Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 55.41
Liaison Michael Rumfola
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

San Diego State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 4.00 Travis Freeman
Intern
Sustainability
"---" 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 strategic planning process included five areas of focus: Student
Success and Academic Excellence, Research and
Creative Endeavors, Diversity, Internationalization, and Community Engagement. The strategic plan addresses diversity and increasing recruitment and retention of under-represented students, faculty, and staff. The plan calls for staff and programs at an LGBT center. The plan recommends increasing investments of fund, which led to the development of a revolving energy fund.


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)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
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The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
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)? :
No

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
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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:

San Diego State University has witnessed a strong growth in academics related to sustainability. The sustainability major and minor programs have been successfully developed, and several other academic majors incorporate aspects of sustainability: geography; civil, construction and environmental engineering; mechanical engineering; electrical engineering; public health; city planning; and marketing.

The Sage Project engages hundreds of students from multiple classes each year to work on real projects in a regional community, with an emphasis on sustainability. The Sage Project has an annual symposium, and coordinates projects amongst majors and faculty. The University Senate has a sustainability committee that works on enhancing sustainability in academics and elsewhere. The Senate sustainability committee has been working with faculty to self-identify classes and research related to sustainability. This information will be available on the sustainability website.

Finally, SDSU puts a major emphasis on study abroad, with several majors requiring it for graduation. These experiences provide insight into other cultures and how they address sustainability issues. Students can filter study abroad
opportunities based on sustainability.


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:

Regarding research, efforts across campus include such programs as Blue Gold and the Industrial Assessment Center. Electrical engineering professors are researching renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage. City planning professors are researching sustainable development and active travel options, including collaboration and leadership on the transportation analysis and recommendations for this report. However, research activities are often decentralized, and faculty doing sustainability
research or coursework may not be aware of others’ efforts. For instance, researchers from geography, public health, and environmental engineering independently focus on water quality and watersheds, though some collaborations do occur.


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

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

There are currently pockets of students, faculty and staff interested in energy and greater sustainability efforts. A recent study at the co-generation plant was completed by Dr. Asfaw Beyene and his students. Based on the results, new, efficient filters were installed and are estimated to save the campus $100,000 a year. Student groups, including Green Love, GreenFest and the Enviro-Business Society, have an interest in more active engagement.

The campus community will be actively engaged in energy and sustainability efforts. Dashboards will display energy data in a visually compelling way through the sustainability website and in kiosks. Energy analysis will be available to building occupants, classes and research groups – allowing for a greater number and more diverse group of people to identify improvement opportunities. An active website and social media presence will keep the campus community informed and engaged. SDSU will participate in energy, recycling and other San Diego State University – Climate Action Plan 63 sustainability competitions, beginning with Housing. SDSU will create a green office certification program to engage on the departmental level. Energy and sustainability liaisons within departments will engage building occupants, updating them on energy use and encouraging conservation. Students will assist in the education and certification of green offices. SDSU will flourish as a living lab, with researchers accessing and analyzing energy data to help Facilities Services better understand usage patterns and energy-saving opportunities. Grants will be secured to test cutting-edge technologies, such as large-scale battery storage.


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

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

Create an Industry Affiliates Partnership to advance support for the commercialization of
products and services.
• Invest funds to strengthen SDSU’s culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.
• Utilize the College of Extended Studies to facilitate rapid deployment of self-support, novel
and/or ongoing programs necessary to match workforce development needs.
• Establish a cross-divisional working group to reassess and recommend ways to renew and
revitalize good neighbor relationships with the surrounding community. A set of recommendations
should be completed by December 1, 2013.
• Build and support partnerships that will establish SDSU as a national leader in specific areas
of expertise in K-12 issues.


