Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 51.85
Liaison Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Submission Date Nov. 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Principia College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Karen Eckert, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Center for Sustainability
"---" 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 Yes Yes
Research (or other scholarship) Yes Yes
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement No No
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 No No
Health, Wellbeing and Work No No
Investment Yes Yes
Other Yes Yes

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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Curriculum, the goal embraces targets related to student (and Departmental) participation in a Sustainability Minor, sustainability learning outcomes (on campus and through studies abroad), experiential (project-based) learning, and linkages to graduate studies.


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

• At least one Sustainability degree program is offered at the college
• Sustainability courses (SUS 151,250,260,280,401) are taught on a regular basis
• 20% of students participate in the Sustainability Minor and/or experience a Sustainability Abroad
• 50% of all academic Departments participate in the Sustainability Minor
• 80% of students are enrolled, at some point during their college experience, in at least one course that requires an explicit Sustainability project
• Opportunities exist for a Master’s Degree in Sustainability (internally or through partnerships)


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

Center for Sustainability
All academic Departments offering courses in the Sustainability minor
Academic Dean, including Director of Special Academic Programs
Abroad Office


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Research, the goal embraces targets related to planning and oversight, as well as to incentives for students, faculty and staff.


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

• A vibrant Center for Sustainability fosters and coordinates interdisciplinary experiential learning, research, and opportunities for applied community-based problem solving
• A Change Agent Fund supports off-campus internships and apprenticeships for Principia students
• Faculty are inspired and supported in their efforts to learn more about sustainability as it applies to their academic discipline(s); similarly, staff are inspired and supported in seeking to deepen their understanding of campus sustainability issues, including efforts to incorporate sustainability into planning and implementation processes
o A Sustainability Fellows program offers competitive Enrichment Grants to faculty and staff to advance their skills in “infusing sustainable concepts and content into courses” and “incorporating sustainability into planning and implementation processes” ~ Center for Sustainability Charter


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

Center for Sustainability
Academic Dean, including Director of Special Academic Programs


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Campus Engagement, we aspire to expose 100% of our students to sustainability goals, life skills, campus and community service, and career options.


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

• 100% of students are exposed to campus sustainability goals (e.g., composting, recycling, wise energy/water use, dorm-based initiatives, academic options) during New Student Orientation
• 100% of students are aware – based on student-led education and awareness campaigns – of the importance of sustainable living and the steps they can take to pursue sustainability on a daily basis
• 100% of student dorms design/implement/adopt a sustainability project associated with the dorm (e.g., native garden, vermicomposting, energy audit, campus event)
• An energetic Sustainability Club nurtures service, leadership, and courageous thinking within the student body through:
o Leadership in hands-on campus sustainability projects (e.g., food, energy, lands)
o Fundraising (e.g., Better World Books campus book recycling program)
o Professional certifications (e.g., LEED, Permaculture, Beekeeping, Energy Auditing)
o Community, especially peer, awareness (e.g., Arbor Day and Earth Day events)
o Campus and community service


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

Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club
EcoHeads
Office of Student Activities
Office of Student Life


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

(this is clearly a gap, at least as it relates specifically to sustainability planning; we'll work on this)


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

N/A


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

N/A


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Air and Climate (and the closely related objectives related to Energy and Transportation), we aspire explicitly to achieve a net zero carbon footprint.


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

• Principia College achieves a net zero carbon footprint
(See also: Energy, Transportation)


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

Facilities Department
Contracts Office
Center for Sustainability


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Buildings, we aspire to assess our campus (designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993) for opportunities related to LEED recognition.


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

• Campus buildings are assessed for potential LEED for Existing Buildings certifications
• A LEED Gold certified building is in an active planning (or building) stage
o Building renovations incorporate sustainability best practices


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

Facilities Department
Contracts Office
Center for Sustainability


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Dining Services, the goal embraces sourcing more of our food from local/ humane/ sustainable sources, engaging students in sustainable food production, and planting pollinator-friendly campus landscapes.


