|Submission Date||March 2, 2018|
PA-2: Sustainability Planning
|3.75 / 4.00||
Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
A copy of the strategic plan:
The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
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)? :
A copy of the climate action plan:
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)? :
A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
--MIMP: Major Institution Master Plan: Guides the university’s long-term growth and demonstrates SU's values and support of shared community commitments to sustainability, public safety, more convenient transit and an improved pedestrian experience.
--SU's Transportation Management Plan (TMP) is included in the MIMP and identifies strategies to reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel.
--SU's Landscape Management Plan: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/grounds-and-landscaping/philosophy-and-practices-/Sustainable-Landscape-Mgt-Plan-May-2009.pdf
--SU's food service provider, Bon Appetit's sustainability related standards, policies, and goals are published at http://www.bamco.com/sourcing/#panel-our-sourcing-philosophy and at http://su.cafebonappetit.com/wellness/ (see sustainability tab)
--Comprehensive Health & Wellness strategic plan (2016-2021): the plan's goals are focused internally and not in a published document.
--Environmental Purchasing Guidelines: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/procurement-services/Environmental-Purchasing-Guidelines-Updtd-2009.pdf
--Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, final report: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/secure/task-force-on-diversity-and-inclusive-excellence/Task-Force-on-Diversity-and-Inclusive-Excellence-Final-Report.pdf
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Curriculum and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP (Climate Action Plan), p.19-20:
To advance sustainability in academic offerings, research and scholarship, and service learning, the university has identified the following strategies:
--Assess sustainability in the curriculum to understand the type and depth of sustainability courses offered in each college and school.
--Measure sustainability literacy in students in their freshman and senior years.
--Link student learning opportunities with university sustainability projects
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Research and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP, p.19: Increase students’ engagement with faculty research on sustainability by:
--assessing the rate of student involvement and desire to be involved with sustainability-related research projects;
--investigating sustainability-related research taking place in all colleges and schools;
--promoting independent studies as outlet for sustainability research.
--Supporting interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on environmental justice and sustainability
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Campus Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP, p.21-24: "Expand sustainability in Co-Curricular Programs"--GOALS AND STRATEGIES:
--Establish a Co-curricular Programming Subcommittee
--Develop learning outcomes needed to promote and advance sustainability within co-curricular programs.
--Develop a comprehensive communications plan to make students and campus members aware of sustainability offerings
--Develop a peer-to-peer sustainability education program
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP, p. 47-48: "Share Knowledge with Others"--GOALS AND STRATEGIES:
The university will bolster and formalize its approach to communicating about climate change with the strategies described below:
--Implement a university-wide sustainability communications plan to advance sustainability related communication that includes: a more comprehensive web presence, newsletters, press releases, conference presentations, signage, supporting student clubs, campus tours, speaker series and participation in community events.
--Increase opportunities for campus members to engage with sustainability on campus.
--Increase the university’s network of partners in the surrounding community.
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Air & Climate and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP, p. 26:
As a signatory to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment
(ACUPCC), Seattle University is committed to work towards climate neutrality, or zero net emissions. The initial commitment is to reduce all scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions combined by at least 12% by 2020 and by at least 51% by 2035.
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Buildings and the published plans in which each objective is included:
(1) See the Major Institutional Master Plan, p.25: The Master Plan should facilitate SU’s goal to be a leader in sustainability, both among Jesuit and non-Jesuit universities. The MIMP should incorporate the principles of sustainable design in all aspects of site and building design, construction, maintenance, and operation.
Sustainability principles supporting this goal are:
• Incorporate sustainable design approaches into the design of all
physical campus elements
• Conserve non-renewable natural resources
• Make sustainable features visible and available as learning and
• Build structures for permanence and quality as well as flexibility
• Design new and renovation projects to meet LEED standards
(2) See CAP, p.28-31: "Reduce Emissions from Buildings"--GOALS AND STRATEGIES:
--Improve energy efficiency of buildings
--Develop carbon neutral design strategies for major building project
--Explore renewable energy sources
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Energy and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP, p. 29:
GOAL: "Reduce 2009 building-related carbon emissions 15% by 2020 and 28% by 2035. Reduce 2009 building energy use 18% by 2035."
--Improve energy efficiency of buildings: Facilities will continue to retrocommission building systems and replace old equipment and fixtures with newer energy efficient ones;
--Evaluate the latest energy and carbon neutral design strategies, practices and technologies for use in the new science building.
