Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jack Byrne
Submission Date May 1, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Middlebury College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Jack Byrne
Director of Sustainability Integration
Environmental Affair
"---" 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 --- ---
Research (or other scholarship) --- ---
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:
---

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):
---

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

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

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:

The Climate Action Plan (2008) outlines a Comprehensive Outreach and Engagement Plan for Carbon Neutrality.
Goal: Design an information campaign for the entire campus community and external audiences that will build and sustain awareness without creating message fatigue.


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

The Climate Action Plan recommended the following list of actions:
• Works with president’s staff to instill message and goals
• President’s staff work with department managers
• President articulate importance of goals and need for community participation at all appropriate forums (i.e. trustee meetings, faculty meetings, staff association, and campus governance committees)
• Ongoing news releases to external media
• Issuing regular stories to campus media (The Campus, MiddPoints)
• Create a web-based video series profiling significant events or projects (biomass plant, willow project etc.)
• Web site
• Web video series
• Annual progress report
• Printed and electronic guide to carbon neutrality at Middlebury
• Implement a strategic signage program throughout campus that demonstrates and celebrates Middlebury's commitment to CO2 reduction. Program could include basic awareness-raising signage, possibly in building entries common areas, dining areas and light switches, as well as at special events to positively promote composting and recycling as the Middlebury way. Encourage people to do their part in ways they may not have considered before -- busing their dishes to the composting area, for example.
• Create and identify ways to engage students through curricular, cocurricular,
and extracurricular activities
• Create central interpretive display that includes a visual representation of progress
• Create interactive video display that could appear in multiple locations on campus
• Seek out all relevant campus committees for information and training
• Create a Midd Dialogue group for carbon neutrality around specific issues related to how institutional practices could change and evolve to reach carbon neutrality goal
• In MiddPoints, recognize employee achievements in carbon reduction
• Reminder magnets for light switches
• Events – staging some, being present at others
• Merchandising (t-shirts, mugs etc.)
• Employee pedometer contest
• Departmental carbon reduction contest
• Student contests related to energy, conservation and recycling (Do it in the Dark, Recyclemania etc.)
• Incorporate carbon neutrality goals into curriculum
• Create a “sustainable energy tour” that could be guided or self-guided
to incorporate bio-mass plant, composting, recycling, wind turbine,
garden, and a building with cutting edge energy design (Atwater Commons?)
• Integrate sustainability and carbon neutrality goals into orientation for new students, parents, new faculty, trustees, staff
• Discuss carbon neutrality initiative at annual Bread Loaf faculty meeting
• Build message into Admissions tours (walk by biomass plant?)
• HR incorporate carbon neutrality message and information into employee training sessions
• Conduct periodic assessments of campus awareness of the carbon neutrality goal (focus groups, person-on-the sidewalk interviews etc. no complex surveys)


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

Office of Sustainability Integration


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

The fifth goal of the Campus Master Plan (2008) is to improve the Relationship between Town and College. This goal is promoted and supported by both the College and the Town.

The Strategic Plan also outlines recommendations for recognizing community partners.


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

Policy #7 of the Campus Master Plan (2008) states:
Community Interface
Middlebury College and the Town have an interdependent relationship. The College acknowledges the importance of this relationship and will cooperate in joint initiatives to enhance it. This is especially important regarding the Plan’s recommendations for College Street and South Main Street.

From the Strategic Plan:
Recommendation #32: Recognize "Community Partners."

We have many friends in the community who contribute in various venues to the College, our students, and our faculty and staff. We recommend that the College acknowledge our long-term community partners with annual recognition, which could be in the form of a letter, announcement, or public event. This initiative would not replace the Citizens' Medals; rather it would acknowledge the organizations and individuals who year after year make significant contributions to College programs. We believe that such recognition would help the College strengthen its positive and productive relations with individuals and businesses in the local community.


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

President's Office


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

Middlebury has a plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2016. The College aims to achieve neutrality through energy conservation and efficiency, renewable fuel sources, technology innovation, education, and as a last option, the purchase of carbon offsets.


