Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 48.56
Liaison Jay Meldrum
Submission Date July 8, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Michigan Technological University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 4.00 Jay Meldrum
Executive Director of Sustainability
Facilities Management
"---" 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:

The objective of Michigan Tech's Strategic Plan is to accomplish our mission through interdisciplinary education, research, and engagement with partners to advance sustainable economic prosperity, health and safety, ethical conduct, and responsible use of resources. Our specific focus is on education, scholarship, and people; this requires sufficient revenues from state, federal, corporate, and philanthropic sources. Our strategic plan addresses sustainability by focusing on providing a distinctive and rigorous action-based learning experience grounded in science, engineering, technology, business, sustainability, and an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of our contemporary world. MTU also pledges to Enhance research, scholarship, entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative activities that promote sustainable economic prosperity, health and safety, ethical conduct, and responsible use of resources.


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:
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)? :
No

A copy of the climate action plan:
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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):

The Environmental Sustainability Comittee's Greenprint:

The Environmental Sustainability Committee (ESC) was created by President Curtis Tompkins in July 2001 in response to a student petition to reinstitute paper recycling on the Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) campus. At its inception, President Tompkins directed the ESC to initiate campus-wide recycling and to prepare a white paper on other environmental sustainability issues. We call this white paper a “Greenprint” because it recommends specific environmental (green) actions for Michigan Tech to take and documents the research on which those recommendations are based.
The major purpose of the Greenprint is to identify key areas in which actions by Michigan Tech would enhance the environmental sustainability of the University enterprise. The ESC and Michigan Tech administration recognize that environmental sustainability is closely linked to major goals and policies of Michigan Tech. Specifically, environmental sustainability will promote the recruitment of environmentally conscious students, the retention of students in environmentally pleasing surroundings, the economic bottom line of the University, and the environmental education of tomorrow’s leaders. The Greenprint identifies the next steps needed to achieve and maintain a highly functional, energy efficient, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing campus suited to students who will “create the future.”
The Greenprint is currently being reviewed and updated to reflect changes and different sustainability goals.


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

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

There is a goal that all students are required to take an environmentally focused course before graduation. Alongside this, one required course for all students is the University-wide course, Global Issues, which covers sustainability topics.

Need to have a more clear link to sustainability goals.


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

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

- Enhance research, scholarship, entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative activities that promote sustainable economic prosperity, health and safety, ethical conduct, and responsible use of resources.
- Grow research, scholarship, and creativity.
- Increase external support for research, scholarly, and creative activities, including leadership of interdisciplinary multi-institutional collaborations.
- Promote, recognize, and reward scholarly excellence and accomplishment.
- Encourage and support entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary activities.
- Promote sharing and growth of research facilities, services, and infrastructure.
- Advance interdisciplinary research to address problems of social significance.

We need to document and publish these objective better, but our number of research faculty in Sustainable issues is impressive and noted elsewhere in our submission.


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 Sustainability Resolution is a document brought together by the Graduate Student Government and the Student Government and endorsed by the University Senate.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_eoe-NrmFVSaqfLCsunljVwFNsYbPzr_/view


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 Sustainability Resolution reference above also outlined goals related to Public Engagement.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_eoe-NrmFVSaqfLCsunljVwFNsYbPzr_/view


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?:
No

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

See submission below in the Other Impacts section.


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

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

See submission below in the Other Impacts section.


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

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

See submission below in the Other Impacts section.


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

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

See submission below in the Other Impacts section.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing 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 Transportation?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation 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 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 stated goal of the grant from the State is in the award document;
The following project description is in response to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Recycling Infrastructure Grant Program. Michigan Technological University is located in the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is a remote area with few options for effective recycling. Despite our remote location, Michigan Tech has a recycling program and a desire to improve it through improvements in our single stream recycling and a complimentary program to increase composting. Our goals are to increase recycling of our single stream recycling program from ~15% diversion rate to a diversion rate of ~25%. We also plan to increase our composting rate which today only includes the reuse of yard waste (grass and leaves) in our campus gardens, to include the composting of food waste from our dorms. Our goal in composting is to go from a few pounds of yard waste per day to >250 pounds of food waste daily.

Reference to the Grant submission which obligates the University to this goal is given below in a pdf in the additional documentation section. This grant is ongoing and on target to meet the goals and objectives.


