Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.50
Liaison Elaine Durr
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Elon University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Elaine Durr
Director of Sustainability
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:

The Elon Commitment Strategic Plan is organized around eight themes. One of the themes is significantly enhancing Elon's campus with premier new academic and residential facilities and a commitment to protecting our environment. The relevant key objective under this theme is implementation of the Sustainability Master Plan. During the next decade, Elon will implement the challenging and environmentally responsible recommendations of the Sustainability Master Plan, including a study of geothermal technology and the creation of a land preserve, the Elon University Forest, to protect a large expanse of green space north of University Drive.
Another theme is an unprecedented university commitment to diversity and global engagement. The key objectives under this theme are: double need-based financial aid, provide 100% study abroad access, triple international student enrollment and create a campus community that better reflects the world's diversity, be a national leader in preparing students to succeed in a multicultural world, build a multi-faith center and promote interfaith dialogue and develop the Elon Academy as a national model.
Another of the themes is stewarding Elon's commitment to remain a best-value university. The key objectives under this theme are: successfully complete the Ever Elon Campaign; implement a strong, creative financial model and at least triple the Elon University endowment. Elon enjoys a remarkable combination of "values and value." The tuition rate is $10,000 - $15,000 below other private universities and within range of non-resident tuition rates at flagship state universities. Elon is committed to guarding that price advantage. The objective to double need-based financial aid, which is under another theme within the plan, also contributes to the economic dimensions of sustainability.


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):

Elon University is addressing its diversity and global engagement goals in a comprehensive manner. See the provided website for details, including the Elon Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Engagement Action Plan 2016-2021.

https://www.elon.edu/e/campus-life/inclusion-diversity/progress-and-planning.html


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Strengthen and clarify sustainability objectives in the Core Curriculum
-Promote and incentivize interdisciplinary collaboration regarding sustainability to help acknowledge/address and reduce cognitive dissonance between departments
-Utilize the campus as a living laboratory for sustainability
-Increase the visibility of existing academic sustainability-related efforts and strengthen them
-Further develop academic as well as education and outreach programs involving the Environmental Center at Loy Farm


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Promote and incentivize interdisciplinary collaboration regarding sustainability to help
acknowledge/address and reduce cognitive dissonance between departments
-Increase the visibility of existing academic sustainability-related efforts and strengthen them


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Utilize partnerships and Database Intern to increase awareness of funded sustainability programs
-Increase the number of funded sustainability projects and develop a marketing plan and clear implementation process for all funded sustainability programs
-Promote a culture of sustainability as part of the residential experience
-Educate student organizations about sustainable practices and behaviors they can implement as a student organization
-Communicate to departments, using the STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System) framework, how they can contribute to Elon’s sustainability efforts
-Use campus buildings and events to educate the campus community about sustainable practices
-Connect service learning with identified community issues, which often relate to one or more aspect of sustainability (social, economic, environmental)
-Increase understanding of service learning and its impact and deepen connections with service learning community partners
-Enhance the use of stories and relatable language in sustainability communications
-Utilize collaborative partnerships to expand the reach of sustainability communications both on and off campus


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Connect service learning with identified community issues, which often relate to one or more aspect of sustainability (social, economic, environmental)
-Increase understanding of service learning and its impact and deepen connections with service learning community partners
-Enhance the use of stories and relatable language in sustainability communications
-Utilize collaborative partnerships to expand the reach of sustainability communications both on and off campus
-Further develop academic as well as education and outreach programs involving the Environmental Center at Loy Farm
-Expand the botanical gardens and collections and associated educational materials
-Enhance the university’s transportation system in collaboration with the transportation system that is developed in the surrounding community/county


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
-Near-term interim emission reduction targets calculated from a FY 2008 baseline: 2015 - 5%; 2020 - 18%
-Ultimately achieving carbon neutrality by 2037.
-Several recommended strategies to reduce emissions from energy consumption in the following areas: Energy Efficiency and Conservation in Existing Buildings, Energy Conservation through Behavior Modification, Green Building, Standards and Policies, Green Information Technology (IT), Renewable Energy.