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

The objective is to have zero net carbon emissions associated with heating and cooling, college-funded travel, waste, electricity, and college-owned vehicles by 2016.


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

Office of Sustainability Integration, President's Office, Facilities Service


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) defines plans for growth and defines policies, principles, and guidelines that:
- Improve energy efficiency of existing and future buildings-envelope, systems, monitoring, and control;
- continue to advocate that construction maximizes the use of locally produced materials; and
- consider the options for campus and building utilities in terms of conservation, energy efficiency, and global warming.


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

The Master Plan recommendations include:
1. Adopt the LEED MC-Plus guidelines system for all renovation and new construction projects
2. Design new buildings to be as energy efficient as possible
3. Improve the energy performance of existing campus buildings through improvements to their envelopes and building systems
4. Assign priorities for improvements based on
the energy audit of buildings on campus and on academic program and availability
5. Encourage behavioral changes for students,
faculty, and staff, including adjustments to indoor temperatures and use of air-conditioning
6. Meter all buildings for water, power, and steam
7. Install “Building Dashboards” and “Campus Dashboards”: displays that show building and campus energy use and production in real time, and the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, along with water use, comparative historical data, environmental conditions, etc.
8. Minimize the use of air-conditioning in campus buildings
• Increase the air-conditioning set point
• Minimize the need for air-conditioning by using shading, natural ventilation, and mechanically assisted ventilation
• Strategically plant deciduous shade trees on south side of buildings to help reduce daytime solar heat gain during summer months
9. Where appropriate, utilize energy efficient means of cooling, such as geothermal, shading, natural and mechanical ventilation, etc.
10. Utilize refrigeration gases in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems that are as benign as possible, both in terms of their global warming potential and their ozone depletion potential
11. Consider energy efficient alternative systems for specialized functions in individual buildings, such as
• a purified water system for Kenyon Arena’s ice sheet, which will reduce the energy required to create the ice
• a solar hot water heating system for the Natatorium
• heat exchangers for the recapture of waste heat, for example at the campus data center and if possible in food service areas
12. Investigate the feasibility of solar heating for domestic hot water
13. Develop a life-cycle assessment for construction materials, considering cost, longevity, environmental damage caused by production, embodied energy, potential for recycling, disposal, hazards, etc.
14. Adaptive reuse of buildings should be considered before removal
15. Building deconstruction
• Building removal should minimize the quantity of materials entering the waste stream by employing
deconstruction rather than demolition
• Materials salvaged from deconstruction should be considered for future use in anticipated building projects
• New construction projects should incorporate salvaged material
16. Continue collaborating with Efficiency Vermont to obtain greatest efficiency for both new and renovated buildings


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

Office of Sustainability Integration


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

The College Strategic Plan (2006) recommends supporting local farmers, producers, and the student-run organic farm.


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

Recommendation #72: Support sustainable agricultural practices.

The College is a strong supporter of local farmers and local producers. Approximately 20 percent of the College's food purchases come from local farms or producers. A greenhouse where students conduct research provides greens and herbs for campus food operations, and a student-run organic garden not only provides produce but cultivates an appreciation of local agrarian concerns. Our use of local sustainable wood in campus construction and furnishings has been a catalyst for a new sustainable wood industry in Vermont. The College should continue and expand practices that have a positive environmental influence on Vermont and the region, as well as enhance sustainability principles at Middlebury's programs across the United States and abroad.


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

Office of Sustainability Integration, President's Office


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) defines plans for growth and defines policies, principles, and guidelines that:
- Consider options for campus and building utilities in terms of conservation, energy efficiency, and global warming.


