Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.78
Liaison Greg Farley
Submission Date Sept. 9, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

George Mason University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Margaret Lo
University Sustainability Director
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have current and formal plans to advance sustainability in the following areas? Do the plans include measurable objectives?:
Current and Formal Plans (Yes or No) Measurable Objectives (Yes or No)
Curriculum Yes Yes
Research (or other scholarship) Yes Yes
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement Yes Yes
Air and Climate Yes Yes
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds Yes Yes
Purchasing Yes Yes
Transportation Yes Yes
Waste Yes Yes
Water Yes Yes
Diversity and Affordability Yes Yes
Health, Wellbeing and Work Yes Yes
Investment --- ---
Other --- ---

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Curriculum:

In Dec 2011, Mason's Provost announced a vision for sustainability in academic endeavors. The vision states that Mason will rank among the top 50 US universities in sustainability studies, leading strategic research, education, and service to promote a more sustainable campus, community, and world.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):

There are approximately six measurable objectives in this vision that address curriculum. One objective is that Green Leaf sustainability courses are offered in all 11 academic units and most academic departments, fostered by peer-to-peer faculty capacity building. Another is that all pertinent academic programs include concentrations with Green Leaf courses as requirements or electives. Green Leaf courses are either sustainability focused where all three of the triple bottom line concept--people, planet, and profits--are addressed or sustainability-related where at least one of the concepts is addressed.
More information is available at http://sustainabilitystudies.gmu.edu/vision/


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):

Provost's Fellow for Sustainable Studies


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Research (or other scholarship):

In Dec 2011, Mason's Provost announced a vision for sustainability in academic endeavors. The vision states that Mason will rank among the top 50 US universities in sustainability studies, leading strategic research, education, and service to promote a more sustainable campus, community, and world.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Research plan(s):

There are approximately four measurable objectives in this vision that address research and scholarship. One objective is formation of multi-year research projects and network to address big sustainability challenges. Another objective is commitment and mechanisms to open Mason operations to scholarship. More information is available at http://sustainabilitystudies.gmu.edu/vision/


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):

Provost's Fellow for Sustainable Studies


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:

In Dec 2011, Mason's Provost announced a vision for sustainability in academic endeavors. The vision states that Mason will rank among the top 50 US universities in sustainability studies, leading strategic research, education, and service to promote a more sustainable campus, community, and world.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Campus Engagement plan:

There are approximately three measurable objectives in this vision that address campus engagement and service, research and scholarship. One objective is that sustainability-focused immersive learning experiences are provided each year. Another objective is students participate in co-curricular sustainability opportunities related to signature Mason events. More information is available at http://sustainabilitystudies.gmu.edu/vision/


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Campus Engagement plan(s):

George Mason University's Office of Sustainability and Provost's Fellow for Sustainable Studies


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Public Engagement around sustainability:

Within Mason's 2014-2024 Stategic Plan, Mason states that it will contribute to the cultural vitality of our community through regional partnerships and commitments to the arts, athletics, and community engagement. In addition, Mason is a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact to promote environment, labor, human rights, and combat corruption as well as the Clinton Global Initiative University Network that supports developing solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Public Engagement plan(s):

Mason's goal is to achieve the Community Engagement Classification through the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Public Engagement plan(s):

George Mason University Community Relations


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:

In 2010, George Mason University released its publically available Climate Action Plan as part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. More information can be found at http://rs.acupcc.org/cap/84/


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):

Mason aims to reduce Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions by 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):

George Mason University Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Buildings:

In 2010, George Mason University released its publically available Climate Action Plan as part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. Since the majority of Mason's emissions are created by building operations, it is an area of focus for Mason. In addition, in 2013, Mason included environmental goals and minimum standards into its Design Information Manual which provides guidance to all of its building design teams. More information can be found at http://rs.acupcc.org/cap/84/ and http://facilities.gmu.edu/ProjMgmtConst/DesignStandardsManual/index.cfm


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Buildings plan(s):

Mason measures its progress with two energy intensity values--emissions per student and square foot. Energy intensity metrics will show a 2% decline per year starting in fiscal year 2010 through the end of fiscal year 2012, by 2014 energy intensity down by 10% from 2006, and by 2020 –Mason will achieve a 50% energy intensity reduction from 2006 levels.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Buildings plan(s):

