Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.79
Liaison Yumiko Jakobcic
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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 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:

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.


A copy of the strategic plan:
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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:
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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):
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:

During the 2016-2021 strategic planning timeframe, GVSU will increase the number of sustainability related courses to 250 from a baseline of 200 in 2015.

During the 2016-2021 strategic planning timeframe, GVSU will increase the number of programs with at least one sustainability related learning outcome to 25 from a baseline of 12 in 2015.

https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division


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:

There are currently 93 faculty members engaging in sustainability research, and the objective is to increase from 93 to 100 faculty members from 2016-2021. The Education for Sustainable Development work group reaches out to departments individually to raise awareness about sustainability-related opportunities.

In addition, research-related objectives are included in the strategic plan including to identify, pursue and beta test new clean technologies for energy conservation and efficiency applications. This includes looking for long term energy contracts in the way of fixed pricing and renewables.

https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division


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:

The objective is to provide three awards for sustainability-related efforts on campus by 2021. The hope is to raise awareness by providing more incentives.

https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division


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:

GVSU's mission states that the university will educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies. The university’s strategic plan for 2016 – 2021 includes the following outcomes and objectives related to public and community engagement:

INSTITUTIONAL OUTCOME C Grand Valley has mutually beneficial relationships, partnerships, collaborations, and connections with local, state, national, and world communities.

UNIVERSITY OBJECTIVES
OBJECTIVE 1.A.1 At least 90% of undergraduate students participate in two or more other high-impact learning experiences prior to graduation, in addition to supplemental writing skills, general education courses, and capstone courses.
OBJECTIVE 1.C.2 At least 10% of academic courses incorporate community-based learning experiences.
OBJECTIVE 2.A.1 25% or more of faculty completes training in developing and implementing high-impact student learning experiences.
OBJECTIVE 2.C.1 At least 70% of faculty members participate in one or more external professional relationships.
OBJECTIVE 3.C.1 At least 30% of undergraduate students complete a signature project that integrates their learning and addresses a question or problem important to the student and society.
OBJECTIVE 3.C.2 The university has a systematic approach for documenting and reporting all student and faculty civic engagement activities and community partnerships.
OBJECTIVE 4.C.3 At least 80% of faculty, staff, and students believe GVSU is committed to community engagement.

Specifically, the Office of Sustainability Practices has engaged with Seeds of Promise, a sustainable neighborhood initiative: https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division


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:

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.

Specific objectives include identifying at least 3 classes (new or existing) that use the Consumers Energy Solar Garden as a teaching tool for climate, and reducing Scope 3 emissions.

https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division


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:

Any new construction or renovations will be constructed based on minimum LEED Silver standards.

https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/83D77566-0FCE-1482-0E85CB93ACE30B91/capital_outlay_plan_2020-2024.pdf


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 University monitors energy usage on a daily basis and compares yearly consumption for benchmarking purposes. It will continue to pursue long term energy contracts and look for renewable energy options, and will continue to look at renewable energy in the form of wind, solar, biomass, and photovoltaics; this is included in the Campus Sustainability Strategic Plan (https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division).


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:

GVSU seeks to increase local food purchasing through suppliers and increase the number of healthy options available at each location; this is included in the Campus Sustainability Strategic Plan (https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division).


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:

By 2021, this reputation will be well established through annual environmental assessments. This goal has been included in the GVSU Strategic Plan under the topic of sustainability (http://www.gvsu.edu/spaa/). GVSU was also the first public university in Michigan to be certified by the Michigan Turfgrass Environmental Stewardship Program (MTESP) and adheres to those standards.


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:

By 2021, increase awareness throughout campus of the GVSU Surplus Store, develop a more robust eWaste and scrap metal program, reduce overall paper consumption, and increase use of recycled products such as paper and ink printer cartridges. This goal has been included in the GVSU Strategic Plan under the topic of sustainability (http://www.gvsu.edu/spaa/).


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:

By 2021, reduce Scope 3 emissions and achieve capacity improvements on Route 50. This is included in the Campus Sustainability Strategic Plan (https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division).


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:

By 2021, GVSU will maintain or improve its annual RecycleMania ranking and reduce the amount of food waste. This goal has been included in the GVSU Strategic Plan under the topic of sustainability (http://www.gvsu.edu/spaa/).


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 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. The goal of reducing water consumption has been included in the GVSU Strategic Plan under the topic of sustainability (http://www.gvsu.edu/spaa/).


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:

Many objectives in the strategic plan pertain to diversity and affordability; here is one example (https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=78178686-DC68-FEAE-ED4C3BCBD107FAC8&entityType=division)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:

GVSU maintains a transparent financial budgetary reporting and implementation process that operates with integrity and includes faculty governance and leadership structures. Its strategic plan contains many sustainability-related objectives: https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=82F8F09C-06D0-D99D-2DA742A8273A6FFF&entityType=division

Values include:

Support high quality, student-focused, undergraduate & graduate education provided by faculty dedicated to excellent teaching, scholarship & professional service.
To build partnerships and collaborations between the University and external entities that contribute to the enrichment of society in the region, the state and beyond.
To promote diversity in all aspects of University life.
To effectively develop and allocate financial resources with which to advance the University mission and respond to change and emerging opportunities.
To encourage a vibrant campus culture that fosters an atmosphere of inquiry and learning in all campus settings.
Continuous relationship building with our stakeholders that builds on confidence and trust in our work.
A commitment to sustainability which elevates the University's efforts and goals in this area.

Objectives include:

Development of diverse staff so they have greater opportunity for promotions or opportunities as they open.
To provide all new division employees with information on intercultural and development opportunities within one year of their hire.


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:

There are numerous wellbeing related objectives in the Campus Sustainability strategic plan, including participation in the Partnership for a Healthy America, Exercise is Medicine, and others (https://www.gvsu.edu/strategicplan-view.htm?entityId=8D1A401D-FDC2-01FC-3EBA1D77DCBFD053&entityType=division).


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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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)? :
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The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

Grand Valley State University values the guiding principles of sustainability in helping to meet the current needs of our faculty members, staff members, 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, our region, our state, our nation, and the world. We model applied sustainability best practices in our campus operations and administration, education for sustainable development, student involvement, and community engagement by promoting social responsibility, practicing fiscal responsibility, and encouraging environmental stewardship. We 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.


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
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
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:

We are a partner in the City of Grand Rapid's United Nation's Regional Center of Expertise in Sustainable Development.


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.