Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.02
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

Furman University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 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 plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Sustainable Furman
Strategic Goals:

Goal 1: Expand and enhance curricular opportunities related to sustainability, p.13
1.1 Create new curricular programs for undergraduates
1.1.1 Assess the value and financial feasibility of a sustainability science major (2008)
1.1.2 Assess the value and financial feasibility of a sustainability studies concentration (2008)
1.2 Enrich the existing curriculum as it relates to sustainability themes and topics
1.2.1 Provide a sufficient number of sustainability-related courses to satisfy the new graduation requirement that all students take at least one course related to Humans and the Natural Environment (2008)
1.2.2 Create regular opportunities (workshops) and incentives for faculty members to integrate sustainability into their courses (2009)
1.2.3 Promote greater faculty use of the campus sustainability living/learning laboratories in courses or for class-related applied research projects (2009)
1.2.4 Promote development of courses that make use of community-based research on sustainability (2009)
1.2.5 Assess the feasibility of a scholar-in-residence program
1.3 Develop curricular opportunities to serve the broader community
1.3.1 Expand for-credit and not-for-credit educational opportunities for professionals in the greater Greenville community
1.3.2 Assess the value and feasibility of a new executive program in sustainability and leadership at the master’s level
1.3.3 Assess the value and feasibility of a program in Sustainability Administration at the Masters level
1.3.4 Integrate sustainability topics and themes into the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) curriculum

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Sustainable Furman
Strategic Goals:
Goal 2: Expand innovative co-curricular experiences to enhance student learning about sustainability, p. 14
2.1 Increase campus programming and initiatives designed to heighten student awareness of sustainability issues.
2.1.1 Enhance and expand sustainability-related engaged living and learning communities, including the Greenbelt Community and Environmental Community of Students (ECOS) First-Year Student Program (1999)
2.1.2 Support and expand the Environmental Initiative (GREEN) Showcase Residence Hall (2009)
2.1.3 Enhance the student Sustainability Fellows Program (2008)
2.1.4 Enhance the Sustainability Post-Doctoral Fellow Program (funded by the Associated Colleges of the South 2009)
2.2 Provide more opportunities for students to embrace sustainable living
2.2.1 Provide opportunities to sign the Eco-Pledge (piloted 2008)
2.2.2 Provide opportunities to sign the Green Graduation Pledge (2007)
2.3 Develop additional student sustainability-related projects
2.3.1 Create a Student Revolving Loan Fund for energy conservation projects (funded by a foundation grant 2009)
2.3.2 Create opportunities for students to shadow professionals working in sustainability fields
2.3.3 Organize an alternative sustainability-centered spring break program
2.4 Promote sustainability through dedicated cultural events
2.4.1 Increase the number of Cultural Life Program events related to sustainability (2008)
2.4.2 Create a sustainability-related film series (2007)
2.4.3 Host a recycled art competition
2.4.4 Develop an annual speaker series with a sustainability-related thematic focus
2.5 Enhance sustainability education opportunities on campus
2.5.1 Include information about sustainability programs during First-Year Student Orientation (2009)
2.5.2 Create a “traveling workshop on sustainability” to promote student awareness
2.5.3 Produce more public service announcements (short films) related to sustainability that can be shown on campus for education (2009)
2.5.4 Post a “Green Guide for Students” (2008)
2.5.5 Update Furman’s Sustainability website (2008)
2.5.6 Provide more educational signage about sustainable behaviors on campus (2008)
2.5.7 Enhance campus communications about sustainability (2008)
2.5.8 Produce a Green Purchasing Guide for Students
2.5.9 Produce a Local/Organic Food Guide
2.5.10 Create self-guided sustainability tours via the Furman website and campus map
2.5.11 Create an environmental library website
2.5.12 Create a “Campus as Habitat” website, cataloguing the organisms on campus (2009)
2.6 Celebrate the accomplishments of the campus community by creating a campus Sustainability Awards Program
2.7 Support student sustainability-related organizations
2.7.1 Provide funding for Sustainable Connections to connect student groups and resources (2008)
2.7.2 Provide funding for Conserve Furman to encourage peer-to-peer energy conservation education (2008)
2.7.3 Encourage more student government involvement in sustainability efforts
2.8 Support annual campus sustainability events and service activities
2.8.1 Expand energy conservation competitions (2006)
2.8.2 Support the Tire Pressure Check program (2007)
2.8.3 Promote student attendance at Power Shift (2008)
2.8.4 Promote Recyclemania (2006)
2.8.5 Engage students and faculty in Campus Sustainability Day (2008)
2.8.6 Encourage programming for Earth Day and Earth Hour
2.8.8 Create a sustainability service division within the Heller Service Corps (2009)
2.8.9 Create a sustainability federal work-study program to support existing sustainability living/learning laboratories (2008)
2.8.10 Revive an on-campus bicycle maintenance program 2.8.11 Revive “Lake Clean-Up” day
2.8.12 Involve Furman alumni in sustainability efforts on campus and in the local community