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) makes the following recommendations regarding energy:
1. Conduct an alternative energy assessment of the campus to better understand what forms of alternate energy are feasible and how best to employ them
2. Pursue the procurement of responsibly planted and harvested woodchips for the biomass gasification boiler by partnering with woodchip suppliers, the State of Vermont Department of Forests, Parks,
and Recreation, professional logging and forestry associations, and others
3. Pursue the feasibility of using local agricultural land for the purpose of growing biomass for the biomass gasification boiler coming on-line in 2008
4. Develop a portion of Middlebury College’s own agricultural land for the purpose of self-sufficient generation of biomass for the biomass gasification boiler
5. Reforest a portion of Middlebury’s agricultural land with Clayplain forest to sequester carbon
6. Continue to participate in Central Vermont Public Service’s “Cow Power” program, which uses methane produced by cow manure to generate electricity, and partner with local farms engaged with manure to methane projects
7. Increase Middlebury’s on-campus generation of electricity from alternative renewable sources: wind power, photovoltaic panels, exercise machines
8. Participate in the development of a hydroelectric plant at Otter Creek. This could generate a significant portion of the electricity that Middlebury College uses
9. Consider participating in the Landfill Gas to Energy program at the Moretown Landfill
10. Collaborate with Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) to install alternative energy generators under the Regional Global Gas Initiative
11. Carbon offsets will be a part of the effort to achieve carbon neutrality. Middlebury will look for opportunities to purchase or establish bona fide offsets with a preference for those that are local and regional


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

Office of Sustainability Integration, Facilities Services


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) defines plans for growth and defines policies, principles, and guidelines that:
- Suggest changes to the campus’s landscape design so as to enhance plant and animal habitat, emphasize local species, minimize the amount of fuel used in maintenance, reduce the use of fertilizer and pesticides, and address water quality and runoff issues.


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) makes the following recommendations regarding grounds:
Landscape and Open Space
1. All new construction at Middlebury College should be planned within the existing developed area of the main campus
2. New buildings and hardscape should not be built in green areas remote from the core campus
3. Plant materials should be local species if possible
4. Reduce the amount of lawn by converting it to greensward, meadow, trees with groundcover, and forest as appropriate in different areas of campus
5. Increase the amount of habitat suitable for indigenous plants and animals
6. Increase the interconnectedness of plant and animal habitat by linking currently isolated areas
7. Continue to reduce the amount of herbicides and pesticides used
8. Improve soils and drainage, particularly in heavily used areas of campus
9. Conduct a land value survey for all of Middlebury College’s land holdings in Addison County to assess existing conditions, environmental practices, environmental connectivity, economic possibilities, and social benefits
10. Protect sensitive or critical areas by establishing a
Green Reserve
11. Provide summer shade for building facades with trees and shrubs
12. Design the campus landscape to encourage social interactions and a variety of uses
• Orient plazas and terraces outside of academic and residential buildings to maximize daylight and solar heat gain
• Provide seating in protected areas and in locations best suited to capture the panorama of the Green Mountains


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

Office of Sustainability Integration, Facilities Services


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) outlines the importance of prioritizing sustainable materials and supplies and purchasing locally.


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) makes the following recommendations regarding purchasing:
1. Initiate a purchasing plan that prioritizes sustainable materials and supplies, and prioritizes purchases from companies invested in maintaining their own sustainability standards
2. Strive to use suppliers located within 500 miles of the final point of delivery
3. Encourage suppliers to use recyclable and returnable packaging as shipping materials
4. Ensure that Middlebury College does not engage in unfair trade or limit growth opportunities in the region
5. Support and serve as a catalyst for sustainable Vermont businesses


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

Office of Sustainability Integration


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) defines plans for growth and defines policies, principles, and guidelines that:
- Minimize the amount of student, faculty, and staff driving through the use of parking management, incentives, an expanded public transportation network, rideshare programs, improved bicycle facilities, and by increasing the College’s provision of affordable faculty and staff housing close to campus.
- Improve the pedestrian experience by strengthening the spatial cohesion of the campus, the path system, and the vehicular street system.


