Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.15
Liaison Nick Cookson
Submission Date Dec. 20, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Sewanee - The University of the South
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Nick Cookson
Sustainability Program Manager
Office of Environmental Stewardship and 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:

Within the Strategic Plan of the University, Sustainability is outlined as a strategic directive in the following ways:
Adopt and promote sustainable living practices on campus and on the Domain and
achieve competitive benchmarks such as appropriate LEED certification for new
construction.
* Build sustainability goals into all departments and into the work expectations of all
employees.
* Complete and affirm a Sustainability Master Plan.
* Establish a Green Corps of student environmental leaders—not necessarily majors in
environmentally-focused programs—as well as faculty, staff, and other community
members. The Green Corps would assist in promoting environment across the
curriculum as well as participate in some admission tours.
*Model collaborative and educational decision-making not only in addressing
questions of Domain management and questions of sustainability but in all aspects of
University life.


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)? :
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:
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)? :
Yes

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

Stormwater Master Plan that emphasizes green infrastructure


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

Work remains to realize the potential for exceptional, national academic distinction in the environment, building on the physical assets of the Domain and the significant number of faculty in allied fields. In 2015 a new major in Environment and Sustainability was created, and the Forestry and Geology department was later expanded into Earth and Environmental Systems.
The Sewanee Integrated Program in the Environment (SIPE) has catalyzed collaborative work among the environmental majors, sharing junior seminars and senior capstones.

Work with relevant faculty groups to evaluate ways to integrate the study of sustainability into the curriculum at the course and or programmatic level. If appropriate, seek formal recognition of a course of study through a certificate or a minor in sustainability.

c. Identify sustainability-related and sustainability-focused courses, isolating learning objectives within existing courses in each department.
d. Facilitate the development of learning objectives in courses where previously not present.
e. Incorporate sustainability education into first-year programming through a
sustainability module, guaranteeing exposure to every student.
f. Incorporate the development and implementation of this plan into the curriculum through class projects, individual research and as a case study in the process of sustainability policy-making.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

The office of environmental stewardship and sustainability is fully staffed and working collaboratively with SIPE to support faculty and student research related to the Domain in archaeology, geology (through the management of the Domain 3D project), forestry, ecology, and wildlife biology.

9. Build sustainability goals into all departments and into the work expectations of all employees. Expand opportunities for students to work with faculty and the community to study the domain both scientifically and culturally.

10. Provide grants for course development and fieldwork expenses for interdisciplinary courses on the environment, both within and outside the Environmental Studies Program, including first-year courses.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

1. Provide co-curricular student leadership opportunities relating to environmental stewardship and sustainability through the creation of undergraduate and postbaccalaureate fellowships.

b.Work with students to establish a board of student sustainability leaders that run programming, the revolving fund, and other facets of sustainability life on campus.
c. Identify, promote and seek funding for internship opportunities in all facets of sustainability both on and off campus.
2. Improve sustainability literacy within the student body.
a. Generate and conduct a survey to assess and track student awareness of and
engagement with sustainability issues on an ongoing basis, engaging students by
cohort.
b.Use data from a sustainability survey to better inform a system of incentives
encouraging sustainability literacy and quantifiable changes in behaviors across the student body.
c. Develop and seek funding for a year-round speaker series highlighting local,
regional and global sustainability issues and efforts.