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

• 20% of our food is derived from local sources (i.e., within 50 miles of campus)
• Students are actively engaged in sustainable food production on campus: Food Forest, Apple Orchard, Organic Maple Syrup/ Honey/ Eggs/ Mushrooms/ Fish
o Host a 40-acre organic vegetable farm on campus
o Plant/maintain a 14-acre Food Forest on campus
o Design an Aquaponics demonstration project in the Greenhouse
o Principia Beekeepers Association maintains a campus apiary
• 50% of student residence buildings maintain pollinator-friendly native gardens
• Principia hosts an organic, community supported agriculture operation on campus
o Students are actively involved


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

Dining Services
Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club
Lands Stewardship Office
Three Rivers Community Farm


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Energy, we will continue to operate on 100% renewable energy - in addition, we will assess the potential for on-campus generation of renewable energy and making our energy use more transparent (e.g., real-time electronic displays).


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

• Principia College operates on 100% renewable energy
• Principia College sources 30% of energy from (or planned from) on-campus sources
• Students design/install/maintain a solar power demonstration project
o Assess the potential for solar power generation campus-wide
• Energy use data are programmed for real-time electronic display to a campus audience
o Dataloggers are installed for monitoring building-level energy use


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

Facilities Department
Contracts Office
Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Grounds, we will maintain our commitment to CRP, FSC, and careful management of our native hill prairies - in addition, we aspire to advance our commitments through native landscaping, achieving Tree Campus USA recognition, and addressing issues related to stormwater runoff.


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

• 10% of students are actively engaged in biodiversity monitoring and/or conservation programs
• Maybeck’s vision for campus landscaping is rekindled
o Native plantings installed at least 5 major campus buildings
o Grateful Hearts Campus Garden Club
• Professional management of the Principia Forest maintains Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification
• Tree Campus USA recognition is achieved from the National Arbor Day Foundation
• Plan adopted to significantly reduce, if not eradicate, invasive, non-native plants
• Native prairie acreage is actively protected and managed
• Erosion and other topsoil degradation issues are identified and mitigated
o Parking lot/roadway erosion is mitigated at least one site through the installation of permeable pavement surfaces
• Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) campus lands continue to be managed in partnership with the USDA Farm Service Agency
• All rare and endangered species are identified and adequately protected


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

Department of Biology and Natural Resources
Lands Stewardship Office
Facilities Department
Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Purchasing, we will research, articulate, and adopt a Green Cleaning Purchasing Standard, aspire to use paper products with a higher recycled content, and develop sustainability targets for technology, appliances, and furnishings.


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

• Green Purchasing Guidelines/Standards are adopted
o Appliances are Energy Star-rated; Toilets/faucets are ‘low flow’
o Housekeeping/ Flex Crew/ Dining Services cleaning product/chemicals are Green Seal certified or equivalent
o Furnishings meet high environmental standards
• Printers use 100% post-consumer recycled paper


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

Contracts Office
Facilities Department
Mail and Copy Office
Dining Services
Informational Technology
Center for Sustainability


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Transportation, the goal embraces targets related to being more welcoming to zero emission vehicles and expanding our use of e-vehicles within the fleet.


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

• Principia College is welcoming to zero emission vehicles
o Electric fleet vehicles are used on campus by Facilities/Flex staff
o Personal electric and plug-optional vehicles can be accommodated on campus
o Level 2 EV Charge Stations are installed and available for staff and public use


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

Facilities Department


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Waste, Principia College explicitly aspires to become a Zero Waste Community, transform our recycling landscape to emphasize more attractive/durable collection bins, encourage our community to recycle/reuse/compost to our maximum ability, and compost 100% of pre- and post-consumer food waste within Dining Services.