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) makes the following recommendations regarding transportation:
Vehicular Travel and Commuting
1. Secure offsets for 100% of outsourced travel
2. Prioritize local meetings and conferences or utilize teleconferences to minimize air travel
3. Begin shifting campus fleet vehicles where appropriate from gasoline or diesel fuels to electric power or hybrid fuel
4. Institute transportation demand management strategies to reduce private vehicular use by faculty, staff, and students
• Establish a target for a reduced level of carbon emissions due to regular commuting
• Develop a hub system with ACTR to connect Campus shuttles with the County shuttles for scheduling purposes
• Provide incentives for faculty and staff who would typically commute to campus via private car to instead utilize public transportation, walk, or bike
• Provide incentives for using shuttle services such as passes or financial compensation
• Provide financial incentives for car pooling
• Provide vehicles for emergency use by faculty and staff who use public transit or car pooling for their daily commutes
• Provide an “on-call” shuttle system for on-campus travel
• Introduce parking fees for on-campus parking
• Provide the majority of parking spaces in peripheral campus lots to reduce car use during the day
• Eliminate parking in the Central Campus (with the exception of ADA requirements)
• Relocate all student parking to the West Ridgeline lot
to discourage students from using their cars for short trips during the school year
5. Purchase offsets for the remaining carbon emissions due to regular commuting
6. Subsidize the purchase of alternative fuel and/or hybrid vehicles by faculty and staff. See Appendix
7. Encourage outside vendors to use alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles, for instance private bussing companies
8. Develop a non-idling policy for campus deliveries, outside vendors, athletics buses, etc.
9. Continue offering an hourly/daily car rental program to students, faculty, and staff
10. Advocate the reestablishment of passenger train service to the town of Middlebury
11. Encourage faculty and staff to live close to campus
• Develop Middlebury College property in the Town
to house as many faculty and staff as possible within walking distance
• Subsidize the cost of purchasing housing in the Town of Middlebury by faculty and staff
12. With few exceptions, continue to limit student housing to on-campus facilities
13. Consider banning first year cars from campus
Bicycle Transportation
1. Develop a comprehensive bicycle program for both the regular academic year and the summer that includes access, maintenance, information, safety, and a reinvigorated free campus bicycle program
2. Make the campus more bicycle friendly
• Provide sufficient parking for bicycles, with attention to number, location, and type of bike racks
• Widen pathways to accommodate bicycle use along major corridors
• Construct curb cuts at all locations where pathways intersect roads
• Replace all storm sewer drain covers that are not bicycle friendly
• Provide showers in more locations for bicycle commuters
• Provide secure indoor storage locations for bicycle commuters
3. Develop an incentive program to promote bicycle commuting by employees
4. Integrate the college’s bicycle transportation initiatives with efforts by the Town to promote bicycle transportation
5. Provide or rent bicycles and helmets to members of the summer Language Program


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

Office of Sustainability Integration


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

The Climate Action Plan (2008) outlines goals for waste which include reducing the amount of waste generated and increasing the percentage recycled.


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

Recommendations from the Climate Action Plan include:
1. Create a post graduate position whose job will be to cultivate a culture around
waste reduction and recycling - somewhat like a CRA with a waste
management and reduction focus and outreach to students, faculty, and staff.
2. Increased integration of sustainability and waste minimization into the
residential life system.
3. Comprehensive educational awareness campaign about waste minimization.
4. Service requirement for freshmen at the recycling center, the dining hall, etc.
to give new students an understanding of the scale of waste at Middlebury
College and to instill a value for reducing it.
5. Add scales and accompanying software to recycling center trucks in order to
easily provide data about waste and recycling for each dorm.


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

Office of Sustainability Integration, Facilities Services


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) proposes creating rainwater collection systems and additional raingardens and bioswales.


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) makes the following recommendations regarding water management:
1. Implement a rainwater collection system for water from the athletic buildings, and use it to supply water for irrigation of fields
2. Create additional raingardens and bioswales, appropriately located, to reduce stormwater runoff and to improve water quality


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

Office of Sustainability Integration, Facilities Services


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

The first strategic goal outlined in the Campus Master Plan (2008) is to 'strengthen support for a diverse student community.'

