Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 4.00 Meghan Chapple
Director of Sustainability, Senior Advisor on University Sustainability Initiatives
Office of 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?:
Yes

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

Measurable objectives, strategies and time frames are listed across all the goals in the in GW’s Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy. Each of the seven goals of the plan have sub-goals, targets, and tactics that signal GW is making progress towards the overarching goal. Below is an example of how academics are integrated into the plan.

The full report can be found here:
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012%20%281%29.pdf

Progress updates and revised goals can be found in the GW Sustainability Progress Report here:

https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/Progress%20Report%20GW%20Urban%20Sustainability_0.pdf

Target 4.6:
Integrate food studies into curriculum and research initiatives at the university.
Indicator Number of courses offered that integrate food studies

During the 2019-20 academic year, the George Washington University is undertaking a strategic planning process to develop a plan that guides the university’s direction over the next five years. The plan comes at a historic moment in the university’s life: It will lead GW toward its bicentennial celebration in 2021 and beyond, shaping the institution as it enters its third century.

Sustainable GW has published a letter that outlines specific opportunities for integrating sustianability representing the hundreds of students, faculty, and staff involved in the Sustainable GW community. The letter outlines specific ways that Sustainable GW can be a vital partner in achieving the goals of the university strategic plan. Sustainable GW’s union of research, teaching, practice, and external engagement across schools, functions, and through the work of students, faculty and staff, includes important
experiences that can be more widely applied to achieve the goals of the new Strategic Plan.


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

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

Measurable objectives, strategies and time frames are listed across all the goals in the in GW’s Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy. Each of the seven goals of the plan have sub-goals, targets, and tactics that signal GW is making progress towards the overarching goal. Below are examples of how campus engagement is integrated across two goals, but in fact campus engagement is integrated across seven goals, and they can all be found here:
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012%20%281%29.pdf

Progress updates and revised goals can be found in the GW Sustainability Progress Report here:

https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/Progress%20Report%20GW%20Urban%20Sustainability_0.pdf

Goal 6 primarily focuses on aspects of campus engagement.

Target 1.2A Design guidelines around outdoor space that are habitat friendly and promote noninvasive plants Tactic 6) Use the campus as a living laboratory for conducting a campus-wide habitat assessment
Indicator % of university spend on non-invasive and/or native plants

Target 2.1A Offset sq. ft. loss of existing tree canopy and green cover from natural causes or development with new plantings. Tactic 3) Encourage the increased use of public transport by students, staff, and faculty to reduce demand for parking spaces
Indicator No net loss of existing tree canopy and green cover

Target 2.2 Enhance livability of indoor space and increase indoor air filtration capacity Tactic 2) Encourage the adoption of potted plants or other greenery as part of the Green Office Program
Indicator Plantings in indoor spaces

Target 2.3A By 2025, reduce campus GHG emissions by 54,000 MtCO2e through building energy efficiency and conservation measures. Tactic 5) Install building dashboards and kiosks to encourage behavior change and engage the campus community in energy reduction efforts
Indicator MtCO2e emitted due to on-site building energy consumption

Target 2.4A Establish staff telecommuting policies for offices on each GW campus
Indicator MtCO2e emitted due to student, faculty, and staff commuting
Tactics 1) Promote lower carbon commuting options via incentives such as Capital BikeShare,
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) rail and bus lines, carpooling, rideshare etc.
2) Offer programs and incentives to support increased use of telecommuting and alternative work schedule options
3) Use video/teleconferencing options where available for regularly scheduled staff meetings
3) Promote staff air travel purchases via iBuy to enable better tracking of travel expenditures, mileage, and associated emissions
4) Enhance remote teleconferencing and computing capability to reduce air travel demand
5) Use non-stop flights when available
6) Encourage the use of rail for travel within 250-300 miles whenever available