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:

Goals:
Reach 1990 campuswide carbon emissions levels by 2020
Reach 1990 operational emissions levels by 2025
Operational carbon neutrality by 2040
Campuswide carbon neutrality by 2050

http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/SDSU%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%202017.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
Yes

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

At a minimum, all new construction and major renovation projects will be LEED-certified to a Silver level. Projects will provide analysis on the feasibility of achieving Gold or Platinum certification. Architects and engineers will be provided with a set of standards, performance criteria and guidelines, which will include a sustainability component. SDSU will take requests when projects deviate from requirements to take feedback and improve implementation with each project. Total cost-of-ownership modeling will be
used through project energy and water modeling to inform first-cost design decisions with operational costs and savings. Buildings will exceed expected performance due to a strong commissioning and measurement and verification program. Buildings will continue to perform through continuous commissioning efforts, as described in the monitoring-based and continuous commission section of the plan. Buildings will strive to achieve net-zero energy when feasible. Buildings without on-site energy resources will install energy production at other campus facilities to achieve net zero. Design and construction teams will create energy-use intensity targets appropriate to the project and not to exceed campus maximum.

San Diego State University will have a “best practice” preventive maintenance organization. Facilities Services will comprehensively track preventive maintenance tasks as recommended by the manufacturer and industry best practices. Preventive maintenance tasks will be prioritized to extend the life of equipment and reduce energy
usage. Persistent commissioning practices will identify issues and opportunities before occupants are affected or aware.

http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/SDSU%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%202017.pdf


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:

Electricity, chilled water and heat will be provided efficiently and reliably to campus. The campus will analyze several options for its central energy generation and distribution systems. Systems-level impacts will be considered, including requisite cogeneration plant efficiency, lifecycle cost and carbon impacts. Options to be studied include, but are not limited to, steam-to-hot-water conversion, centralized versus distributed boilers, heatrecovery chillers, biogas and solar photovoltaics.

All buildings will be fully metered, including electricity, steam/hot water, chilled water,
domestic water and natural gas (when said utility is available). These meters will automatically feed into a centralized energy information system. Utility bills will be automatically uploaded, entered and checked for errors. The system also will collect from other data sources, such as recycling and irrigation. Auxiliaries will be billed for their utility use consistently, accurately and on time. They also will be able to pull energy usage data throughout the month to help manage their resources. A dashboard will be available at various levels in order to manage and visualize energy usage. Energy and sustainability staff will use the dashboard to actively manage energy consumption and complete reporting requirements. Budget staff and administrators can use the dashboard for budget tracking and forecasting throughout the year, especially for utility projections and year-end accruals. Buildings with a low-performance indicator will easily appear in portfolio views. Controls, specialists, energy analysts, as well as students and professors, can dig deeper into trend data and identify opportunities to improve. Campus staff also will engage with the energy information system through public-facing dashboards. Anyone in the campus community will be able to pull up a website to\ view comparative energy use among buildings, overall energy costs
and associated environmental impacts. Interactive screens located in buildings throughout campus will relay actual usage information to students, faculty and staff, along with tips for reducing energy. The system also will enable classes and faculty to easily access data to conduct energy research. The energy information system will automatically populate reports for various entities, including the 24 San Diego State University – Climate Action Plan Chancellor’s Office, Air Resources Board, APPA, ENERGY STAR and LEED. More time will be spent analyzing and understanding these reports than developing them. Furthermore, relevant performance indicators will be tracked throughout the year instead of at the end, allowing Facilities Services to actively manage usage and costs. Performance of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects will also be tracked within the system. This will assist in validating projects for the
revolving loan effort. This tool also will be used to assist in large-scale monitoring-based
commissioning and for continuous commissioning to ensure that savings are maintained after the engineering team walks away.


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:

San Diego State University will offer food that is healthy and sustainable. Students will become more aware and make choices to reduce the environmental impacts of their food. Food vendors will embrace sustainability and actively work to improve their operations.

Increase sustainable food purchases to meet the CSU sustainability policy goal of 20% by 2020. Ensure all food vendors to be certified as level 2 under the Certified Green Restaurant Standards. Increase self-operated facilities from level 2 to level 3 certified. Provide additional vegan and vegetarian options and outreach to reduce meat intake and related carbon emissions. prepare and participate in post-consumer composing when available. Expand no waste program to recover more edible food. Grow more food on campus including through hydroponic towers.

http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/SDSU%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%202017.pdf
http://www.calstate.edu/cpdc/sustainability/policies-reports/documents/JointMeeting-CPBG-ED.pdf


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:

The SDSU campus will be host to a thriving, inspiring and responsible landscape. Landscape will be primarily drought-resistant, with an effort to use native species when possible. Turf grass will be limited to functional areas, including athletics,
recreation and events. Irrigation systems will deliver water as efficiently as possible, with a priority for drip irrigation. The irrigation control system networking will be modernized and integrated with the energy information system. Irrigation will be based on actual weather conditions and plant need and compared to an accurate water budget. Mandatory drought restrictions will be met. However, the campus landscape will be resilient and not substantially impacted. The campus environment will encourage habitats for pollinators and other wildlife. The urban canopy will be maintained and provide environmental services to the campus.