5. Incorporate an introduction to Sewanee’s sustainability commitment into the new student orientation process.
a. Continue to be a mandatory part of Freshman Orientation, encouraging
sustainability literacy and defining how students can immediately become part of
sustainability at Sewanee.
6. Additional engagement strategies to consider:
a. Run a Sustainability film series.
b. Continue and improve our Green Pledge dinner, increasing attendance by 25% in the next 5 years.
c. Utilize pre-existing Greek system framework to promote recycling and other
sustainability initiatives as a vehicle to change existing campus social culture.
d. Promote and increase the number of sustainability-related dorm activities and
programming.
e. Continue and improve dorm energy competitions.
f. Continue to support, promote, and provide resources for the Forestry and Geology Club, Sewanee Green Action, Responsible Investment Club, EarthKeepers, Team Compost, Natural History Society, and other student organizations related to sustainability currently in operation or that may arise in the future.
g. Promote co-curricular engagement in the student residential experience by supporting sustainability-oriented theme housing.
h. Establish an annual sustainability-themed Spring Break or Fall Break trip.
i. Expand existing relationships with the Sewanee Outing Program and Outreach Office through shared trips and outreach opportunities with a sustainability focus.
j. Continue to support and promote cosponsoring and cooperation between on-campus
sustainability clubs and initiatives with allied organizations.
k. Support and promote cosponsoring and cooperation between on-campus sustainability clubs and initiatives with ally off-campus organizations and peer institutions.
l. Continue to promote dialogue between different sustainability-related student groups while also establishing an engaging educational experience (currently Green Convene).
m. Create a more involved, engaged and incentivized way to promote the Environmental Residents program.
n. Create a Green Office Certificate program following guidelines outlined by the Alliance to Save Energy.
o. Promote and expand alumni network for internships and job opportunities for the current and graduating student.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

4. Work with the Sewanee Outreach Office and the Community Engaged Learning program to provide and support opportunities for students to engage in community-level sustainability projects locally and abroad.
a. Work with key players on campus to develop the interface of sustainability and
community engagement.
b.Implement a program to offset our emissions by implementing projects that reduce GHG emissions in the local community, e.g. the Utility Conservation Program offered through the Outreach Office.
c. Host seminars, workshops, and presentations on energy conservation and
sustainability targeting surrounding community and local schools.
d. Maintain and promote Sustainability-themed outreach trips (Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Haiti) and explore the potential for expanding sustainability focus.
e. Establish direct student involvement and create learning opportunities through
offset programs by partnering Sewanee and Haitian students to monitor and
evaluate offset generation.
f. Host a community charrette about sustainability to foster meaningful dialogue between the University and the surrounding community.
g. Continue to support and provide a location for the Cumberland Farmer’s Market.
h. Make an effort to place community members on various working groups of the
Sustainability Committee to ensure grassroots and community-focused input.
i. Integrate sustainability outreach into opportunities for Canale and Bonner scholars
j. Establish Home Construction workshop and Builder consortium for local architects, contractors, etc. to promote green building practices.
k. Establish regional programming for agricultural practitioners to meet, to plan and to train based on the academic program and Farm. The dining hall serves a similar function to chefs.


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:

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan, Climate Action Plan, and the Strategic Plan include:
a. Phased reduction of carbon emissions and the implementation of an energy conservation plan.
b. Steps to engage students, faculty, staff, and administration in this institutional change.
c. Standards to encourage green building and home design/construction, for all new buildings and major renovations.
d. Further measures to reduce the negative effects of driving on campus.
e. Policies concerning the acquisition, management, and recycling of materials.
f. Creation and implementation of policies to establish best practices in food production, acquisition, preparation, serving, and disposal.


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:

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan, Climate Action Plan, and the Strategic Plan include:

Design all new and renovated buildings using LEED or LEED-equivalent standards.
a. Design all new and renovated buildings (for projects over $200,000 construction budget) to minimum LEED silver equivalent and to LEED gold equivalent when reasonably achievable.
b.Design at least one building to LEED platinum equivalent. Design all new and renovated buildings to standards established in a published
“Sewanee Green-Plus Building Standards.”
d.Assess noise and light pollution and mitigate through changes in design and
practices.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan, Climate Action Plan, and the Strategic Plan include:

