Overall Rating Reporter
Overall Score
Liaison Nancy Apple
Submission Date Feb. 26, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Mount Holyoke College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Reporter Nancy Apple
Director
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" 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 College’s strategic blueprint, the Plan for Mount Holyoke 2021, identifies environmental sustainability as a top priority, emphasizing the need to: “amplify and promote environmental efforts as a commitment to the future of our campus and the planet”; “develop and enrich academic programs in areas of strength or need such as … environmental studies”; and “enhance, preserve, and sustain the Mount Holyoke campus, including both natural and built environments.”
To that end, Acting President Stephens created the Mount Holyoke Sustainability Task Force in January 2017 with the mandate to recommend progressive action to advance sustainability in campus operations, programming and the curriculum.


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):

Facilities Master Plan 2015
Campus Landscape and Facilities Master Plan 2002


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:

Education and Awareness
Goal: Mount Holyoke College will become an exceptional destination for students to pursue environmental sustainability and social justice.
•Expand/leverage MHC diversity and its exceptional site-based learning opportunities as well as regional context, and build connections globally, regionally and locally.
• Expand curricular and co-curricular programs in new key areas, such as food and health.
Goal: The curriculum will offer students a strong, interdisciplinary and foundational knowledge of environmental issues, while co-curricular initiatives will prepare them to apply this knowledge to advance environmental sustainability.
• Support the current environmental studies curriculum while also promoting additional sustainability courses or modules across the curriculum.
• Advocate for a requirement that students learn about sustainability.
• Foster intentional pathways between a student’s academic program, and co-curricular and professional experience through opportunities such as entrepreneurship programs, senior theses, internships and local and global engagement to cultivate the skills needed to be sustainability leaders.
Action Item Example: Offer an introduction to sustainability class


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:
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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:

Education and Awareness
Goal: Faculty, staff and students will have increased awareness of and engagement in campus sustainability practices.
• Educate faculty, staff and students in how and why to be sustainable.
• Raise awareness of how to live/work green on campus in order to change behavior around waste reduction/recycling and energy and water use.
• Support greater collaboration among sustainability organizations, including student groups and faculty and staff.
Action Item Example: Develop more in-depth content for incoming student Orientation focusing on the why in addition to the how


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:

Education and Awareness
Goal: Mount Holyoke College will become an exceptional destination for students to pursue environmental sustainability and social justice.
• Expand/leverage MHC diversity and its exceptional site-based learning opportunities as well as regional context, and build connections globally, regionally and locally.
Action Item Example: Funding and technical support for Global-Local Initiative to support global-local faculty seminar recommendations in core topical areas (public health, sustainability, food security and justice), including recognizing engaged teaching/scholarship, impact assessment, course releases and grants for time intensive team-taught/case-based/project-based learning courses, prize for engaged teaching/scholarship, faculty seminar, stipends for CLLI use, build learning communities, use LEAP and FYS as reflection moments, scale up global-local fellowship, support global-local hubs at Monteverde and Springfield/Holyoke, etc.


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:

In January 2018, the Trustees endorsed the Cornerstone recommendations for Carbon Neutrality by 2037. A high level strategic climate action plan has been prepared but is not yet public, a detailed plan will be developed in the next two years.

Buildings, Energy Use and Transportation
Goal: The College will achieve carbon neutrality (reducing carbon releases from operations or mitigating those releases to achieve net zero carbon emissions) on campus by 2037 — the Mount Holyoke College bicentennial.
• Increase on-campus renewables.
• Reduce energy use on campus.
• Green the fleet.
• Develop a robust rideshare program.
• Increase use of public transportation.
• Improve greenhouse gas emission accounting.
Action Item Example: Develop and implement a Climate Action Plan detailing projects and timeline to achieve carbon neutrality


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:

Buildings, Energy Use and Transportation
Goal: We will become a leader in sustainable retrofitting of historic campus buildings.
• Accomplish a retrofit of one campus building to be carbon neutral by 2022.
• Host a conference on sustainable retrofitting of campus buildings.
• Establish endowment/reserve for operation and maintenance of sustainable buildings.
• Establish best practice standards for all renovations.
Action Item Example: Establish criteria and choose one historic building on priority list for renovation and develop retrofit plan


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:

In January 2018, the Trustees endorsed the Cornerstone recommendations for Carbon Neutrality by 2037. A high level strategic climate action plan has been prepared but is not yet public, a detailed plan will be developed in the next two years.

