Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.88
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date March 20, 2023

STARS v2.2

Lehigh University
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Audrey McSain
Sustainability Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:
The Lehigh Environmental Advisory Group (LEAG) was formed in 2008 by President Alice Gast to advise the university leadership on ways to improve sustainability on campus. LEAG changed its name to the Lehigh Sustainability Council (LSC) in 2017.

With the signing of Lehigh’s Climate Commitment in 2009, LSC took the lead on articulating the goals. LSC advocated for sustainability staff and in 2010, Lehigh hired the first sustainability staff person. In partnership with the Office of Sustainability, LSC has worked with many groups and offices on campus to support the implementation of single-stream recycling; recycling of used engine oil, antifreeze and vehicle tires; the compilation of a Greenhouse Gas inventory; the use of recycled papers and soy-based inks; and increasing the number of "green" office supply purchases. Other initiatives include the creation of the Lehigh Community Garden at the Goodman campus, and the creation of the Sustainable Initiative Grant, which provides small grants to students, faculty and staff to fund sustainability projects. The LSC now supports the Office of Sustainability in implementing the goals in the Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030.

Website URL: https://sustainability.lehigh.edu/LSC-top

Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:
Alec Bodzin, Environmental Initiative Representative (faculty)
Alex Radus, Office of the General Counsel Representative (staff)
Andrew Januszak, Library Technology Services Representative (staff)
Audrey McSain, Ad-Hoc Office of Sustainability Representative (staff)
Barbara Malt, College of Arts and Sciences Representative (faculty)
Bill Hunter, Office of International Affairs Representative (staff)
Brent Stringfellow, Facilities Services Campus Planning Consulting Member (staff)
Christine Lake, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity (staff)
Doug Spengel, Facilities Services Representative (staff)
Rudy Shankar, At Large Faculty/Energy Systems Institute (faculty)
Erin Karahuta, Research Integrity Office (staff)
OPEN, College of Education Representative (faculty)
Jason Gall, Athletic Facilities and Events Representative (staff)
Lyndee Feick, Admissions (staff)
John Fox, College of Engineering and Applied Science Representative (faculty)
Karen Pooley, Co-Chair, At Large Staff (faculty)
Stephen Gross, Communication/Consulting Member (staff)
Katharine Targett Gross, Co-Chair (staff)
Lawrence ‘Ozzie” Breiner, Student Auxiliary Services (staff)
Mark Ironside, Co-Chair/Consulting member (staff)
OPEN, Development and Alumni Relations (staff)
Patricia A. Johnson, Senior Officer Representative/Consulting Member (staff)
Phillip Coles, College of Business (faculty)
Shamell Brandon, Student Affairs Representative (staff)
Nick Masari, Undergraduate Student Representative (student)
Logan Whitall, Undergraduate Student Representative (student)
Benjamin Delin, Graduate Student Representative (student)

Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:

A brief description of each sustainability office:
Lehigh University is focused on advancing the intellectual footprint of the university while treading lightly environmentally and advocating equitably. With a distinctive position to make significant contributions in social equity environmental stewardship and economic prosperity, Lehigh's Office of Sustainability is committed to integrating sustainability throughout the university.

The Office of Sustainability was created to centralize sustainability initiatives and reduce Lehigh's environmental footprint. The Office of Sustainability encourages and facilitates sustainability efforts of students, faculty, and staff and initiates programs that contribute to a sustainable Lehigh.

Website URL: https://sustainability.lehigh.edu/leadership

Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Katharine Targett Gross, Sustainability Officer

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:
Lehigh established the Lehigh Environmental Advisory Group (LEAG) in 2008, now known as the Lehigh Sustainability Council. Since then, a Sustainability Office was started and two full time staff were hired.

Sustainability efforts have occurred on this campus for decades, but have solidified more recently. Initiatives include President Gast's Climate Commitment, the formation of the Environmental Initiative and a presidential advisory group - the Lehigh Environmental Advisory Group (LEAG) -- as well as the university's Strategic Plan, which includes a focus on addressing issues related to energy, environment and infrastructure.