--Explore renewable energy sources
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Food & Dining and the published plans in which each objective is included:
Sustainability is at the heart of the dining/food&beverage program managed by Bon Appetit at Seattle Universit. Bon Appetit has a goal to:
--source at least 20% of ingredients, by dollar, from small, local, owner operated farmers and artisans;
--prioritize plant-based proteins in the café and offer vegetarian options at every meal;
--cook from scratch, including stocks, sauces, and soups; prevent and minimize waste in a number of ways;
--purchase only cage-free and third party certified eggs, pork raised without the use of gestation crates, and ground beef from Certified Humane operations or small, local farmers. Bon Apptit's seafood is never airfreighted, and is purchased in accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Guidelines for Sustainability.
Bon Appetit communicates with guests through menus in the cafes and through our guest facing website (www.cafebonappetit.com) in order to share its sustainability related policies, the local farms they source from and their distance from the campus, and menu items with COR icons that relay information related to each of these standards.
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See SU's Landscape Management Plan: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/grounds-and-landscaping/philosophy-and-practices-/Sustainable-Landscape-Mgt-Plan-May-2009.pdf:
--Seattle University will use organic fertilizers as part of a turf
management program for its athletic sports fields to correct deficiencies that, if not used, would cause plant disease or death. Organic fertilizers will be applied only after a soil test has been taken to determine the proper
amounts needed. Organic fertilizers will be used on turf because they are slow release and long-acting. Synthetic fertilizers will be used as a last resort on the athletic sports fields when cold temperatures inhibit the function of organic fertilizers. Synthetic fertilizers will never used on the main campus lawns and landscape beds
--Landscape waste shall be diverted from the waste stream in several ways. Turf will be mowed with mulching mowers. Grass clippings will be left to decompose on the turf. Woody debris will be chipped and composted on site. During months when excessively large quantities of landscape debris are created, debris shall be picked up by Cedar Grove Compost’s organic waste composting operation.
--Landscape IPM Plan Objectives:
• Elimination of threats to the health and safety of the SU community caused by pests
• Prevention of loss or damage to the landscape by pests
• Protection of environmental quality both inside and outside campus buildings
--Pesticide Use Policy:
The following strategies for pest control will be followed and/or used. The goal is to create and maintain healthy,
vigorous landscapes without the use of harmful chemicals.
• Follow the exterior Landscape IPM Plan to assess and manage all pest problems.
• Modify the landscape including: replace susceptible plants, correct soil problems, and prune to allow
more air movement and sunlight
• Educate Grounds staff on the exterior Landscape IPM Plan
• Monitor and trap pests
• Use physical or mechanical controls including: prune diseased plant parts and/or remove plant species
susceptible to disease
• Coordinate exterior Landscape IPM efforts with all Seattle University departments, and other vendors
working on Seattle University grounds
• Consider using a product chosen from the Organic Materials Review (OMRI) List as a last resort
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Purchasing and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See Environmental Purchasing Guidelines: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/procurement-services/Environmental-Purchasing-Guidelines-Updtd-2009.pdf
--It is the university’s goal to include environmental considerations in securing products and services as well as the advocacy for all end users to practice environmentally preferable purchasing.
--When purchasing a product or service, departments should evaluate environmentally preferable attributes equally along with quality, price and availability.
--It is further recommended that all purchases conducted by university employees for their department follow the same guidelines choosing products and services that provide the most environmental attributes.
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Transportation and the published plans in which each objective is included:
(1) A Transportation Management Plan is included in the MIMP (see p.27, 56-68, 153-158) and identifies strategies to reduce single-occupancy vehicle travel:
Transportation plays a major role in climate change, and the university recognizes the need to address this concern directly through several initiatives, including:
--increasing the number of students living on campus,
--contributing to vibrant pedestrian-oriented development,
--and encouraging fewer personal vehicle trips.
The primary purpose of Seattle University’s progressive Transportation Management Plan is to encourage transit ridership and the use of bicycling and walking as means to access campus. The University is engaged with the City of Seattle, especially the Department of Transportation, as well as METRO and the other transit-using institutions on First Hill to advance better transit options for the neighborhood. Seattle University discourages the use of passenger automobiles as a means of accessing campus. But to the extent that automobile infrastructure is required for parking, the university seeks to improve upon existing conditions. The long-term plan is to eliminate most surface parking in favor of garages which are hidden from view and more secure.
(2) See CAP, p.36-41: "Increase Alternative Transportation Mode Incentives and Programs for Commuters to Campus"--GOALS AND STRATEGIES:
GOALS: No more than 29% of the daytime campus population (students and employees) arrive to campus driving alone by 2035.
