Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.65
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 19, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Furman University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Laura Bain
Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment
David E. Shi Center for 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:

Vision 2020: A Strategic Plan for Furman University. "The pursuit of sustainability is an important global imperative. We have a moral obligation to be good stewards of the earth for future generations. The universities of the world are appropriate leaders in encouraging the pursuit of scientific advances, and wise political and cultural policies, in the collective quest to ensure a sustainable planet. Furman is justly proud of all that it has done in the pursuit of sustainability in our management of our University and as an educational and service goal, including our leadership and ongoing pursuit of the goals set forth in the national President’s Climate Commitment. The Shi Center is, in substance and symbol, a recognition of these ongoing efforts.4 As the political and business leaders in the greater Greenville area continue to place a high priority on sustainability, Furman will be well-positioned to contribute to the prosperity and quality of life in the community by partnering with local business, political, and civic organizations to advance the community’s broader sustainability goals. Furman’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in the management of its own landscape and facilities will remain a governing imperative."


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:
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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):

1. The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability operates under an eight year (2012-2020) strategic plan entitled, Nurturing Connectivity: Networking Sustainability on Campus and in the Community.
The following are the goals of the Shi Center for the next eight years: innovative interdisciplinary
faculty and course development, enhanced student learning experiences, significant and meaningful
Shi Center Nurturing Connectivity 2020 community connections, an enriched campus conservation culture, and support for Furman’s broader sustainability goals.The Shi Center has established program assessment protocols to quantify and qualify impact and to evaluate programs. Both qualitative and quantitative measures will continue to be used to assess the Shi Center’s programs and impacts over the next eight years. Assessment of programs will continue to be used in formal and informal reports to the Shi Center’s funders, and will also be an important part in the Shi Center’s annual reports (formal and informal) to the Furman and greater communities.

2. Furman's overarching strategic vision, The Furman Advantage, promises a university experience unlike any other, rooted in the liberal arts and sciences and reimagined to focus more intentionally on preparing students for lives of purpose, fulfillment, and accelerated career and community impact in a diverse, global world. The plan recognizes a nationally renowned commitment to sustainability led by the David E. Shi Center that extends far beyond conservation to encompass cross-disciplinary learning in the sciences (social, natural and physical), public policy, humanities, the arts, and community engagement. It also dictates that we will create and fund appropriate organizational structures to catalyze and organize Furman's outward-facing work by strengthening the university's connectivity and engagement with Greenville, the broader region, and the world. Furman's future is yoked to the well-being of Greenville and South Carolina, and both the city and the state represent a tremendous opportunity for our students and faculty—and Furman itself—to have both immediate and lasting impact, economically, culturally, politically, and socially. Greenville and South Carolina have strong business and civic leadership and willing partners who will be essential to addressing these issues. Furman has been one of these partners, providing hundreds of community programs, research projects, partnerships, and service activities in Greenville, across South Carolina and beyond. We believe we could be an even stronger engine powering Greenville and South Carolina, helping the state to make measurable progress in areas such as education, community health, and sustainability.
http://www.furman.edu/furman-advantage/


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:

Sustainable Furman lays out curricular plans that include the creation of curricular programs for undergraduates, with the goal of creating the sustainability science major and sustainability studies concentration. Goals also include the enrichment of existing curriculum by providing a sufficient amount of sustainability-related courses to satisfy the Humans and Natural Environment graduation requirement, the creation of faculty workshops to integrate sustainability, and the assessment of the feasibility of a scholar-in-residence program. The last of the goals include developing a curricular opportunity for the broader community through expansion of for-credit and not-for-credit opportunities for professionals, assessing a new executive program in sustainability and leadership at the master's level, and integrating sustainability themes in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for senior adults. Many of these goals have been accomplished or are in progress, indicating a true commitment to the plan.

Nurturing Connectivity: Networking Sustainability on Campus and in the Community includes these curriculum focused-impact indicators:
Furman's sustainability-focused courses
Furman's sustainability-related courses
Sustainability Science majors declared since inception


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:

Sustainable Furman includes the goal of promoting living learning laboratories for student and faculty research projects, promoting courses that make use of community-based research, and initiating 'Conservation Culture" to provide research opportunities for faculty and staff.

