Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.76
Liaison James Speer
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Indiana State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.25 / 4.00 Nicholas McCreary
Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
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A copy of the strategic plan:
The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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):

Statements related to sustainability in the ISU Strategic Plan and the ISU Master Plan

The ISU Strategic Plan includes aspects of sustainability but it is not incorporated in its entirety at a high level.
• make progress in recruiting more minorities and women in executive and professional staff positions, so that the gap in composition of these employee groups and the diversity of our student body is narrowed by 50 percent;
•The following are statements from the ISU Strategic Plan dealing with sustainability. make progress in hiring African American faculty, so that the gap between this group and the percentage of African Americans in our student body is narrowed by 50 percent;
• increase amount of direct and indirect financial support provided by the University to community, social, cultural, and economic development groups;
• increase student participation in outreach activities each year, until, by fall 2014, 100 percent of ISU students have at least one community engagement experience before graduation;
• Energize downtown to create a great college town;
• Develop the neighborhoods around ISU;
• Create a gateway to ISU and a bridge to the Riverscape.

The ISU Master Plan states the following things related to sustainability. Out of eight master tenants of the plan, four of them deal with sustainability.
4. Maintain and improve the compact campus form building upon the valued pedestrian friendly aspect of the existing environs. ISU has evolved into a cohesive, moderately scaled, pedestrian-oriented campus where buildings and open space form a reasonably tight and pleasing weave of urban fabric. Future improvements should seek to limit the geographic growth of the academic, administration and housing land uses in favor of a pedestrian-oriented compact built form.
5. Improve the campus in a manner that supports the redevelopment of the riverfront in downtown Terre Haute.
7. Improve the campus in a manner that supports the continued development of downtown Terre Haute with the intent of realizing a vital college town atmosphere. A successful and urbane mixed use central business district will enhance the perceptions of the ISU campus. The new uses should include additional housing, offices and retail.
8. Improve the campus in a manner that responds to contemporary and practical sustainable design practices. ISU embraces an increasingly sustainable existence. This may impact nearly every aspect of operations and may include intense scrutiny on energy consumption, but may also reflect the importance of water resources, fauna and flora, air quality and more. Projecting a progressive posture on these issues will enhance ISU. As society becomes increasingly sensitive to sustainability, institutions
of higher learning are expected to provide a leadership role to lead the general populace in these matters. It has become common for universities to expend effort to project an environmentally friendly image.

The following provides some more detail about the thoughts in the ISU Master Plan.
As society becomes increasingly sensitive to sustainability, institutions of higher learning are expected to provide a leadership role to lead the general populace in these matters. It has become common for universities to expend effort to project an environmentally friendly image. ISU has already started this process as evidenced by the recycling center amongst other successes. Extending this momentum to a discussion about the landscape leads to conversations about the naturalized landscapes that require less embodied energy and are more completely capable of supporting native fauna. Developing a more sustainable landscape is one of the most visible ways to impact an institution’s image. This master plan seeks to start a few important changes:
• A reduction in the use of cultivated lawns. The intent would be to lean toward limiting the use of cultivated lawns to areas where people will use a lawn (Frisbee throwing, etc.)
• With the reduction of cultivated lawns comes the opportunity to substitute plant materials that are more capable of thriving without irrigation.
• Greater reliance upon native plant materials. Native fauna has evolved with a reliance upon a native plant food source. Displacing native plants with exotic species reduces the stability of the native fauna and is considered a contributor to the reduction in biodiversity.

Lighting
ISU has recently selected new campus lighting standards that will be used throughout campus.
The standards should be evaluated as it relates to sustainable design issues such as dark sky and
migratory bird impacts and the evolving LED lamp technology. The LED lamps offer large energy
savings and the public is more aware of the impact of unrestrained light.

Rankin Hall Plaza Renovation
The plaza west of Rankin Hall is in need of major renovation. The plaza serves as a roof over the
campus computing center and the roof is a permanent leak threat with potential for significant
water intrusion. ISU installed a green roof at this location in 2013.

riverSCAPE
The City of Terre Haute and County of Vigo have been engaged in riverfront redevelopment planning
activities. The intent is to create mixed use/park areas on the east bank of the Wabash. The
efforts include large tracts of underutilized land and will require decades to realize. The proposed
improvements include the area west of the ISU campus.

Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area (Wetland)
A wetland reserve is being planned for large areas of the Wabash River flood plain including areas
immediately west of the ISU campus. This will provide high-quality natural areas for ISU students,
faculty and staff to enjoy and utilize for teaching purposes.

Terre Haute Central Business District Planning
The City of Terre Haute has been working with Downtown Terre Haute, Inc. in an effort to realize
a more vital central business district. The groups are interested in preserving the historic fabric,
while employing good urban design practices to achieve a more active and pedestrian friendly
core.