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

• Principia College is recognized as a Zero Waste community
o 90% of our waste is diverted from the landfill
o Technologies/partnerships are adopted to responsibly dispose of items not currently recyclable (e.g., polystyrene, hand towels/napkins, candy/chip wrappers, film plastic)
• 100% of cardboard recycling bins are replaced with more attractive/durable bins campus-wide
• 100% of food waste (pre- and post-consumer) is composted by Dining Services
• 100% of students/faculty/staff recycle “as much as possible”
• Access to ‘Single Stream’ (comingled) recycling campus-wide
• Access to composting campus-wide, with compost transformed on site
• An electric dump truck services our ever-more-efficient recycling program


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

Facilities Department
Dining Services
Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club
EcoHeads


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Water, the goal embraces targets related to reducing single-use plastic water bottles on campus, expanding access to water bottle filling stations, purchasing low-flow appliances, and maintaining high efficiency standards for our on-campus water treatment plant.


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

• Plastic water bottles disappear from campus
o Every student residence has a water bottle filling station
• All new toilets/faucets are purchased to ‘low flow’ standards
• The campus treatment plant is operated to operational and environmental efficiencies (measured by third-party evaluations)


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

Facilities Department
Dining Services
Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club
EcoHeads


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

(this is clearly a gap, at least as it relates specifically to sustainability planning; we'll work on this)


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

N/A


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

N/A


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

(this is clearly a gap, at least as it relates specifically to sustainability planning; we'll work on this)


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

N/A


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

N/A


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

As articulated in our "Sustainability at Principia: 2015-2020" vision document, our overarching goal is to "successfully educate, promote, and inspire our students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens, thereby putting into practice the Golden Rule on an inter-generational scale." In the context of Investment, we aim to operationalize our Green Revolving Fund and evaluate our options relative to fossil fuel divestment.


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

• A self‐managed Green Revolving Fund is created to finance energy (and other) efficiency improvements as part of the national Billion Dollar Green Challenge
• Principia joins the US Fossil Fuel Divestment movement


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

Office of Finance and Accounting
Contracts Office
Center for Sustainability
Sustainability Club


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

Principia College aspires to achieve GOLD status under the Illinois Governor’s Campus Sustainability Compact and to undertake regular audits of broad sustainability goals through, for example, the AASHE ‘STARS’ program.


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

• Gold status is achieved under the Illinois Governor’s Campus Sustainability Compact
• Environmental performance monitoring is made transparent using AASHE ‘STARS’


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

Center for Sustainability


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

The mission of the Principia Center for Sustainability is "to educate, promote, and inspire Principia College’s students, faculty and staff to become more responsible local and global environmental citizens." Principia College recognizes that Sustainability is one of the 21st century’s most theoretically and practically complex fields of study. We provide a variety of opportunities for our students, faculty and staff to focus their intellectual inquiry on issues and problems related to local and global sustainability, and in particular to explore solutions from the perspective of a "triple bottom line". One of the responsibilities of the Center for Sustainability is to help assess Principia’s environmental performance and incorporate sustainability in planning processes.


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:

Among the five Core Goals of "Vision 2020: Principia’s Strategic Plan" is "Steward Resources Responsibly", defined as follows: "By thinking, acting, and communicating as one institution, Principia will build trust and break down silos within the community and create a more nimble operating environment. Clear, unified, and (where appropriate) streamlined operations will facilitate active stewardship of Principia’s resources—including personnel, physical plant, equipment, and land—and promote a culture that emphasizes innovation, sustainability, and continuous improvement guided by measurable results."


The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:

As part of the most recent strategic planning process for the college, "champion working groups" developed target language for various components of the strategic plan. The Center for Sustainability led a Sustainability Champion Working Group, leading a discussion with and soliciting feedback from 22 college offices and departments. The result was a consensus "Vision 2020" document embracing targets related to curriculum, engagement, operations, and environment. The various targets articulated by the "Vision 2020" document are categorized in the reporting fields for this credit.

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.