--Support and advocate for development of new and existing public transit
--Increase awareness, outreach and support of alternative transportation
--Offer adjusted schedules and telecommuting for employees
--Increase percentage of students living on campus
--Increase use of bicycles as an alternative to vehicles
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Waste and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See CAP, p.43-45:
GOAL: Send Less Waste to the Landfill: The university is committed to reducing carbon dioxide from waste sent to the landfill from 215 tons in FY09 to 34 tons in 2035. Of the total waste generated, the goal is to reduce the amount sent to the landfill from 51% in FY09 to 20% in FY2035
--Increase outreach & education about recycling and composting
--Increase Waste Diversion Rate
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Water?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water and the published plans in which each objective is included:
(1) See CAP:
--p.18: The university is conducting research on water quality and ecology in the Puget Sound.
--p.24: Education and outreach is given to the students of Seattle U emphasizing the importance of conserving energy and water.
(2) See MIMP:
--p.26: Seattle University is a signatory to the City of Seattle's Climate Partnership and the American College and University President's Commitment. These partnerships emphasize sustainability of many facets including water conservation.
--p.86-87, 122: The school is aggressively trying to reduce its impervious footprint and therefore runoff during heavy rains that contribute to combined sewer overflow events.
SU has adopted several innovative landscape management techniques that improve ecosystem health and decrease consumption of water and other horticultural pesticides and herbicides.
(3) See Guidelines for Sustainable Landscape Management:
Landscape Water Conservation Practices:
--Drip irrigation. Drip irrigation systems routinely achieve much higher efficiencies than conventional overhead
spray irrigation systems.
--Targeted placement of emission devices in direct contact with plant root zones shall be
used where appropriate in the landscape to eliminate water transmission losses, such as wind, overspray, run-off,
--Central computer-controlled irrigation. The irrigation system shall be monitored daily by computer. The
irrigation clock schedules shall be adjusted bi-monthly and programmed to run in the evening when applying
water is most efficient.
--Hydrozoned irrigation. New irrigation systems shall be hydrozoned, meaning plant material with similar
watering requirements shall be planted in the same zone and drought tolerant plants will be prioritized.
--Evapotranspiration data will be used as a guide to determine watering frequency and volumes.
--Wood chip mulch. A four to six inch layer of wood chips shall be applied to provide insulation from high and
low air temperatures. Coarse wood chips refract the sun’s energy in several directions helping to regulate surface
soil temperature thus reducing water loss to evaporation. Bark mulch will not be used as it absorbs more of the
sun’s energy and can form an impenetrable layer that inhibits water infiltration.
--Grasscycling. Grass clippings will be left on the lawn to decompose, which adds organic matter to the soil and
increases water holding capacity.
--Mow high. Grass shall be mowed at 3 inches to shade the soil, reducing evaporation and decreasing water needs.
--Aerate. The lawns shall be aerated to increase water and air penetration, encouraging a deeper, healthier root
system that is better able to withstand longer periods between watering.
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability and the published plans in which each objective is included:
See Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, final report: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/secure/task-force-on-diversity-and-inclusive-excellence/Task-Force-on-Diversity-and-Inclusive-Excellence-Final-Report.pdf:
Diversity is among SU’s core values. The Seattle University Statement on Diversity recognizes the diversity of our community as “an integral component of educational excellence,” and emphasizes the educational benefits of diversity. Seattle University aspires to create and maintain an inclusive learning environment in which campus life reflects a diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and international worldview. Engaging our diversity toward deeper, more connected, and meaningful learning has provided the foundation for the work of the Task Force on Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, appointed in September 2013. The task force comprised representation from across the institution and included faculty, staff, and students, which allowed for an informed and collaborative process, extended the reach of the task force, and yielded broad-ranging recommendations to create a more inclusively excellent university.
Seattle University is close to the end of its 2013-2018 strategic plan timeframe, “Fulfilling Our Mission in a Changing World” (https://www.seattleu.edu/media/office-of-the-president/Strategic-Plan-Brochure.pdf). The Task Force for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence considered its findings and recommendations in the context of the university’s strategic goals to: 1) strengthen our capacity to provide a high-quality and transformational education rooted in the Jesuit tradition; 2) prepare our graduates to lead meaningful and successful professional lives; 3) meet the challenges and opportunities of the changing educational and economic environment; and 4) realize an infrastructure that supports excellence and innovation in all facets of our education.
In January 2016, the Task force published its final report and identified six goals, each supported by several initiatives, that will propel the university’s commitment to equity, access, and community.