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Reduce total energy consumption per gross square foot compared to a 2005 baseline
-Increase the percentage of campus energy consumption that comes from non-fossil fuel sources, such as solar and geothermal
-Assess the University’s Sustainability Design Standards and Green Building Policy at least every five years to ensure the university’s new construction and renovation projects are high-performance, sustainable facilities
-Incorporate the following into new construction and major renovation projects:
• A project team made up of the following from the early design phase forward: university representatives, design team members, commissioning agents, consultants and building representatives
• Energy modeling during the design phase so that it may inform the design and optimize energy efficiency
• Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) during the design phase, especially with energy systems and new products and technologies
-Consider construction of a building that embodies sustainable, responsible design, is off the grid and involves students in the design process; this facility could be used for lab and community outreach use and might also serve as a living and learning residential facility
-Reduce waste and increase the yearly waste diversion rate (i.e., reduce the percentage of waste sent to the landfill)
-Reduce total potable water consumption per gross square foot compared to a 2005 baseline


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Reduce total energy consumption per gross square foot compared to a 2005 baseline
-Increase the percentage of campus energy consumption that comes from non-fossil fuel sources, such as solar and geothermal

The Climate Action Plan also includes several recommended strategies to reduce emissions from energy consumption in the following areas: Energy Efficiency and Conservation in Existing Buildings, Energy Conservation through Behavior Modification, Green Building, Standards and Policies, Green Information Technology (IT), Renewable Energy.


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Partner with Dining Services to develop a comprehensive and robust program for local and sustainable purchasing, food options and waste reduction


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 Master Plan (2015)
-Continue to improve the irrigation system by expanding the non-potable water system and enhancing efficiency
-Expand the botanical gardens and collections and associated educational materials
-Expand the tree management program
-Develop a land use master plan and revisit it at least every five years
-Develop a site and circulation plan that eases navigation of campus facilities and coincides with the land use master plan


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Further develop and communicate sustainable purchasing practices for goods and services


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Expand and improve the campus’ physical infrastructure that supports alternative transportation and student, faculty and staff safety
-Enhance the university’s transportation system in collaboration with the transportation system that is developed in the surrounding community/county
-Develop a long-range transportation plan that facilitates bicycle and pedestrian access


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Reduce waste and increase the yearly waste diversion rate (i.e., reduce the percentage of waste sent to the landfill)
-Hire a waste reduction and recycling manager


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:

Sustainability Master Plan (2015)
-Continue to improve the irrigation system by expanding the non-potable water system and enhancing efficiency
-Reduce total potable water consumption per gross square foot compared to a 2005 baseline


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:

Elon Commitment Strategic Plan
-Double need-based financial aid
-Provide 100 percent study abroad access
-Triple international student enrollment and create a campus community that better reflects the world’s diversity
-Be a national leader in preparing students to succeed in a multicultural world
-Build a multi-faith center and promote interfaith dialogue
-Develop the Elon Academy as a national model

The Elon Diversity, Inclusion, and Global Engagement Action Plan 2016-2021 has three main focus areas (campus climate and community, student access and success and intercultural orientation), which each have measurable objectives.
Campus Climate and Community
-Achieve a more diverse and inclusive community of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff
-Create and sustain an organizational environment that appreciates diversity defined broadly, employs inclusive practices throughout daily operations, and leverages multiple perspectives to strengthen the campus
Student Access and Success
-Build and promote a premiere experience for students in our inclusive, intellectual, and residential campus with emphasis on high impact practices and a holistic student development focused on learning
-Create and sustain an institutional infrastructure, including annual donor gifts and grants, to effectively support progress in achieving goals in the diversity strategic plan
Intercultural Orientation
-Increase global engagement opportunities and intercultural knowledge, perspective, and skills of students
-Increase global engagement opportunities and intercultural knowledge, perspective, and skills of faculty and staff


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:

Elon Commitment Strategic Plan
-Accentuate and support Elon’s teacher-scholar model
-Fulfill the objectives of the Presidential Task Force on Scholarship
-Establish new professional and leadership development programs
-Accelerate progress on faculty/staff salaries

The Staff Advisory Council Quality of Life task force report has specific strategies that address well-being and work in three themes: creative staffing, longevity benefits and internal growth and work/life connections and engagement.


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)? :
No

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):

From the Sustainability Master Plan 2015:
The guiding definition of sustainability for this plan is:
Sustainability explores the dynamic interconnections among environmental, social and economic systems in order to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
This definition is based on the one published in Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report, from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) and incorporates the three key elements of sustainability.


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 No
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:
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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.