Goal 3: Create a campus-wide culture of conservation, p. 16
3.1 Infuse sustainability (especially an energy conservation ethic) more deeply into the campus culture by expanding opportunities for involvement
3.1.1 Develop a Sustainability Liaisons Program by which each division, department, and program appoints a liaison as part of a campus-wide information network
3.1.2 Create a Campus Sustainability Help Desk (to be in place January 2010)
3.2 Promote opportunities for individuals and groups to share in the ongoing visioning process for sustainability at Furman
3.3 Document, implement, and assess conservation practices on campus
3.3.1 Conduct a mixed methods (surveys, focus groups, individual interviews, data monitoring) assessment of Furman faculty, staff, and student knowledge of and attitudes about sustainability and conservation (2008)
3.3.2 Identify and address barriers to environmentally responsible behavior (2008)
3.4 Encourage energy conservation awareness programs and practices
3.4.1 Initiate a “Conservation Culture” initiative to provide research opportunities for faculty and staff focused on conservation behaviors and attitudes on campus and in the Upstate (2009)
3.4.2 Ensure that University policies support sustainability initiatives and conservation-oriented practices [e.g., purchasing, building management, grounds maintenance, bookstore sales] (2008 – green purchasing guidelines)
3.4.3 Develop an incentive program for campus conservation efforts
3.5 Conduct an ecological footprint analysis to determine the environmental impact of university activities
3.6 Participate in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating System (STARS)

Goal 7: Enhance sustainability service opportunities and create local carbon offset projects and programs, p. 21
7.1 Promote ”sustainable service” as a form of community outreach
7.1.1 Utilize students from the Heller Student Service Corps Sustainability Division for community projects and programs (2009)
7.1.2 Create a “Sustainable Friends of Furman” community volunteer network that focuses on partnership with adult students enrolled in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), as well as other members of the community (2009)
7.2 Collaborate with greater Greenville-area community organizations on service programs and offset options
7.2.1 Train students, faculty, and staff to perform low- income home energy audits
7.2.2 Implement a low-income home weatherization program, e.g., window replacement, weather stripping and programmable thermostats
7.2.3 Implement low-income home refurbishment, including light bulb replacement, heating system and appliance upgrades, water heater replacement
7.2.4 Investigate the use of manure from the Greenville Zoo as part of a campus composting program
7.2.5 Investigate the establishment of international projects focused on sustainability and the incorporation of sustainability projects in current Study Away programs
7.2.6 Explore the feasibility of developing a carbon mitigation fund specifically for local community offset projects
7.2.7 Investigate partnerships with other universities and entities to establish and maintain forests in the Upstate to sequester carbon
7.2.8 Establish a program to replace the university community’s gasoline-powered lawn mowers with electric or battery-powered mowers
7.2.9 Consider additional related projects such as rain gardens, cisterns, stormwater management and water quality initiatives/organic gardens/local food (2009)

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

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.