In Spring 2011, a series of workshops were hosted by the university's first Sustainability Coordinator and the Lehigh Environmental Advisory Group (LEAG), which asked participants to envision a sustainable campus, share current practices, define sustainability metrics and create ambitious and measurable goals for the campus. In Spring 2012, Lehigh University adopted its first Campus Sustainability Plan. In May 2016, Lehigh adopted its Campus Sustainability Plan 2020 to advance the integration of environmental stewardship, social equity, and economic responsibility into our intellectual footprint. In 2020, Lehigh adopted and released its 10-year Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030 and initiated the development of a Climate Action Strategy.

Below you will find additional achievements over the years:

Signed onsite solar agreement for the Goodman Campus
Ninth year participation in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania)
Lehigh submitted its 7th AASHE STARS report and received a gold certification for the first time
Lehigh applied to the Green Ribbon Schools and was selected as a 2021 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Postsecondary Sustainability Awardee
Lehigh received its second Alternative Fuel Incentive Grant

Won AASHE's 2020 Campus Sustainability Achievement Award for the solar power purchasing collective
Adopted the Sustainability Strategic Plan 2030
Published Sustainability Progress Report 2019
Installed three additional electric vehicle charging stations with two ports each
Hosted a two-part series of Campus Sustainability Strategic Planning workshops with faculty, staff and students
Lehigh submitted its 6th AASHE STARS report
Established a Sustainability Alumni Advisory Council
Initiated the development of a Climate Action Strategy for Lehigh

Expansion of Eco-Rep Leadership Program to include hall and library Eco-Reps
Hosted first Sustainability Leadership Summit and awards dinner
Held first Sustainability Leadership and Innovation Institute for high school students
Submitted 5th AASHE STARS report and received silver certification
Kicked off strategic planning for Lehigh's next sustainability plan

Installation of an electric vehicle charging station (with two ports) on level one of the Alumni Memorial parking garage

Established partnership with LANTA on a joint agreement so that Lehigh students, faculty and staff can ride on LANTA buses for free

Installation of 27 sets of Big Belly solar compacting trash and recycling bins throughout campus

Sixth year participation in Recyclemania

Campus Sustainability Plan 2020 released and officially communicated to campus

Transportation & Parking Services acquired an electric vehicle for parking enforcement and an electric bus

Completed Comprehensive Waste Management Plan for campus

President Simon signed the Real Food Campus Commitment

Fifth year participation in RecycleMania


Campus Sustainability Plan 2020 adopted

Rathbone achieved Green Restaurant Certification

Eco-Rep program expanded with specific coordinator roles

Sustainability Program Manager hired

Fourth year participation in RecycleMania

Achieved 10% Real Food (local, ecological, fairtrade, humane)

Lehigh partnered with the community on planting fruit trees along the Greenway and launched the Ambassadors program

Themed semesters were adopted in the Eco-Reps Program

Third year participation in RecycleMania

First water bottle refilling stations installed on campus: Taylor Gym, University Center, Rauch Business Center, E.W. Fairchild-Martindale Library

Joined Pennsylvania Collegiate Green Sports Consortium

Alumni Memorial Building received 8 new waste stations

Second year participation in RecycleMania

Sustainability Plan Progress Report Published

First Game Day Challenge held on October 19th

Sustainability Program Coordinator hired

First RecycleMania competition participation


1st Campus Sustainability Plan adopted

Alpha Phi composter installed
Campus Master Plan with Sustainable Design standards specifically mentioned
Sustainability Plan workshops throughout the university

Green Fund formed
Sigma Epsilon composter installed
Lehigh Community Garden started
Eco-Rep Program started
Sustainability requirement added to Greek accreditation
Green Purchasing Guidelines created
Sustainability Coordinator hired
LVAIC Director of Sustainability Initiatives hired

Climate Commitment signed
Recycling converted to Single Stream Recycling
Strategic Plan written which acknowledges Community Engagement, Energy, Infrastructure and the Environment as areas of particular interest

LEAG formed

Green House, a sustainability-themed student residential community, started

Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Sustainability Officer

Job description for the sustainability officer position:
Job description for the sustainability officer position:

Job title of the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Sustainability Program Manager

Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):
Job description for the sustainability officer position (2nd position):

Job title of the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Job description for the sustainability officer position (3rd position):

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.