availability: The Green Campus Committee will collaborate with student groups to regularly check that recycling bins located near trash dumpsters are correctly placed and available. Care should be taken to evaluate whether bins are strategically well placed.

Programming: The University will continue educational programming for incoming freshmen with regard to recycling and sustainable practices. The current programming is limited to participation in the SOAR program, which is conducted by the Student Activities Office, and small group programs which are conducted in the resident halls upon request. We recommend the expansion of this educational programming to include more students. All first year students should be exposed to educational programming with regard to recycling and sustainability.

Information: Recycling information will be distributed and/or available to all community members and will be placed on and around appropriate containers."


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:

Information on the measurable sustainability objectives that address water can be found in Eastern's Master Plan:

"Water savings - All new plumbing fixtures are recommended to be low flow ‘water sense’ listed and should provide a water reduction of approximately 30% on average from code compliant restroom fixtures. This not only results in reduced water consumption but also in reduced demand for domestic hot water and energy use.
- Evaluate feasibility of water recycling systems on new construction projects, particularly for rainwater.
- Replace all water cooled pumps on campus with air cooled pumps."


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:

This information was taken from Eastern's Strategic Plan. The objectives as well as performance measures can be found under Objective 5.

Objectives:
5.a. Attract talented and diverse students who are prepared to succeed at Eastern
5.b. Attract a talented and diverse faculty whose exceptional scholarly and pedagogical abilities strengthen Eastern’s liberal arts education
5.c. Increase public awareness of Eastern’s unique mission and vision

Performance Measures:
1. Increase the yield rate of admitted applicants
2. Increase the average SAT scores and percentage of students from the top 10 percent and 25 percent of their high school class
3. Increase the percentage of students receiving merit aid
4. Increase the amount spent on merit- and need-based aid
5. Increase the percentage of out-of-state and international students
6. Increase the diversity of the student body and diversity across all majors
7. Increase the number of full-time/tenure-track faculty
8. Reduce the average class size
9. Increase the percentage of courses taught by full-time/tenure-track faculty
10. Increase the productivity in research and creative activity of faculty
11. Increase resources available for marketing


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?:
Yes

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

This information was taken from Eastern's Strategic Plan. The objectives as well as the performance measures can be found under Objective 4.

Objectives:
4.a. Increase student success through targeted support and improved support services, including counseling, advising, tutoring, library services and financial aid
4.b. Enhance advising services provided to students by faculty and professional advisors
4.c. Create a coordinated Parents’ Engagement Program
4.d. Enhance the professional development opportunities for all members of Eastern’s workforce

Performance Measures:
1. Increase the percentage of students utilizing the Academic Services Center
2. Increase the percentage of students meeting the standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress and good academic standing.
3. Increase student, faculty and staff awareness of Counseling and Psychological Services
4. Increase the number of counselors in Counseling and Psychological Services
5. Increase the retention and persistence rates of first-time, full-time and transfer students
6. Increase student satisfaction with academic advising as measured by the National Survey of Student Engagement
7. Increase the percentage of faculty and staff participating in professional development 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:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
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The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

The term "sustainability" is not specifically defined in Eastern's planning documents, but concepts of sustainability are woven into the strategic plan, climate action plan, work of the Green Campus Committee, courses offered through the Center for Sustainable Energy Studies, and work of the Institute for Sustainable Energy.


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) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

In September 2007, President Elsa Núñez signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, pledging the university to carbon neutrality. In support of this commitment, Eastern has completed the following:

• Eastern Connecticut State University Climate Action Plan, December 2009.
• Silver rating recognition through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) – view Eastern’s November 2012 STARS Rating.
• Inaugural signatory to the new Climate Commitment, integrating carbon neutrality with climate resilience – view October 2015 press release.
• “American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge,” signed in November 2015. View press release and Eastern’s pledge.
• Renewed STARS Silver Rating in January 2016.
• Eastern’s adoption of a Campus Resilience Plan.

Eastern Connecticut State University has also made an active sustainability commitments by participating in AASHE Campus Sustainability Month. Held every October, Campus Sustainability Month is an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. Throughout the month, Eastern organizes events on campus and to engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability change agents. These events include movie screenings, conferences, informational speakers, and recycling/reuse initiatives.
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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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This credit was completed by ISE intern Torin Radicioni based on collected information from Eastern's Climate Action Plan, Strategic Plan, Master Plan, as well as Chartwell's Dining Commitments. Joe Salvaggio provided information regarding Chartwells' sustainability platform.

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.