The Furman Advantage mentions building upon our areas of strength, including our longstanding excellence in undergraduate research, which allows Furman students to engage directly in research with faculty and present their findings at conferences and creating a partnership with the Greenville Health System, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina to develop a shared academic health center that will educate health care professionals and foster research and partnerships that strengthen community health.

Vision 2020 lays out these goals for research:
-Continued enhancement of opportunities for collaborative research between students and faculty.

Nurturing Connectivity: Networking Sustainability on Campus and in the Community includes the goal of expanding and enhancing the following existing programs:
-Sustainability research and teaching support to faculty in all departments
-Research opportunities on- and off-campus for students and faculty


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:

Sustainable Furman lays out strategies to:
-increase campus programming and initiatives designed to heighten student awareness of sustainability issues through the expanding living-learning communities and enhancing existing programs such as the Sustainability Fellows, Sustainability Post-Doctoral and Environmental Community of Student programs.
-develop sustainability-related projects through the Revolving Loan Fund for energy conservation projects, alternative spring breaks that relate to sustainability, and additional cultural life program events that pertain to sustainability.
-Enhance sustainability education opportunities on campus by providing information about campus sustainability during First-Year Student Orientation, making green guides available to students, and supporting sustainability-related student organizations.
-Infusing sustainability into campus culture through a sustainability liaisons program within academic departments


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:

Sustainable Furman: The University seeks to enhance sustainability service opportunities and create local carbon offset projects. The details include promoting sustainable service as a form of community outreach, creating a Sustainable Friends of Furman volunteer network, and collaborating with greater Greenville community organizations such as energy audits, home weatherization, home refurbishment, collaborative composting with the Greenville Zoo, international study away projects and programs, the development of a carbon mitigation fund, and partnerships with other universities.

The Furman Advantage also addresses public engagement and seeks to create an innovative model of community-centered learning where students join with faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to address real-world problems and respond to community needs.

Vision 2020: Engagement with Community with these strategies:
 Furman as a “Convener.” Furman may play a constructive role as a “convener” of community-wide efforts to address a wide variety of issues concerning education, commerce, culture, sustainability, and other arenas in which Furman may not be a direct provider of community service, but may play an important role in facilitating and supporting coordination in addressing issues of community concern.
 Increasing Internship and Community-Based Learning Opportunities. Furman has a strong commitment to internships as one of the manifestations of its approach to engaged learning. Furman will work creatively with community groups to further enhance internships and provide additional support for community-based learning opportunities in the area.
 Community-Focused Programs on the Furman Campus. Furman will encourage programs that invite a broader cross-section of the community to the campus for programs and events, including the Riley Institute and Shi Center for Sustainability.
 Enhanced Service and Interdisciplinary Programming. Furman’s strong commitment to public service, as evidenced by such programs as Bridges to a Brighter Future and the Heller Service Corps, will be encouraged and expanded. Furman will continue its commitment to its ROTC program and the strong tradition of service to the nation the program has historically represented. Furman will also consider further linking its existing academic expertise in such interdisciplinary initiatives as Poverty Studies, Sustainability, Asian Studies, Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies, and Latin American Studies, as an external resource to the greater Greenville community.


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:

Sustainable Furman: Furman's commitment to climate action has been an integral part of the wide-ranging commitment to sustainability. As a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), Furman has declared that it will substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions aiming towards climate neutrality with net GHG emissions of zero by 2026. Five strategies that encompass this goal include increasing operations efficiency, creating a campus-wide culture of conservation to decrease energy use, creating a more sustainable transportation system through changes in behaviors and policies, investing in renewable energy projects, and developing offset projects and sustainability-oriented service projects in the greater Greenville community.

Vision 2020 recognizes the convening of a Campus Climate Task Force.


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:

The Sustainable Furman Master plan reports that in 2001, the trustees declared that all new and renovated construction products must meet or exceed LEED silver. Strategies include expanding energy efficiency by upgrading campus utility systems, improving the efficiency of lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Additionally, the plan includes improvements in energy data monitoring systems on campus, the development of a program for re-commission building systems to ensure maximum efficiency, and improvements in campus building maintenance.