The Task Force for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence identified six goals, each supported by several initiatives, that will propel the university’s commitment to equity, access, and community:
1. Realize an organizational infrastructure that embeds inclusive excellence in all aspects of the Seattle University experience
2. Integrate inclusive excellence across curricular and co-curricular offerings
3. Build and sustain the capacity of students, staff, and faculty to engage, teach, and lead through an inclusive excellence lens
4. Meet the challenges and opportunities of recruiting and graduating a diverse student body
5. Meet the challenges and opportunities of recruiting and retaining talented faculty and staff
6. Maximize the university’s capacity for social change in the local community
For more details regarding the initiatives, rationale, major actions, and measurable targets for each goal, see:
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work and the published plans in which each objective is included:
(1) Comprehensive Health & Wellness strategic plan (2016-2021): the plan's goals are focused internally and not in a published document:
a. Evidenced based, high-impact programs and services that lead to healthier, happier, and more meaningful lives with a focus on personal development, academic achievement, retention, and persistence to graduation
b. Adequate resource structure (i.e. staffing, spacing, funding) that allows departments to meet the growing demands with a focus towards high quality, high impact, accessible programs and services
c. Decrease barriers to access of care, programs, and services
d. Increase continuity of care between services to include creating new systems and clearly scoping our work (attention to roles, responsibilities, functions), identifying overlaps, gaps, and equity with a focus towards staff devoting their attention to work that makes the most significant difference in the lives of students
e. Optimize problem-focused interventions for health, wellness, and housing concerns of students (i.e. Decrease suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, injuries from suicide attempts and death by suicide)
f. Bring technology resources up to current practice standards to include accessible programs and services online and improving web presence to provide 24/7 access to information and resources
g. Work with Facilities Services to develop a facilities master plan that focuses on meeting student needs and demands, and addresses life-safety and deferred maintenance issues across all departments
h. Recognition as a model Community and Wellbeing program
(2) HR Policy Manual: https://www.seattleu.edu/media/human-resources/files/employeeresources/Human-Resources-Policy-Manual.pdf
--In the area of mental and physical health, assistance comes from many angles:
SU has an employee assistance program provided by Wellspring (a local organization) that offers confidential assistance for dealing with stress, but also for addressing issues that cause stress. The services include family counseling, free legal assistance, finding resources for childcare and parenting, elder care resources, nutrition, budgeting and debt reduction, and dealing with identity theft. These resources are provided in many mediums, including phone and email consultations, online resources including downloadable audio and video on meditation and exercise, and in person counseling. Wellspring also presents quarterly workshops on campus on topics such as, healthy eating and meal prep, meditation, and financial planning.
--There is a program for assessment and assistance for equipment to make workstations ergonomic, free on campus gym membership, in addition to an online wellness program that provides opportunities for group challenges and education encompassing mental, physical, spiritual, financial and community health.
--While we don’t yet have an official policy on flexible schedules and working remotely, if an employee’s job duties are such that working remotely is reasonable, it is allowed.
--In addition to the wellness and employee assistance, SU’s HR is responding to wants voiced by employees in several ways.
1. Supporting the development of a staff council.
2. Extending the guaranteed leave required by FMLA to include that the 12 weeks be fully paid.
3. Investment in a talent management system, which when fully implemented , among other things, will allow employees to update knowledge, skills, and credentials. One of the benefits to this, both for employees and for the university, is a greater insight to opportunities to promote across areas, and to plan for succession. Another benefit is allowing managers to manage performance not just by an annual performance review, but to use the system ongoingly. Staff can login and look at their goals, and update progress. It will make the process fairer and clearly based on job duties.
Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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:
-- CAP p. 4: "Seattle University is guided by its Jesuit heritage and is dedicated to “educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world. Individuals are educated to not just be informed about social justice, but to be committed to, to act upon, and to be leaders in advancing social justice. The university recognizes that it is not possible to have a just and humane world without ecological justice. Social justice cannot exist without a commitment to sustainability."
The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
The term “sustainability” represents many different perspectives, and is often defined in different ways. The exploration of sustainability at Seattle University is guided by three points of view:
1. Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
2. Development that “replaces the use of nonrenewable resources with renewable ones and reduces the consumption of all resources. It entails reuse, recovery, and recycling wherever possible; and replenishment or restoration of the natural balances affected by our actions. Sustainable development will succeed only if it expands to include a vision of sustainable communities which hold all creation as sacred.”
3. A decision making framework that treats the economy, environment, and society as a tightly interconnected system. Attention is focused on all three areas simultaneously to maintain balance and ensure decisions lead to positive economic, environmental, and societal impacts.
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)||Yes|
A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
-- The Seattle Climate Partnership: A member since 2006, Seattle U joined the partnership to lower green house gas emissions. The city reduced their emissions to seven percent below levels from 1990.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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.