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:

MTU has an impressive list of Water quality research projects being a steward of the largest fresh water lake in the US.We need to translate and publish that into local, national, and international efforts, goals and objectives to gain points here. JSM


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:

Mission
The mission of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Michigan Technological University is to foster student success by providing engaging programs that create safe spaces for students of multiple social and cultural identities.

Through a broad range of services, workshops, and events we foster student success by:

Providing a welcoming and safe environment for all students
Encouraging cross-cultural interactions and conversations
Supporting the exploration of differences as well as similarities
Recognizing and celebrating the contributions of historically marginalized populations
Facilitating students’ self-exploration and exploration of others’ identities, and
Collaborating on campus initiatives that support/foster cultural diversity
We invite the Michigan Tech community to embrace a deeper understanding and appreciation for diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Goals and Strategies
An exceptional and diverse community of students, faculty, and staff
Maintain / Develop the Husky Connect Program
Pilot student employee professional development plan
A distinctive and rigorous action-based learning experience grounded in science, engineering, technology, sustainability, business, and an understanding of the social and cultural context of our contemporary world
Develop Dialogue Program
Create, develop, revise learning series based on CDI current offerings
Research, scholarship, entrepreneurship, innovation and creative work that promotes a sustainable, just, and prosperous world
Utilize impact assessments
Continue to develop MiCUP Program
Programs
MiCUP
YWLP
Safe Place
Cultural Competency
Social Justice
Faculty/Staff
Opportunities
Events
Organizations
Conferences
Academics


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:

Mission, Vision, and Goals
Wellness Mission
Wellness is devoted to improving the overall student wellness at Michigan Tech during their years of study and after graduation, so that all students can live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Wellness Vision
Refine the mission and programming of Student Wellness at Michigan Tech to deliver effective, relevant, and timely wellness education to our students with the end goal of creating a prevention-conscious culture at Michigan Tech.

Goal One
Produce an evidence-informed practice for all health and wellness programming:

Hold a literature review of student health and wellness materials yearly
Consistently assess programs, presentations, and student staff
Adapt and improve the Peer Health Advocate training
Redefine student health and wellness and what our team provides
Goal Two
Create a culture of continuing professional development and service within the Wellness team:

Have student health and wellness staff participate in professional development opportunities yearly
Look at benchmark institutions for programming structure and ideas
Encourage Peer Health Advocates to present at a recognized conference.

https://www.mtu.edu/well-being/students/mission-vision/


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
Yes

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

The Vice President of the Administration oversees many many areas of our small University including Grounds, Dining, Custodial, Waste Management (including Recycling and Composting), and Energy Management. This group also maintains the sustainability website. This part of Michigan Tech is group has the best organized example of goal setting for sustainability and training of staff. Their well laid out set of goals and plans is located here:

https://www.mtu.edu/administration/office/goals/


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)? :
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The statement is endorsed by the University Senate and was proposed by students but not yet by the BoT.

A Resolution for Action and Engagement in Sustainable Practice at Michigan Technological University:

Michigan Technological University’s vision is to develop and implement the value of sustainability throughout the campus community. Principles include demonstrating sustainability leadership, acting as stewards of our natural resources, recognizing the broader social impacts of our decisions, and managing the economic interests of the university to reflect and support those objectives. Integrating sustainability into the University’s research, teaching, outreach, and operational activities will improve the quality of life for our campus community and promote a healthy environment. For Michigan Technological University, sustainability means being accountable to the environmental, social and economic welfare of the campus to secure a more suitable future. Michigan Technological University is recognized as a leader in the research of complex problems, innovation, and in understanding the natural world that surrounds us here in the Upper Peninsula. By incorporating knowledge of sustainability into practices and culture across the University, we shall build a resilient community and prevent emergent problems.


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

Michigan Technological University defines sustainability as being accountable to the environmental, social and economic welfare of the campus to secure a more suitable future.


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) No
UN Global Compact No
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:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

These plans are currently being updated and revised to serve further University sustainability goals.

MTU needs to define and publish more SMART Goals for the above areas mentioned above. Although some areas have goals, we need to do a better job of making measurable sustainable objectives. Clearly this is an area that MTU needs to work harder at to improve our score here. - JSM

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