Buildings, Energy Use and Transportation
Goal: The College will achieve carbon neutrality (reducing carbon releases from operations or mitigating those releases to achieve net zero carbon emissions) on campus by 2037 — the Mount Holyoke College bicentennial.
• Increase on-campus renewables.
• Reduce energy use on campus.
• Green the fleet.
• Develop a robust rideshare program.
• Increase use of public transportation.
• Improve greenhouse gas emission accounting.
Action Item Example: Fund and accomplish remaining efficiency projects identified in the 2016 energy efficiency audit


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:

Sustainable-Food Purchasing and Dining Operations
Goal: The College will implement sustainable best practices in food, beverage, equipment and supplies procurement.
• Increase percentage of dining services food that is third-party-verified under one or more recognized food and beverage sustainability standards, or both local and community-based, as defined by STARS, to 20 percent in two years and 25 percent in five years.
• Develop a sustainability culture within dining services.
• Establish criteria for the purchase of equipment and supplies.
• Apply sustainable best practices in non-dining purchasing of food and beverages on campus.
Goal: Faculty, staff and students will reduce waste through conservation, recycling, composting and education.
• Reduce food waste through portion control, preparation and education, and food waste diversion.
• Use dehydrator in centralized dining to produce compost out of food waste.
• Sponsor a robust composting, recycling and waste-reduction program.
Goal: We will increase campus participation and support for sustainable-food systems and practices.
• Make information about dining operations and purchasing practices publicly available.
• Design and implement communications/education programming and coordination.
Example Action Item: Develop staff training on sustainability components related to their work (e.g., source and menu planning with local foods)


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:

Grounds and Campus Field Research
Goal: The Mount Holyoke campus will become a model for sustainable use and management of the physical landscape and will serve as a living laboratory for the community, providing opportunities for cross-disciplinary teaching, research and learning.
• Use sustainable best-management and use practices for all campus land.
• Encourage and support use of campus as a living laboratory and for cross-disciplinary teaching and research.
• Broadly engage students, faculty and staff and the wider community in utilizing and exploring the campus for teaching and research.
Example Action Item: Develop a Master Land Plan that includes: management of developed land: forest management; restoration plan, recreation.


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:

A Steering Committee sub-committee to address purchasing was convened in 2018. To date projects include: a trial of 100% recycled paper resulting in that becoming a purchasing option, establishing a k-cup recycling program, and discussion of a DEI purchasing 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:

Buildings, Energy Use and Transportation
Goal: The College will achieve carbon neutrality (reducing carbon releases from operations or mitigating those releases to achieve net zero carbon emissions) on campus by 2037 — the Mount Holyoke College bicentennial.
• Increase on-campus renewables.
• Reduce energy use on campus.
• Green the fleet.
• Develop a robust rideshare program.
• Increase use of public transportation.
• Improve greenhouse gas emission accounting.
Example Action Item:Develop a plan for college owned vehicle (11 leased, 67 owned) replacement w/electric/hybrid and implement at replacement/lease term


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:

A subcommittee to address waste reduction was convened in 2018. To date, we have completed a survey of recycling container locations on campus and are scheduling meetings with custodial staff to garner their ideas for improving waste reduction and recycling.


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:

Water is a tier 3 priority and will be addressed in subsequent planning.


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 Plan for 2021 includes as a goal:Mount Holyoke will shape and sustain an
increasingly diverse, global, and inclusive community of students, faculty, and staff in an
environment of mutual respect in which all thrive and contribute to the flourishing of others.
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/sites/default/files/MHC_SP21_Summary_Final_012617.pdf


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:

The Plan for 2021 ties campus investment to the strategic priorities which include sustainability.


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 Plan for 2021 is supported by the Be Well at Mount Holyoke Initiative.
Be Well at Mount Holyoke is a student focused, developmentally grounded, and community based model which is inclusive of curricular and co-curricular environments to promote well-being at Mount Holyoke College.
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/deanofstudents/be-well-at-mount-holyoke


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)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

In January 2018, the Trustees endorsed the Cornerstone recommendations for Carbon Neutrality by 2037.
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/sites/default/files/Sustainability-task-force-report-180806.pdf


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

Mount Holyoke defines sustainability as ensuring the long-term health of the environment by respecting the vital role of the ecosystem and mitigating the impact of human activity, while promoting equitable resource distribution and economic opportunity, and advancing human rights and social justice.


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:

In June 2017, Acting President Stephens and 29 other college and university presidents called upon elected officials to put a price on carbon to spur reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. She also endorsed the “We are Still In” declaration supporting the Paris Agreement’s global commitment to climate action, despite the U.S. government’s decision to withdraw.


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 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.