Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.05
Liaison Yumiko Jakobcic
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Grand Valley State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Yumiko Jakobcic
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Practices
"---" 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 Yes Yes
Other No No

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

2010-2015 Stragetic Plan: Objective 3.6: By 2015, students will have the opportunity to take course work or participate in internships and domestic and global service learning experiences that focus on best practices in sustainability.


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

Sub-objective 3.6.1: By 2013, 10% of students will have access to high impact service learning, internships, and co-op experiences in sustainability practice. Sub-objective 3.6.2: By 2015, students will have the opportunity to pursue a certificate or other credentials that certifies their sustainability expertise.


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

University administrators including the Provost's office


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

Objective 5.3 states that by 2013, training is provided to faculty to use new and current pedagogical best practices and technologies to achieve student learning outcomes in all academic programs, including sustainability programs. Objective 5.4 states that by 2015, the university has established and maintains programs to incentive faculty members’, staff members’, and students’ contributions to the knowledge base, including the development of new means to recognize and reward outstanding intellectual and creative products.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

By 2015, 50% of teaching and learning spaces are enhanced to support new pedagogies. By 2011, the university has developed a comprehensive support structure for faculty, staff, and student scholarship and creative practices.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Faculty and administrators, including the Provost's office


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

Sustainability is a value of the university and in that value statement is a commitment to “model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, encouraging environmental stewardship, and creating efficiencies and value for the work we perform”.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

By 2011, a baseline of financial resources was established including the Sustainable Reinvestment Fund. By 2012, data collection and analysis was implemented to identify needs and outcomes.


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

Office of Student Life and the Office of Sustainability Practices


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

Community is another stated value of the university, and that value statement includes sustainability aspects, such as diversity, equity, and support for local communities. That value statement reads as such: “Grand Valley State University values its connections to, participation with, and responsibility for local communities, the West Michigan region, the state, the nation, and the world. The university embraces the participation of diverse individuals, groups, and organizations from every corner of the globe and both encourages and supports the participation of its students, faculty, and staff in educational opportunities abroad. To foster and expand these community connections, the institution and its members promote, value, and honor diverse perspectives. We seek to act with integrity, communicate openly and honestly, and accept responsibility for our words and actions.”

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

GVSU's mission states that the university will educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies. The university’s new strategic plan, to be implemented 2015 – 2021, includes the following outcome related to public and community engagement: Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations and connections with local, state, national and world communities. Objectives specific to public engagement are still being finalized, but they include measurable outcomes on the percentage of courses that will include community-based learning, percentages of faculty and staff who have relationships outside the institution, and data collection on community partnerships.


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

Office for Community Engagement


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

GVSU's President has signed the ACUPCC agreement as well as the Talloires Declaration. The University updated its climate and institutional data, and its climate inventory and GHG emissions for the FY 2013-14.


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

GVSU seeks to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. To date, 200+ energy efficiency projects have been successfully completed over the past decade, generating ~$2 million in annual cost savings.


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

Facilities Planning, Facilities Services, Operations, Office of Sustainability Practices


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

GVSU’s Office of Facility Planning has a policy that all renovated or newly constructed space must meet a minimum of LEED Silver guidelines.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

By 2015, an additional 500,000-750,000 net sq. ft. will be constructed based on minimum LEED Silver standards


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

Facilities Planning


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

Campus Dining’s master plan includes sustainability measures such as sourcing local food options, and providing vegetarian and vegan protein substitutes in all dining locations.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Campus Dining tracks the percentage of local food purchased as well as the percentage of conventionally raised animal products purchased.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Campus Dining


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

GVSU maintains a campus Climate Action Plan, which sets time parameters for energy reliance on certain sources.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

At the moment the University is continuing to partake in the ACUPCC and AASHE reporting mechanisms which cover some of the objectives and timeframes. The University monitors energy usage on a daily basis and compares yearly consumption for benchmarking purposes. We continue to look at renewable energy in the form of wind, solar, biomass, and photovoltaics.