The Strategic Plan outlines finances and strategic planning priorities, one of which is to increase financial aid.


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

The Master Plan has an indirect relationship with this goal, but it helps promote it by encouraging a variety of environmental experiences, and promoting a greater sense of community.

From the Strategic Plan:
Strategic Priority #1: Increase financial aid to provide better access to Middlebury and thereby enrich the educational environment for our students.

Increase financial aid to provide better access to Middlebury and thereby enrich the educational environment for our students.

Eventual Incremental Annual Cost to the Budget: $5 million.

If this initiative were to be funded fully from endowment earnings, the endowment would have to increase by $100 million.

Increasing the level of financial support available to students having demonstrated need is our top priority because we believe matriculating the students we accept is the best way to increase quality and diversity, broadly defined, and thereby create the richest learning environment for our students. Within this priority we include

• Increasing endowment support for grants and scholarships
• Increasing the size of grants in financial aid packages in order to reduce the size of student loans
• Limiting the amount of debt that students from the neediest families are expected to assume
• Expanding access to internships for students who could not otherwise afford them
• Providing financial aid to support winter term off-campus study


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

Dean of the College


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

The Strategic Plan outlines Additional Planning Priorities which include staff support, development, and professional growth.


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

The objectives of this priority include:
• Maintain competitive compensation to attract and retain an outstanding staff
• Expand professional development and educational opportunities for staff
• Increase staff diversity

From the Strategic Plan:
Recommendation #25: Promote greater work-life balance.

As programs at Middlebury evolve, greater demands are sometimes placed on faculty and staff members who are deeply committed to the welfare of students—academically, physically, and emotionally. This dedication can lead to over-extension, stress, and diminished morale. A healthy balance between employees' professional and personal commitments, "work-life balance," will contribute to job satisfaction and good performance, improved relationships, and a sense of community. We recommend that the College explore ways to enhance work-life balance and to recognize ever-evolving life roles and responsibilities.


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

Dean of Faculty and Dean of the College


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008 recommends that the College makes every effort to invest in environmentally friendly, socially responsible areas.

The President announced in August 2013 that the College is preparing to take three actions:

-The Investment Committee of the board, including its student members, will work to develop a set of stronger ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) principles that we can apply to our investment portfolio, both to identify those companies and managers who invest with certain principles in mind and those who consistently do not. As part of this effort, we will intensify our ongoing review of the College’s investment portfolio.
-We will create ESG guidelines to help monitor investments and operations at our own campus in Vermont. We will issue periodic reports on our performance.
-We will increase significantly the amount of the endowment directed toward ESG investments, including those focused on clean energy, green building projects, and other efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit the environment.


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

The Campus Master Plan (2008) makes the following recommendation regarding the investment plans:
College Finances
1. Make every effort to invest in environmentally friendly, socially responsible areas


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

Vice President for Finance & Treasurer, Board of Trustees, Office of Sustainability Integration


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:
---

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

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

The institution’s definition of sustainability:

The Campus Master Plan uses Chief economist of the World Bank Herman E. Daly's three operational rules to define the the condition of sustainability:
1. Renewable resources such as fish, soil, and groundwater must be used no faster than the rate at which they regenerate.
2. Nonrenewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels must be used no faster than renewable substitutes for them can be put into place.
3. Pollution and wastes must be emitted no faster than natural systems can absorb them, recycle them, or render them harmless.


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:

Ten campus planning goals were developed with the Master Planning Committee in a series of workshop. The first goal directly addresses sustainability:
Goal #1
Promote Sustainability in all College Operations
This goal is intended to build on Middlebury’s long-standing commitment to sustainability, and to make it more comprehensive and measurable so as to assure continuous improvements.

Sustainability is also a main system of the plan:
Middlebury College has been an environmental leader for over forty years. The sustainability part of the Master Plan aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current environmental status of the campus and suggest levels of improvement and measuring. The College does extremely well in some categories, for example fuel source and waste management, but major improvements need to be achieved in building energy use, in transportation, and in monitoring and measuring.


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.