Alternative Transportation
A number of public agencies within Vigo County have been involved with the planning and
construction of an alternative transportation system. Included within the system is the:
• National Road Heritage Trail
• riverSCAPE
• Future bike lanes to the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area (Wetland)

Landscape Character
The character of the ISU landscape has continuously evolved since its inception, largely responding to the influences of fashion trends and building programs. In many instances, the planting design reinforces the structure of the campus improvements through the ordered placement of trees consistent with the layout of the adjacent architecture and hardscape, both of which typically respond to the former urban grid. Many of the informal green spaces break from the geometric patterns and offer a more casual respite.
The planted understory is typically loosely defined, often times a mix of woody and perennial plant material, and used to direct pedestrian traffic patterns. More often than not, the ground plane is an irrigated lawn. The plant materials are a mix of exotic and native species and a mix of evergreen and deciduous.
As society trends further toward sustainable design practices, the use of exotic species and unrestrained cultivated lawns will be more challenging to continue. There are numerous reasons why ISU will feel the need to alter planting design practices including:
Water resources • will become more highly valued and will likely cause many midwestern institutions to use more efficient irrigation systems and to limit irrigation to premium green spaces.
• Cultivated lawns require the application of problematic chemicals in order to acquire and retain the desired lush green appearance.
• Cultivated lawns require frequent mowing resulting in the consumption of fossil fuels.
• Native species offer a much more complete food source for the native fauna, helping to increase bio-diversity.
• The use of native plant associations is an easy way for institutions to project an environmentally progressive image.
• The use of native and adapted plant associations can result in lower maintenance costs.
It should be noted that native plant associations, particularly the alternatives to cultivated lawns, result in a different aesthetic for the landscape. Some individuals may find the alternative look less attractive though acceptance often results from an awareness of the environmental benefits.

Campus Density & capacity
The ISU students, faculty, staff and visitors are able to enjoy and benefit from a compact campus form. The moderate density of the existing environment facilitates convenient pedestrian and bicyclist commutes across the entire breadth of the main campus and the central business district. In addition to the sustainable forms of transportation, the current density levels foster the development of a vibrant and character filled physical environment in which buildings shape outdoor green respites.

Alternative Transportation & Mass Transit
Indiana State University has developed components of an alternative transportation system and has been involved with building momentum in the greater Terre Haute community for such facilities. Bike lanes have been established along the north edge of campus linking the campus to a planned rail-trail project serving the east side of Terre Haute.

The recently provided bike lanes link to a bike trail located on 4th Street. The bike lanes effectively link the campus to the near south side of Terre Haute and to the University Apartments. Planned additions to the trail system offer the opportunity to link to the planned riverfront parks on the east and west banks of the Wabash adjacent to downtown Terre Haute.

Terre Haute’s new multi-modal facility transportation is located on the ISU campus at the corner of 7th Street and US 40 (Cherry Street, National Road). Bus service is available at the multi-modal facility and a shuttle serving the ISU campus operates out of the facility.

Rainwater Management
The recent evolution of the Clean Water Act and trends in sustainable design have led to substantial changes in the way large institutions, like ISU, are managing rain water. No longer are we seeking to discharge rain water as quickly as possible. Good practices in the early 21st century include efforts to minimize runoff and to cleanse the rain water before we do discharge it to our neighbors downstream. ISU has been utilizing infiltration basins the past couple of decades for the purpose of returning rain water to the aquifer, an environmentally sound practice that has effectively taken large tracts of land off the City’s combined sewer system as well as saved meaningful amounts of money for ISU. This practice should continue to be used.

The northern limits of the campus lie within a wellfield protection district. Special care will need to be taken when working in these areas as direct discharges of polluted rain water into the aquifer cannot be allowed to happen. In many cases, the answer may be as simple as pushing the rain water through a vegetated area with a deep bed of previous soil. Functioning much like a septic system, the soil microbes will consume the pollutants.


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Maintain and expand the sustainability minor (the number of courses)
Maintain and improve the sustainability research guide (the number of resources)
Increase the number of research opportunities through sustainability (the number of student research projects)
Maintain and Improve the Sustainability Fellows program (the number of fellows)
Develop an undergraduate and graduate sustainability major (establishing the programs)
Create an introduction to sustainability course (the number of students enrolled)
Develop a sustainability workshop for faculty (develop a workshop)
Assess the sustainability literacy of incoming and outgoing students (the number of students assessed)


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Increase the number of research opportunities through sustainability (the number of student research projects)