George Mason University's Energy department and Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Dining Services/Food:

From purchasing local seasonal produce whenever possible to reducing inorganic and organic waste, Mason Dining is dedicated to providing the Mason community with an exceptional dining experience that is good for the diner and good for the planet. This commitment was formalized with Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Plan. The Better Tomorrow Plan includes 14 commitments for a brighter future by focusing on three key priorities: health, community and planet. For more information, please visit
https://gmu.sodexomyway.com/planet/index.xhtml


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

Mason Dining and Sodexo has several objectives including:
--We will ensure compliance with a Global Sustainable Supply Chain Code of Conduct in all th countries where we operate by 2015
--We will source local, seasonal, or sustainably grown and raised products in all the countries where we operate by 2015
--We will source sustainable fish and seafood in all the countries where we operate by 2015
--We will source and promote sustainable equipment and supplies in all the countries where we operate by 2020
--We will reduce our carbon footprint in all the countries where we operate an at clients' sites by 2020
--We will reduce our water footprint in all the countries where we operate and at clients' sites by 2020
--We will reduce organic waste in all the countries where we operate and at clients' sites by 2015. We will support initiatives to recover organic waste
--We will reduce non-organic waste in al the countries where we operate and at clients' sites by 2015. We will support initiatives to recover non-organic waste


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

Mason Dining and Sodexo


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Energy:

In 2010, George Mason University released its publically available Climate Action Plan as part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. Since the majority of Mason's emissions are created by its energy use, it is an area of focus for Mason. More information can be found at http://rs.acupcc.org/cap/84/


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Energy plan(s):

Mason measures its progress with two energy intensity values--emissions per student and square foot. Energy intensity metrics will show a 2% decline per year starting in fiscal year 2010 through the end of fiscal year 2012, by 2014 energy intensity down by 10% from 2006, and by 2020 –Mason will achieve a 50% energy intensity reduction from 2006 levels.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Energy plan(s):

George Mason University's Energy department and Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Grounds:

In 2013, Mason included environmental goals and minimum standards into its Design Information Manual which provides guidance to all of its building design teams. In addition, in 2008, Mason outlined detailed landscape guidelines that addresses campus zones, plantings, irrigation, and sustainability within the landscape. More information can be found at http://facilities.gmu.edu/ProjMgmtConst/DesignStandardsManual/index.cfm


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Grounds plan(s):

Some objectives outlined within the environmental standards section of the Design Information Manual that relate to grounds include:
--Use life-cycle cost and life-cycle quantity/quality control modeling to determine the best application of particular best management practices (traditional or low impact
development).
--Mason will designate conservation areas so that when university-owned
forested land is developed, new trees, of the same character and quality as those being removed and in a ratio of two planted to one removed, will be replanted in compliance with reforestation guidelines within Mason's landscaping standards.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Grounds plan(s):

Mason's Land Development team, Grounds team, and Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Purchasing:

George Mason University is a public institution of higher education within the state of Virginia. Therefore, it follows the procurement procedures and processes outlined by the state legislature. Within Virginia's Executive Order 19 (2010) it outlines several areas including energy use, air and water use, waste reduction, and building construction. For more information, http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/PollutionPrevention/VEEP/EO_19.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Purchasing plan(s):

Within Virginia's Executive Order 19 (2010), it states that state institutions need to
follow the waste hierarchy to reduce, reuse, or recycle whenever possible. It also states that as much as possible, materials and supplies purchased by the state, including paper, should be made from recycled and or renewable materials, and be provided with a minimum of packaging. Durable products, rather than disposable, should be used whenever practical. If disposables must be used, they should be biodegradable
or recyclable. The use of remanufactured components should be maximized. If disposable plastics must be used, they should, when practicable, be recyclable plastics only. Paper and other office supplies should be reused and only when beyond viable reuse, recycled.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Purchasing plan(s):

George Mason University Fiscal Services


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Transportation:

In 2010, George Mason University released its publically available Climate Action Plan as part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. Since the transportation sector is a major contributor to Mason's emissions profile, it is an area of focus for Mason. In addition, in 2011, Mason completed its transportation plan which outlined policies, programs, and projects to improve transporation facilities and services. More information can be found at http://rs.acupcc.org/cap/84/ and http://facilities.gmu.edu/CampusPlanning/Masterplans/upload/GMU_FxCampus_TransMgmtPlan_Final.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Transportation plan(s):

Measurable objectives for transportation include percentage of Mason community commuting to Mason campuses in single-occupancy vehicles declines by 5% by 2014 and by 10% by 2020 from 2010 levels.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Transportation plan(s):

George Mason University's Parking and Transportation department


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Waste:

In 2010, George Mason University released its publically available Climate Action Plan as part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment. Recycling and waste management is incorporated within that document. In addition, Mason is a public institution of higher education within the state of Virginia. Therefore, it follows the procedures and processes outlined by the state legislature. Within Virginia's Executive Order 19 (2010) it outlines several areas including energy use, air and water use, waste reduction, and building construction. For more information, please refer to http://rs.acupcc.org/cap/84/ and http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/PollutionPrevention/VEEP/EO_19.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Waste plan(s):

Recycling Rate increased to 25% by 2014 is one objective included in the waste plans.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Waste plan(s):

George Mason University's Recycling and Waste Management department and Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Water:

In 2013, Mason included environmental goals and minimum standards into its Design Information Manual which provides guidance to all of its building design teams. In addition, Mason is currently working on a detailed stormwater management plan. More information can be found at http://facilities.gmu.edu/ProjMgmtConst/DesignStandardsManual/index.cfm


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Water plan(s):

Several objectives within the Design Information Manual related to water include:
--Mason appreciates the assistance of its Design Teams to evaluate and integrate innovative technologies to address the challenges of harvesting, storing, reclaiming, and reusing its water resources. Design Teams may need to collaborate with and address concerns of local governing authorities in certain locations and situations.
--Water use in new buildings and existing building renovations shall be 30%
below the Energy Policy Act of 1992 standards. Therefore, all new construction and existing building renovations shall have water efficient fixtures and products installed, such as low-flow faucets, showerheads, toilets, and appliances.
--Where possible, Mason encourages aquifer replenishment by allowing water to filter slowly into the groundwater table. Where it is feasible, use open channel storm drainage and vegetated swales for stormwater conveyance instead of pipes.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Water plan(s):

Geoge Mason University Land Development team, Grounds team, Energy department, and Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:

Within Mason's 2014-2024 Stategic Plan, Mason states that it will create an inclusive and diverse academic community that reflects the diversity in the National Capitol region as well as be a good return on investment for its students. More information is available at http://strategicplan.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/GMU_Strategic_Plan_Web.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

Some objectives in the Strategic Plan include:
--Diversity metrics by faculty ranks and staff groups will increase by 50 percent in underrepresented groups.
--Create new collaborations with Virginia community colleges and other institutions to
facilitate affordable access.
--Adopt a tuition policy that supports a quality education while delivering best-in-class
return on investment for students.
--Mason will establish partnerships and more financial aid and scholarships that provide affordable ways for students to complete a Mason education.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

George Mason University's Office of Compliance, Diversity, and Ethics along with the Office of Admissions


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:

Within Mason's 2014-2024 Stategic Plan, Mason states that it will become a model well-being university that allows all of its members to thrive. More information is available at http://strategicplan.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/GMU_Strategic_Plan_Web.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

Some objectives related to that goal include:
--Bring compensation of faculty, staff, and graduate assistants to competitive levels.
--Establish a university-wide center for the advancement of well-being.
--Build curricular and co-curricular programs that help students achieve well-being
outcomes.
--Provide our communities and alumni with access to well-being assessment and
practices.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

George Mason University Human Resources department and Center for the Advancement of Well-Being.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the other plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the other plan(s):
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The institution’s definition of sustainability:

The definition of sustainability follows the World Commission on the Environment and Development which is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Mason also refers to the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.


Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

Within Mason's value statement, the university states that "We are careful stewards.
We manage the economic and natural resources entrusted to us responsibly and sustainably." For more information, go to http://strategicplan.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/GMU_Strategic_Plan_Web.pdf


The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:

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.