1. Quantify and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
a. At least every two years, inventory and report GHG emissions using the CleanAirCool Planet (CA-CP) method.
b.Update our Climate Action Plan annually and publicly post on AASHE website.
2. Conserve electricity and natural gas consumption in University facilities.
a. Reduce carbon emissions due to facility energy consumption by 10% (vs. a 2008
base year).
b.Reduce emissions an additional 15% by a deep energy conservation program
employing less wasteful operating procedures, behaviors, and more efficient
systems.
c. Evaluate prospective energy conservation and efficiency capital improvement
projects on the basis of life-cycle cost/benefit analysis.
d.Develop a Sewanee-Plus Energy Conservation Manual that serves as a road map for
detailed energy conservation planning.
e. Use the average Return on Investment (ROI) from the University’s endowment.
investments as a benchmark for judging the desirability of energy conservation
retrofits. Look favorably on projects that equal or exceed this ROI.
f. Establish an action-oriented facilities energy committee that meets frequently to guide ongoing implementation of energy conservation measures. Ex officio
membership should include PPS mechanical supervisor, PPS electrical supervisor,
director of sustainability integration, with other faculty, staff and student
representatives.
g. Maintain a comprehensive utility bill database of historical and current energy usage (e.g. the Energy Watchdog system currently in use).
h.Upgrade building envelopes: insulation, weatherstripping, window replacements,
door closers, etc. in accordance with the Sewanee-Plus Energy Conservation
Manual.
i. Upgrade lighting systems: delamping, occupancy/daylighting controls, migration to more efficient lamps especially LEDs, dimming, etc. in accordance with the SewaneePlus Energy Conservation Manual.
j. Broadly implement HVAC controls strategies and policies: space temperature limits, unoccupied/shoulder season setback optimization, kitchen hood smoke sensing controls, etc. in accordance with the Sewanee-Plus Energy Conservation Manual.
k. When installing or replacing HVAC systems: select the most energy efficient
systems/units consistent with performance and durability; especially look for an
opportunity to install a geothermal well system to improve HVAC efficiency.
l. Establish a University policy for office and classroom computer hibernation.
m. Establish and keep current a database of all energy conservation projects, showing energy and cost savings and paybacks.
n.Conduct a study of vending machine use across campus with the goal of reducing the number of vending machines on campus. Part of the study should include
retrofitting existing machines with motion-sensor lighting and other energy
efficiency measures.


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:

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan include:

- Establish nutrition and sustainability as two key guiding principles for food purchasing and preparation policies at the University’s dining facilities.
- Optimize waste management, composting, and energy conservation within dining services.
- Expand agriculture on campus and implement the Farm Plan.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

2. Create a set of guidelines for environmentally-sensitive landscaping and pest management.
a. Sustainably maintain landscaping without sacrificing aesthetic and practical values by Create an explicit set of guidelines for landscaping and pest management with a particular focus on issues relating to chemical use and watershed protection, water conservation and controlling exotic species.
b. Create an ongoing education program for groundskeepers and maintenance
personnel for best practices.
c. Increase town and campus urban canopy coverage and diversity, giving preference to native species over exotics.
d.Calculate and reduce total GHG emissions resulting from landscaping practices
e. Create GIS map of landscape assets and practices—turf area, agricultural area,
mowing frequency, irrigation zones, and zones of chemical application.
f. Reduce mowed areas by 25 % and consider additional reductions in mowed areas
and frequencies.
g. Strategically plant trees and shrubs to increase the energy efficiency of buildings.
h. Provide the most environmentally sound snow and ice removal practices by
implementing sand-only policies for steps and high risk areas, brush or blow only
policies for sidewalks, and by working with Franklin County to reduce salt use on
roads during winter weather events.
i. Eliminate purchased mulch and utilize the organic waste collected from
groundskeeping (leaves, grass clippings, woods chips from fallen trees) to be
converted into compost and mulch.
j. Golf Course
i. Develop a maintenance and management plan for the golf course that
ensures the course will be maintained in an exemplary and sustainable
fashion – with a particular focus on its impact on the water quality of the
surrounding watersheds.
ii. Join a voluntary environmental stewardship program such as the Audubon
Sanctuary Program run by jointly by the USGA and National Audubon
Society.
iii. Provide ongoing training for groundskeepers through integrated pest
management classes provided by organizations such as the Audubon Society
or the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA).
i. Document and reduce sedimentation and runoff from equestrian center pastures
and facilities and increase the effectiveness of pasture management to reduce needs for outside feed and pasture inputs.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