Complete turf conversion project through campus as a living lab. Enact landscape policy limiting turfgrass to functional areas, specifying irrigation system requirements and setting plan-palette guidelines. Convert identified nonprogrammable lawns to drought-tolerant landscaping with high-efficient irrigation. SDSU has retained a landscape architect to survey existing turf areas in an effort to reduce environmental impact and improve aesthetics. Convert irrigation to rotators or drop as approprate. Enact a tree planting-to-removal ratio of 2:1. Overhaul water budget to reflect soil type, canopy, coverage, irrigation efficiency, microclimates and plant type. Pilot biological testing to direct amendment application. Complete a test on water-retenttion amendments such as biochar, polymers, or crystals on Campanile mall


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:

SDSU will have a purchasing policy reflecting sustainability goals. The campus community will be aware of sustainability-related purchasing requirements, which will be supported by higher administration. SDSU will meet Buy Recycled requirements and ensure purchases help enable certifications like LEED EBOM and STARS.

Implement sustainability policy, including purchasing. Improve system to track and enforce compliance of purchasing policies.


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:

San Diego State University will have a dynamic alternative transportation system that encourages and incentivizes students, faculty and staff to use green and active modes of transportation and zeroemission vehicles for campus commuting. A transportation coordinator will actively engage the campus community in transportation demandmanagement activities and connect people to transportation resources. The campus will incentivize transit through pretax benefits and subsidized passes. The overall health of the campus community will improve as people shift from single-occupancy vehicles to more active forms of transportation. Bicycling infrastructure will allow for safe travel to and within campus and include adequate bike paths, racks and repair stations. Campus-owned vehicles will migrate to all-electric or plug-in hybrids as options become available.

Enroll the campus community in pretax benefits for transit. Conduct parking, pricing, bikeway and shared mobility network for study. Explore feasibility of a universal transit pass. Continue to improve and increase on-campus housing and amenities. Identify potential carpool and vanpool incentives to reduce single-vehicle occupancy trips. Improve bicycle and pedestrian amenitites - install bike repair stations, access to bike lockers and shower facilities, explore bike-share option and conduct extensive marketing. Enhance student outreach and engagement. Provide a summary or transportation options to students before orientation and develop a transportation resources section on sustainability website. Complete vehicle replacement plan for facility services and begin purchasing electric carts. increase electric vehicle-ready infrastructure as identified. Study feasibility of telecommuting options for regular commuting, meetings, and conferences.


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:

50 percent non-­‐C&D diversion rate by 2020
60 percent total diversion rate by 2020
80 percent total diversion rate by 2025

All recycling receptacles will be blue, all landfill receptacles will be black and all compost
receptacles will be green. For exterior concrete bins, the labeling and lids will match these colors. All areas on campus will have at least one recycling receptacle for each matching landfill receptacle. SDSU will participate in post-consumer food and soiled paper composting when the hauler begins accepting it. Campus diversion rates will be displayed through the energy information system. SDSU will move forward with a zero-waste mindset and goal.

Continue with assessment and ordering of new bins through the waste hauler. Fous on classrooms and public areas. Codify bin standard on projects going forward. Develop system to better advertise available surplus. Continue installing hydration stations. Show locations on campus map. Prepare for and participate in post-consumer food composting when locally available.

http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/SDSU%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%202017.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
Yes

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

25 percent below 2013 water usage by 2020
30 percent below 2013 water usage by 2025

Campus energy-efficiency efforts will decrease the amount of cooling required by campus, thereby reducing the amount of evaporative water use. Cycles of concentration will be maintained at the highest-level adequate from a maintenance perspective.