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 following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Improve Sustainability marketing and branding (the number of social media followers)
Maintain and improve Earth Day (the number of event attendees)
Maintain and improve the sustainability website (establish new website)
Develop a Green Greek program (establish program)
Develop a green wall for Lincoln Dining Hall (develop wall)
Develop an eco-rep/professional development program (establish program)
Add sustainability into new student transition programming (have printed material in one event)
Infuse sustainability into current campus tours (develop sustainability tour guide)
Develop a Green Office Certification Program (develop certificate program)


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Maintain and improve the Community Garden (the number of new plots or programs at the community garden)
Maintain and improve the relationship with CCE (the number of OS partnerships/programs in CCE)
Develop a permaculture food forest at the Community Garden (the number of community gardens developed)
Maintain and improve cooking classes (the number of cooking classes)
Develop a Community Garden Advisory Council (develop council)
Develop an aquaponics system at the Community Garden (have an aquaponics system operating)
Develop a community green guide (guide developed)
Become Bee Campus USA certified (complete certification)
Develop and maintain a sustainability focused alumni network (develop network)
Develop and maintain sustainable landscape workshops for community members (establish workshops)
Develop and maintain a community e-waste recycling drive (amount of e-waste collected)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
No

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

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Develop a plan to sub-meter buildings across campus (written plan completed)
Update and improve the Energy Star appliance policy (have an updated plan)
Develop an energy reduction competition between non-residential buildings competition (amount of energy reduced)
Develop a residence hall energy reduction competition (amount of energy reduced)

Require that renovations of existing buildings or during the demolition of old buildings that the materials be recycled
Develop a history of construction on campus


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 following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Develop a wind turbine farm on a remote site (wind farm developed)
Reduce peak usage which will lower overall costs with Duke Energy (amount of energy reduced)
Plan for how to prohibit personal refrigerators and provide high efficiency (plan implemented)
Update and improve the Energy Star appliance policy (have an updated plan)


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Develop a plan for Meatless Mondays (written plan completed)
Ban the sale of plastic disposable water bottles on campus (ban enacted)
Develop and facilitate waste competitions on campus (competition established)
Increase local purchases to 20% of total purchases over 4 years (20% increase in 4 years)


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:

The Strategic Plan and the Indiana Wildlife Federation plan have measurable objectives to increase the number of native plants in our grounds cover and to increase the biodiversity of campus plants for wildlife habitat.


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Develop and encourage the use of a sustainable procurement policy (develop policy)


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Develop a plan to transition Facilities Management vehicles to fuel efficient vehicles (written plan completed)
Update our contract with Enterprise to require hybrid vehicles in our car share (change in the enterprise contract)
Designate priority parking spots for fuel-efficient vehicles (parking spots designated for fuel-efficient vehicles)
Develop a plan to improve carpooling rates (written plan completed)


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:

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Maintain and improve residence hall move out program (amount of waste diverted)
Develop a zero-waste event guide (guide developed)
Develop a plan for Meatless Mondays (written plan completed)
Develop a plan to decrease waste at athletic events (written plan completed)
Develop and facilitate waste competitions on campus (competition established)
Develop and maintain an on-campus thrift shop (store developed)
Develop and encourage the use of a sustainable procurement policy (policy developed)
Ban the sale of plastic disposable water bottles on campus (ban enacted)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
No

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

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Use a social justice ethic to drive sustainability across campus
Maintain and improve the Taboo Topics speaker series (number of students attending the series)
Increase the number of students from underrepresented groups leading sustainability projects (number of students)
Act as a strong ally for departments, offices, and organizations that empower systematically oppressed groups. (number of collaborations)
Recommend that verbiage regarding non-discrimination policy is carried throughout university departments and student organizations (changes made)
Ensure that all classes that are labeled as being "sustainability" courses include the three pillars of sustainability (collect documentation and share on Inclusive Excellence website)
Offer an environmental justice course (class developed)


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
No

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

The following measurable objectives are found in the published Sustainability Plan (found https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability under the "Sustainability Plan" tab):

Develop a Green Office Certification program (certificate program developed)
Increase local/healthier meal options in The Commons (change in the food options in The Commons)
Develop a fit for work program (program developed)


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)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

Sustainability includes environmental, economic, and social concerns. We care about creating green jobs, communities that are enjoyable for all people, and being good stewards of the environmental resources that make our lives, and the lives of other sentient beings, possible. Sustainability means taking pride in our community, taking responsibility for its welfare, and taking action to help sustain the quality of life right here in our own backyard.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The phrases in "( )" after a sentence in the objectives indicate the measure.

The ISU Strategic Plan with its measurable benchmarks is available at the following website.
http://irt2.indstate.edu/cms/sp/

Facilities Management Planning page can be found at the following link.
https://www2.indstate.edu/facilities/capital.html

The published sustainability plan can be found at https://www.indstate.edu/university-engagement/sustainability underneath the "Sustainability Plan" tab

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.