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

Facilities Services


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

Because GVSU building projects adhere to a minimum LEED Silver certification, our grounds practices are in line with criteria needed to secure that rating.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

LEED standards require every building project to include open green spaces nearby. Features like green roofs and rain gardens are also assessed for value.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Facilities Services, Office of Sustainability Practices


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

Goal seven of GVSU’s master plan states that “Grand Valley’s stakeholders are aware of and supportive of the university’s financial decisions”.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Objective 7.1 states that annually, the university maintains and monitors its practices to reduce its overall exposure to business and catastrophic risks at acceptable levels. Objective 7.3 states that by 2010, at least 75% of faculty are familiar with the university’s strategic budgeting priorities and the financial consequences of the institution’s decisions relative to issues such as change in the general fund budget, pay equity, salary compression and tuition.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Procurement Services


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

GVSU’s master campus plan includes a goal of creating parking facilities to support 2.5 people per space, which is below the national average. The plan also includes a recommendation to grow the Allendale campus into a ‘transit oriented campus’, which would increase pedestrian connectivity and provide more bicycle parking spaces.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

GVSU’s transportation staff conduct an annual survey to see how many students are using alternative forms of transportation, including the bus, bicycles, walking, carpooling and car-sharing.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Facilities Services and The Rapid.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

GVSU’s policy to construct buildings to a minimum of LEED Silver certification includes provisions like offering waste sorting stations in buildings and diverting construction and demolition waste from the landfill.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

GVSU tracks and monitors all waste streams from every building on a weekly basis. The goal was to reach a 50% diversion rate by 2015.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Facilities Services and Campus Dining


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

GVSU’s LEED policy also takes water efficiency and use into consideration. The campus master plan also recognizes protected wetland areas and the ravines.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

The University monitors water usage on a daily basis and compares yearly consumption for benchmarking purposes. The University does not target a specific goal of reduction but strives to reduce water consumption in housing buildings, academic buildings, and irrigation through design, procedures, system modifications and education.


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

Facilities Services


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

Objective 2.1 states that undergraduate students will have the opportunity for achieving intercultural competence training that is official certified. Objective 2.2 states that 100% of faculty and staff will have had the opportunity to participate in graduate levels of intercultural competence training. Other objectives state that the diversity of faculty, staff and students will expand.


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

Objective 2.1 had a goal of completion by 2012. Objective 2.2 has a goal of completion by 2015. Diversity expansion objectives have a goal of completion by 2015 and will be partly demostrated by the annual Workforce Utilization Analysis: Affirmative Action Plan document.


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

Office of Inclusion, and admissions and recruitment offices


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

GVSU has assembled a Wellness Taskforce composed of staff and faculty from various departments. Our mission is to increase collaboration and awareness among campus partners to identify wellness opportunities for GVSU students, faculty and staff, and act upon those opportunities to develop a campus culture that supports good health and well-being.


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

Our annual goals include identify current wellness initiatives and projects for awareness and decrease redundancy where possible, identify health and wellness needs for the campus community that are not being met, provide health and wellness recommendations for the 2015 GVSU strategic plan, and promote collective health and wellness efforts to students, faculty and staff.


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

Human Resources acts as the coordinator for the Wellness Taskforce, which is composed of staff and faculty from various departments including Sustainability, Movement Sciences, Campus Recreation, and Operations.


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

Goal seven of GVSU’s master plan states that “Grand Valley’s stakeholders are aware of and supportive of the university’s financial decisions”.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Objective 7.1 states that annually, the university maintains and monitors its practices to reduce its overall exposure to business and catastrophic risks at acceptable levels. Objective 7.3 states that by 2010, at least 75% of faculty are familiar with the university’s strategic budgeting priorities and the financial consequences of the institution’s decisions relative to issues such as change in the general fund budget, pay equity, salary compression and tuition.

+ Date Revised: March 26, 2015

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

Financial Aid, Finance & Administration Office


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:

Sustainability is about meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


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:

GVSU values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty, staff, and students without compromising the needs and resources of future generations. We are committed to working with our community partners to create a sustainable future for our university, our community, and our region. We will model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, encouraging environmental stewardship, and creating efficiencies and value for the work we perform. We will provide our students with excellence in education for sustainable development by imbedding theory, systems-oriented thinking, and service learning into our curricular and extracurricular programs.


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.