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:

The Sustainable Furman master plan includes investing in large-scale renewable energy projects. The details include identifying the appropriate renewable energy projects through shifting to more solar photovoltaic energy sources, incorporating solar thermal energy systems, investing in on-site and off-site biomass generation plants, and adding more geothermal energy sources. Further plans include working with the Duke Endowment colleges to support renewable energy options, pursuing emerging state and federal level funding incentives for renewable energy efforts and collaborating with Duke Energy to encourage GHG reduction.


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:

The Sustainable Furman Master Plan sets goals related to the use of locally grown food in the dining hall, better food choices on campus, and the production of a local/organic food guide.

Nurturing Connectivity eight-year strategic plan highlights goals in farming and food systems research.


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:

Sustainable Furman: ensure the support of sustainable initiatives and conservation-oriented practices for grounds maintenance including ensuring the University policies support sustainability initiatives in grounds maintenance and implementing more sustainable practices in the areas of grounds maintenance. These goals are listed:
4.2.1 Automate the energy data collection system and share the data with the campus community (ongoing)
4.2.2 Increase the number of energy data monitoring systems on campus (ongoing)
4.2.3 Develop a program to re-commission building systems periodically to ensure maximum operating efficiencies
4.2.4 Improve the effectiveness of the campus recycling program (ongoing)
4.2.5 Implement more sustainable practices in the areas of purchasing policies, grounds maintenance, building maintenance, and custodial operations (ongoing)
4.2.6 Implement more sustainable practices in the use of information technology

Vision 2020: Furman will remain committed to maintaining the beauty of its landscape. Special attention will be placed on the health of the landscape, especially the trees and lake that grace the campus. Furman’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in the management of its own landscape and facilities will remain a governing imperative.


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:

Sustainable Furman outlines these goals:
-Implement more sustainable practices in purchasing.
-Ensure the support of sustainable initiatives and conservation-oriented practices for purchasing.
-Produce a Green Purchasing Guide for Students

Additionally, Furman's Green Purchasing Guidelines are supported by our Director of Procurement. We are currently working with Staples to establish baselines and set goals for sustainable purchasing in 2018.


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:

Sustainable Furman contains a section focused on sustainable campus transportation and the following overarching goal and objectives:
Goal 5: Create a more sustainable campus transportation system
5.1 Educate the campus community about the greenhouse gas emissions generated by transportation and facilitate alternatives to automobile use.
5.1.1 Increase the operating hours and routes of the campus shuttle
5.1.2 Assess the feasibility and affordability of public transit options
5.1.3 Organize a ride-sharing program
5.1.4 Revise parking policies and research the effectiveness of changes in automobile registration fees to discourage casual car use on campus
5.1.5 Assess the feasibility of a car-share program
5.1.6 Assess the feasibility of a campus-wide bike program
5.2 Continue to promote new, more efficient transportation options/operations
5.2.1 Continue to convert the campus fleet to more energy-efficient vehicles
5.2.2 Investigate the feasibility of a liquid natural gas fueling station for vehicles
5.2.3 Provide plug-ins for new hybrid models
5.3 Examine best practices to address Study Away and other travel-related carbon reduction


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:

The Sustainable Furman Master Plan includes baseline data for solid waste, wastewater, and paper, and sets goals to reduce these components through energy efficiency improvements and better operational practices, such as tracking paper purchasing and printing.
2.4.3 Host a recycled art competition
2.8.4 Promote Recyclemania
4.2.4 Improve the effectiveness of the campus recycling program (ongoing)


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:

The Sustainable Furman master plan includes improvement of water efficiency with the following strategies:
4.1 Expand energy and water efficiency improvements
4.1.1 Complete upgrades to the campus utility systems (ongoing)
4.1.2 Implement projects that decrease water usage (ongoing)


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:

The Furman Advantage recognizes the diversity of the world that we live in and lays out a plan to build a diverse community of students, staff, and faculty from a range of backgrounds, identities, and experiences to foster a dynamic and challenging intellectual climate.

