Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.49
Liaison Mary Easterling
Submission Date Dec. 17, 2020

STARS v2.2

Pennsylvania State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Mary Easterling
Assoc Director, Analysis & Assessment
Sustainability Institute
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The 2021-2025 Strategic Plan for the Sustainability Institute at Penn State (developed in 2020, prior to the release of this STARS report) includes the following measurable sustainability objectives, as examples:
- Contribute to continual annual increases in the number of Penn State students who gain exposure to intentionally designed sustainability educational offerings by working with campus partners to increase the number of opportunities available and students participating in them.
- Work with HHD, RPTM, Shaver’s Creek and the colleges to double the number of students who complete the Sustainability Leadership Minor from the amount in Fall 2019-Spring 2020.
- By 2025, achieve a 15-20% average annual increase in the number of Penn State students who gain exposure to sustainability through the Institute’s signature programs, including but not limited to the Sustainability Experience Center, Sustainability Showcase Speaker Series, and the Intersections Film Series.


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The 2021-2025 Strategic Plan for the Sustainability Institute at Penn State (developed in 2020, prior to the release of this STARS report) includes the following measurable sustainability objectives, as examples:
- By 2025, work with 75% of strategic planning units to co-develop employee sustainability trainings tailored to their unit goals or embed sustainability into existing trainings.
- By 2025, partner with Commonwealth Campuses to establish strategic partnerships with five or more Pennsylvania communities to help them remove barriers to sustainability, encourage pro-sustainability behaviors, and advance community sustainability goals.
- By 2025, help facilitate at least one alumnus and/or community sustainability programming effort with each of the 13 college sustainability councils annually.


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The 2021-2025 Strategic Plan for the Sustainability Institute at Penn State (developed in 2020, prior to the release of this STARS report) includes the following measurable sustainability objectives, as examples:
- By 2025, double the number of partner units that are consistently working to make Penn State operations more sustainable, as indicated by their involvement in sustainable operations projects and initiatives.
- By 2025, successfully support all units in their efforts to increase the sustainability of Penn State work and/or workspaces by providing resources, networking opportunities and recognition for advancing sustainability at Penn State.


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

The 2021-2025 Strategic Plan for the Sustainability Institute at Penn State (developed in 2020, prior to the release of this STARS report) includes the following measurable sustainability objectives, as examples:
- By 2025, have provided materials and training to all strategic planning units for incorporating sustainability into employee recruitment and onboarding processes.
- One goal in the 2014/15 to 2018/19 Finance & Business Unit Strategic Plan is to "support healthier lifestyles and congruous health care decisions through workplace flexibility, education, resources, and incentives". Strategic performance indicators are (1) Reduced health care spend, health care claims and average number of risk factors per subscriber, and (2) Positive trending results from assessments of wellness/fitness behaviors and attitudes. This unit encompasses many of Penn State's staff employees.
- The 2014/15 to 2018/19 Educational Equity Unit Strategic Plan has a number of goals and related measurable objectives that relate to diversity and inclusion, including: (1) Continue graduating our scholarship recipients at or above a 93.75 percent rate, (2) Increase the number of Equal Opportunity Planning Committee proposals for seed funding and amount dispersed, particularly at campuses.


Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
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Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
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Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
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The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability:
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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 ---
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability ---
SDG Accord ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment ---
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:

Penn State has signed the "We Are Still In" pledge to continue meeting the United States’ responsibilities under the Paris Climate Accord.
In December 2020, Penn State became one of 37 international universities to endorse a letter drafted by the International Universities Climate Alliance urging world leaders to protect humankind from climate change.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Penn State's Strategic Plan for 2016-2025 has as one of its six Foundations "Ensuring a Sustainable Future", and one of its five Thematic Priorities is "Stewarding Our Planet's Resources". https://strategicplan.psu.edu/plan/foundations/ensuring-a-sustainable-future/
https://strategicplan.psu.edu/plan/thematic-priorities/stewarding-our-planets-resources/

The 2021-2025 Strategic Plan for the Sustainability Institute (SI) at Penn State was developed in 2020, prior to the release of this STARS report. Thus our responses in Part 1 are based on this most recent strategic planning effort. The SI works collaboratively with the entire Penn State community to ensure the institutionalization of sustainability across its colleges, campuses, and communities across the state of Pennsylvania.

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.