Target 2.7A Draft a sustainable procurement strategy for three major purchase categories (e.g. paper, electronics, water, furniture, food, vehicles, textiles) by 2015
Tactics 1) Engage GW students and vendors in eco-labeling/carbon foot printing project of products sold on campus
5) Adopt paperless initiatives on campus for conferences, events, and meetings
6) Formalize campus-wide reuse program to reduce demand for new equipment and other purchases
7) Implement green purchasing training and awareness program

Target 2.8 Mitigate air travel mileage of GW staff and faculty
Tactics 1) Continue to refine air travel emissions tracking and measuring capability
2) Negate remaining emissions by purchasing credible local offset
3) Promote staff air travel purchases via iBuy to enable better tracking of travel expenditures, mileage, and associated emissions
4) Enhance remote teleconferencing and computing capability to reduce air travel demand
5) Use non-stop flights when available
6) Encourage the use of rail for travel within 250-300 miles whenever available

Target 6.1 Increased campus sustainability programming/awareness and increased access to local natural spaces for the GW community
Indicator Number of events, Green Grad Pledgees, Campus Survey, Number of Eco-reps, Number of offices participating in the Green Office Program

Target 6.2 Increase GW community's awareness of and engagement with regional natural areas
Indicator No. of projects/Total Volunteer Hours/No. of partners


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

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

Measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes are listed across all the goals in the in GW’s Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy. Each of the seven goals of the plan have sub-goals, targets, and tactics that signal GW is making progress towards the overarching goal. The GW Climate Action Plan provides recommendations and examples of changes to reduce energy consumption. Below are examples of how energy is integrated in both plans’ goals and strategies, they can all be found here:

https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012%20%281%29.pdf
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%20%281%29.pdf

Progress updates and revised goals can be found in the GW Sustainability Progress Report here:

https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/Progress%20Report%20GW%20Urban%20Sustainability_0.pdf

Target 2.3: Reduce GW's total carbon footprint by 80% by 2040
Indicator: MtCO2e emitted due to on-site building energy consumption

Target 2.5: Generate 10% of energy demand through on-site low-carbon technologies by 2040
Indicator: kWh output from on-campus renewable generation

Target 2.6: Decrease the carbon intensity of the region’s electricity fuel mix and create a system for credible, local carbon offsets
Indicator: MtCO2e emitted through electricity and natural gas (heating) consumption

Recommendations: Expand IT Systems Enabling Energy Reductions, Target the Equivalent of LEED Silver on All New Buildings, Focusing on Energy Efficiency Points, and Expand Eco-challenge Activities and Energy Efficiency Policies


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?:
Yes

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

Measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes are listed in the in GW’s Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy. Each of the seven goals of the plan have sub-goals, targets, and tactics that signal GW is making progress towards the overarching goal. They can all be found here:

https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012%20%281%29.pdf

Progress updates and revised goals can be found in the GW Sustainability Progress Report here:

https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/Progress%20Report%20GW%20Urban%20Sustainability_0.pdf

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION
The ecosystems services approach of GW's sustinability plan is geared towards human interaction with natural resources such that society recognizes and manages to the limits of the system, and works to enhance the system so that it serves humankind in both an equitable and diverse manner. The goal of sustainable development is to serve all people across generations and across societal delineations such as economic,racial, and cultural strata. And so, the GW Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy begins to address the
social aspects of sustainability and how the sustainability initiative supports the other strategic initiatives at GW.

INVESTMENT
Below are examples of how investment is addressed:
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/sustainability.gwu.edu/files/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012.pdf.
Target 7.0: Develop a framework for considering sustainability trends and issues as part of the evaluation of strategic investment opportunities and risks
Indicator: Percentage of investments that is sustainable

WELL BEING
Measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes are listed across all the goals in the in GW’s Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy. Each of the seven goals of the plan have sub-goals, targets, and tactics that signal GW is making progress towards the overarching goal. Below are examples of how Health and Wellbeing are integrated across 7 goals other examples can be seen here
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/sustainability.gwu.edu/files/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012.pdf.