Vision 2020: Commitment to Meaningful Diversity and Equality. Furman is committed to removing obstacles to attaining diversity and equal treatment in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of students, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups. These goals are listed:
 Conduct a study of gender equity across the university, including promotion, service work, salary, merit designation, job satisfaction, and support.
 Engage in a re-visioning of the student experience—in the classrooms, residential facilities, and dining hall—that fosters honest and open dialogue about race and equality, beyond talking points and self-selective attendance at CLP events, for example.
 Conduct a study to determine if there are practices in the institutional culture and structure which may make access to the University unduly difficult for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered members of Furman’s faculty, students, and staff.
 Convene a Task Force on Civility and Public Discourse charged with undertaking a reconsideration of the community’s approach to controversial or polarizing subjects and events, recognizing the University’s commitments to freedom of speech and to fostering a community grounded in respect for the human dignity of all its members.
 Create a task force to explore ways, benefits, and costs of implementing various programs for supporting our working-class students more effectively and to encourage dialogue about class across the Furman community.
 The Furman administration will annually report to the Board of Trustees, faculty, and Furman community on achievements in diversity among students, 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:

The Furman Advantage establishes a partnership with Greenville Health System, Clemson University, and the University of South Carolina to develop a shared academic health center that will educate health care professionals and foster research and partnerships that strengthen community health. In setting the goal of "communities that flourish," Furman seeks to advance the well-being of the diverse communities in Greenville and around the world.

Sustainable Furman includes these objectives:
o more cycling and walking on campus and less vehicular traffic
o increased wellness through more active and healthy lifestyles, food choices, and contemplative practices
o more use of foods grown locally (including on campus) in the Dining Hall and Pala-den (Food Court)


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:

Sustainable Furman includes several goals related to technology to increase sustainability:
4.1.5 Improve the efficiency of information technology
4.1.6 Upgrade energy control systems (ongoing)
4.1.7 Incorporate new energy-saving technologies and systems when they become viable (ongoing)
4.1.8 Renovate traditional residence halls to upgrade systems and improve functionality (planned)
4.2.6 Implement more sustainable practices in the use of information technology

Sustainable Furman also lays out goals for becoming a national leader in sustainability.
Goal 8: Capitalize on Furman’s national leadership role in the comprehensive
promotion of sustainability
Strategies:
8.1 Maintain Furman's commitment to serve as a national and regional leader in promoting sustainability on campuses
8.1.1 Create a sustainability leaders network (e.g., campus and corporate sustainability coordinators)
8.1.2 Continue the involvement of Furman staff/faculty/students in national sustainability efforts (ongoing)
8.2 Promote the sharing of sustainability approaches among other colleges and universities
8.3 Provide models of sustainability community service
8.3.1 Create a local offset certification entity that will assist Furman and other institutions throughout the region to identify and verify innovative local offset initiatives and calculate their carbon reductions
8.3.2 Create a sustainability faculty-staff-student consultancy group for community projects


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:

Vision 2020, approved by the Board of Trustees, says:
The pursuit of sustainability is an important global imperative. We have a moral obligation to be good stewards of the earth for future generations. The universities of the world are appropriate leaders in encouraging the pursuit of scientific advances, and wise political and cultural policies, in the collective quest to ensure a sustainable planet. Furman is justly proud of all that it has done in the pursuit of sustainability in our management of our University and as an educational and service goal, including our leadership and ongoing pursuit of the goals set forth in the national President’s Climate Commitment. The Shi Center is, in substance and symbol, a recognition of these ongoing efforts.4 As the political and business leaders in the greater Greenville area continue to place a high priority on sustainability, Furman will be well-positioned to contribute to the prosperity and quality of life in the community by partnering with local business, political, and civic organizations to advance the community’s broader sustainability goals. Furman’s ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in the management of its own landscape and facilities will remain a governing imperative.


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

"An interdisciplinary concept promoting values, systems, and activities that are environmentally sound, socially just and economically viable. Sustainability is a journey, not a destination."

http://www2.furman.edu/sites/sustainability/ourvision/Pages/WhatisSustainability.aspx


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

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

President's Climate Commitment


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.