Sustainable Furman
Goal 4: Further Improve the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, Operations, and Information Technology, p. 18
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)
4.1.3 Improve the operating efficiency of lighting systems, Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC), and electrical systems (ongoing)
4.1.4 Continue efforts to minimize heat transmission and air infiltration in buildings (ongoing)
4.1.5 Improve the efficiency of information technology equipment and audio/visual systems (ongoing)
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 Make operational and maintenance practices more sustainable
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

Goal 5: Create a More Sustainable Campus Transportation System, p. 19
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

Goal 6: Invest in Large-scale Renewable Energy Projects, p. 20
6.1 Identify, when financially feasible, the most
reduce the utilities budget and campus carbon footprint
6.1.1 Shift to more solar photovoltaic energy sources 6.1.2 Incorporate solar thermal energy systems
6.1.3 Consider an investment in off-site biomass generation plants within Furman’s renewable energy portfolio
6.1.4 Consider the development of an on-site biomass generation plant that will burn woody debris to generate electricity
6.1.5 Add more geothermal energy sources
colleges it supports to examine renewable energy options (ongoing)
6.3 Pursue emerging state and federal level funding/ incentives to assist with renewable energy efforts (ongoing)
6.4 Collaborate with Duke Energy to encourage a reduction in the GHG emissions produced by their coal-fired power plants.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Strategic Diversity Plan: https://www.furman.edu/diversity-equity-inclusion/chief-diversity-officer/strategic-diversity-plan/
Inclusive excellence is a framework designed to support the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts into the core functions and operations of the university while advancing our efforts to obtain educational excellence through The Furman Advantage.

Goal 1: Improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of students from underrepresented communities.
Objective A: Create and implement innovative policies and practices that are intentional in their efforts to successfully recruit students from underrepresented communities.
Objective B: Develop innovative policies and practices to support and retain students from underrepresented communities.

Goal 2: Improve the recruitment, retention and advancement of faculty and staff from underrepresented communities.
Objective A: Create and implement innovative policies and practices that are intentional in their efforts to successfully recruit, retain and promote faculty from underrepresented communities
Objective B: Develop and support professional development opportunities that are intentional in their efforts to successfully train and support staff from underrepresented communities.

Goal 3: Support inclusive excellence within the formal curriculum and within our co-curricular and extra-curricular experiences.
Objective A: Encourage diversity content in and across academic programs, co-curricular activities and the social dimensions of the campus environment
Objective B: Provide support and professional development for faculty that emphasizes inclusive pedagogy and advising in ways that enhance their ability to address the learning needs of all students
Objective C: Enhance students’ diversity-related educational opportunities and experiences to ensure that all students are prepared to live and work effectively in a diverse, globally integrated world.

Goal 4: Engage with our alumni and with local, national and international communities to encourage the pursuit of inclusive excellence beyond the boundaries of Furman’s campus.
Objective A: Develop a plan to better connect with underrepresented members of our alumni community
Objective B: Expand relationships with underserved communities in our local and regional area with the intent of growing opportunities for institutional development and impact.
Objective C: Strengthen initiatives to promote interaction among international and domestic students, faculty, staff and community partners.

Sustainable Furman
Section IV.Financing p. 11
The university will consider investing in renewable energy systems, on or off campus, as they become more reasonably priced. Sources of funding for renewable energy projects may include grants, federal incentives, revolving loan funds, collaborative partnerships, savings from a reduction in the amount of electricity purchased by Furman, and investments from the university’s endowment.

Strategy 6.1.3 Consider an investment in off-site biomass generation plants within Furman’s renewable energy portfolio, p. 20

Goal 8: Capitalize on Furman’s national leadership role in the comprehensive promotion of sustainability, p. 22
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 published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Minor theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):

Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

We believe Furman is distinctively positioned to achieve our goal of preparing students for lives of purpose and self-reflection, professional success, and civic engagement, combining the intimacy and personalized attention associated with small liberal arts colleges and the breadth of opportunities and connections associated with large universities. In so
doing, we will build upon our areas of strength:

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;

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:

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

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
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

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

ACUPCC President's Carbon Commitment signed in 2007; Goal carbon neutral by 2026.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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