Complete survey of once-through potable water equipment and develop conversion project. Analyze advanced water cooling tower technologies like soft water, reverse osmosis and chemical-free treatment.

All plumbing fixtures on campus will be ultra-low flow and high-performance. Preventive
maintenance on fixtures will reduce water waste from phantom flushing and leaks. An educational campaign will encourage people to assist by reporting leaks and reducing their overall water consumption.

Complete leak-detection survey and address discovered issues. Receive cost estimate to concert high and standard-flow fixtures to low-flow fixtures. Develop system to identify and address excessive flushing. Complete showerhead pilot effort. Continually test new, more-efficient fixtures.

A centralized wastewater treatment plant will greatly reduce the use of potable water at San Diego State University. The plant will use ecological methods to treat wastewater that will be used in cooling towers and fields. SDSU will be more resilient to drought conditions. Classes and research projects will use the treatment plant as an educational tool.

Complete feasibility study for wastewater treatment plant.

http://sustainable.sdsu.edu/_resources/files/SDSU%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%202017.pdf


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:

• Invest funds to increase the four-year graduation rates of all students and eliminate the achievement gaps of under-represented students.

• Invest in the recruitment and retention of under-represented faculty and staff through
targeted activities.

https://newscenter.sdsu.edu/strategicplan/images/finalstrategicplan.pdf

• Provide focused interventions for at-risk local first-time freshmen in order to increase
continuation rates and four- and six-year graduation rates.
• Provide diverse educational experiences for all students by leveraging our campus’s rich
diversity. Integrate diversity initiatives in support of these goals.
• Provide funding to continue the Aztec Nights program in support of student well-being.
• Convene a cross-divisional task force to review, assess, and implement additional support for
programs addressing the negative academic and personal consequences of abuse of alcohol
and other drugs.
• Convene a broad-based task force of faculty and staff to evaluate approaches to integrating
learning analytics and the student information system to allow timely interventions that
promote student success at course and curricular scales.
• Invest funds to staff an LGBT Center, develop programs and fund related academic initiatives


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:

Identified energy-efficiency projects will be funded from various sources according to payback and project type. Rapid-payback projects will be funded through the revolving loan fund. This will be used to fund efficiency retrofit and as a delta fund for new construction and equipment. Longer-payback projects will be vetted for funding, especially those with attractive internal rates of investment. The performance of these efforts will be tracked with transparent results. The excitement around campus sustainability will extend to alumni and others who will donate to a fund specifically for these efforts. SDSU will secure grants that improve infrastructure, reduce environmental impact and provide research opportunities. Based on optimized co-generation operation, electricity purchases will increase and result in increased availability of utility incentives. This will increase the viability of energy projects by reducing payback periods. SDSU is required to participate in California’s Cap and Trade program. Most of the required carbon allowances are provided to the university by the state as allocations. The number of allocations will decrease each year. The value of these allocations must be spent on projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The first few years of this requirement was achieved by the establishment of the revolving loan fund. Going forward, an annual amount of approximately $600,000 must be spent on emissions reductions projects.

Complete first revolving loan fund project, the MBCx of the Chemical Sciences Laboratory. Pilot tracking projects in Green Revolving Investment Tracking System. Vet alternative financing options through Budget and Finance. Discuss development of sustainability fund with the Campanile Foundation. Re-Establish utility incentives based on modified co-generation operation.


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

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

Invest funds and work to ensure that faculty and staff compensation is competitive within the
context of collective bargaining agreements and university policy.
• Invest funds in staff professional development.
• Invest funds to conduct a periodic employee satisfaction survey.
• Create a faculty/staff advisory group to identify and recommend celebratory experiences to
recognize institutional and individual excellence.


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:

• Promote and leverage the visibility of the arts on campus and beyond the university by
investing funds for “mini” arts events on campus, utilizing the Open Air Theatre, Aztec
Student Union, Aztec Green and Love Library as appropriate.
• Support faculty efforts to build art events into the university curriculum framework
(e.g. integrate plays, art, and/or music into course content across disciplines).
• Develop a self-support youth summer arts camp.


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)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
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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 ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
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:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.