Target 1.3: Reduce interior and exterior light pollution from university owned and operated facilities
Indicator: % or # of new construction or major renovation projects meeting LEED light pollution reduction requirements

Target 2.2 Enhance livability of indoor space and increase indoor air filtration capacity
Indicator plantings in indoor spaces

Target 4.1 Produce food on campus
Indicator Pounds of food produced on campus

Target 6.1 Increased campus sustainability programming/awareness and increased access to local natural spaces for the GW community
Indicator: number of events, green grad pledgees, campus survey, number of eco-reps, number of offices in green office program


Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
No

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
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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?:
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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?:
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability:

According to the UN’s Brundtland Commission, sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
GW’s mission for sustainability is to create resource systems that are healthy and thriving for all, and has made commitments to do so through its business decisions such as energy
procurement and investment options, as well as weaving sustainability into all corners of the university. Faculty research and teaching efforts around sustainability range from food security, climate change, environmental justice, energy innovation, ecosystem protection, disaster preparedness, and issues of social equity such as housing discrimination to human rights.


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) Yes
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

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

As part of Second Nature Climate Leadership network, GW made the Climate Commitment, which integrates carbon neutrality with climate resilience and provides a systems approach to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate.

GW is a signatory to the Talloires Declaration, the first official statement made by university presidents, chancellors, and rectors of a commitment to environmental sustainability in higher education.

We Are Still In. In June 2017 George Washington University joined hundreds of higher education presidents, governors, mayors, businesses and investors in signing a letter saying that they intend to support climate actions to support the 2015 Paris Agreement. The open letter was titled “We Are Still In.”

In 2018, GW joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership. The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that helps increase green power use among U.S. organizations to advance the American market for green power and development of those sources as a way to reduce air pollution and other environmental impacts associated with electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,700 partners voluntarily using more than 45.5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. As the anchor of the Capital Partners Solar Project, GW signed a 20-year solar power purchase agreement with Duke Energy Renewables and also generates green power on-site through several solar photovoltaic systems. As recognized by the EPA, George Washington University is helping advance the voluntary market for green power and development of those sources.

GW President Thomas LeBlanc along with the other eight public and private universities located in the District of Columbia have agreed to the University Sustainability Pledge with DC Mayor Muriel Bowser. The pledge, based on a compact first signed by all DC-based higher education institutions in 2012, demonstrates the shared commitment of its signatories to meeting the District of Columbia’s goal of becoming the “healthiest, greenest, most livable city in America by 2032 through leadership in sustainability and hold climate action.”


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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GW's Current Progress Report:
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/Progress%20Report%20GW%20Urban%20Sustainability_0.pdf

GW's Current Sustainability Scorecard:
https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/SUST-1819-6%20ZCard%20Brochure_Web.pdf

Ecosystems Enhancement Strategy: https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Ecosystems%20Enhancement%20Strategy%202012%20%281%29.pdf

Climate Action Plan: https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/sustainability.gwu.edu/files/downloads/GW%20Climate%20Action%20Plan.pdf

GWater Plan: https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/sustainability.gwu.edu/files/downloads/GWater%20Plan.pdf

GW Zero Waste Plan: https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Roadmap%20to%20Zero%20Waste%20_FINAL3_without%20Costs%20%281%29%20%281%29.pdf

Climate Leadership Commitment: http://reporting.secondnature.org/ape/ape-public!284

GW Sustainable Landscapes Guidelines: https://sustainability.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2861/f/downloads/GW%20Sustainable%20Landscape%20Guidelines%20July%202017.compressed%20%281%29.pdf

GW Strategic Plan: The GW Strategic Plan framework is a formal and permanent outline of the plan. Sustainability is a minor theme in that the framework addresses the responsible stewardship of resources, inclusive of the Earth and its systems.

Talloires Declaration: http://ulsf.org/96-2/#US

Paris Agreement: https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/george-washington-joins-us-effort-support-2015-paris-agreement

U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership: www.epa.gov/greenpower

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.