1. Make strategic purchasing decisions, assessing products’ sustainability through social, economic, and environmental lenses.
a. Establish an ad-hoc purchasing committee with key stakeholders such as Dining
Services, athletics, PPS-Custodial, PPS-Grounds, PPS-Facilities, Print Services, and Auxiliary Services and Purchasing.
b.Identify current purchasers and their existing purchasing volumes and strategies.
c. Establish a Green Purchasing Policy with the goals of utilizing environmentally friendly products and services.
d.Encourage annual review of supply purchasing by departments prior to budget
setting in the fall.
2. Reduce consumption by departments, offices, and individuals in order to achieve institutional material efficiency.
a. Beginning with paper, identify key materials for concentrated efforts in materials reduction and establish goals, working towards a comprehensive materials reduction plan.
b. Consider the establishment of printing quotas for students based on data about
average semester printing figures, implementing financial disincentives when
quotas are exceeded.
3. Promote a culture of reusing and repurposing materials.
a. Establish a reuse center for materials generated from deconstruction, remodeling, and new construction to be used by the University and the community.
b. Establish protocols for capturing reusable items from annual dorm move-out for
distribution to local non-profits and thrift stores.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan include:

- Reduce the carbon footprint of the University fleet.
- Promote commuting practices and parking policies to reduce vehicle use on campus.
- Support and incentivize walking and biking on campus.


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:

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

4. Improve the effectiveness of campus recycling.
a. Establish and maintain appropriate and adequate recycling bins at campus buildings and grounds.
b.Update guidelines for recycling and continue education efforts on recycling
expectations for campus groups, departments, and individuals.
c. Establish protocol for recycling and composting at large campus-wide events
including Greek events, sporting events, alumni events, and commencement.
d.Improve planning and execution of “zero-waste events,” ensuring that materials
generated (especially compostable flatware, cups, and silverware) can be properly
managed and disposed.
e. Conduct at least three large-scale, University-wide zero-waste events annually, with the long-term goal of institutionalizing zero-waste at all events.
f. Review existing policy on Electronic Waste Recycling (and other potentially
hazardous items) with appropriate University offices to clarify present procedures and incorporate best practices.
g. Quantify recycling loads leaving campus by way of Franklin County Recycling.
5. Reduce weight and overall volume of solid waste leaving campus.
a. Establish a protocol for measurement of solid waste utilizing available records and additional weight records.
b.Based on measurement data, set and work towards reasonable target goals for
waste reduction through changes in materials purchasing and practices.
6. Reduce bottled water distribution and consumption.
a. Conduct study on the feasibility of banning individual bottled water on campus, exploring possibilities including an independent campaign as well as third-party assistance from groups such as Thinking Outside the Bottle.


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:

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Stormwater Master plan include:
- Promote campus water conservation.
- Implement effective storm-water management measures with all new campus construction.
- Maintain and protect the integrity of the watersheds around Sewanee’s three drinking-water reservoirs.


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:

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

- Work with an array of campus programs and organizations to promote and support a diverse campus (students, faculty, administration, etc.), providing equal opportunities to people from a range of racial, socio-economic, and other personal backgrounds.
-Staff Support:
a. Evaluate the need for an expansion of staff in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, adding more positions as deemed necessary.
b. Conduct an annual diversity survey focused on campus stakeholders’ personal experience.
- Diversity Programming:
a. Keep a record of and promote to student body peer mentoring, counseling, support, and affinity groups.
b. Evaluate the current status of academic support for students from diverse backgrounds
c. Facilitate the creation of support, affinity, and mentoring groups for any group not represented in current support network.
d. Promote and develop a more diverse faculty, not only at Sewanee but throughout higher education.
e. Create a teaching fellowship for graduates from underrepresented groups seeking careers in higher education.


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

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

Key elements of the Sustainability Master Plan and the Strategic Plan include:

- Engage the University in a discussion about socially responsible investment strategies.
- Establish a revolving fund to support energy conservation and other sustainability measures.


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:
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Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body (e.g. a mission statement that specifically includes sustainability and is endorsed by the Board of Trustees)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

As an institution devoted to learning and the dissemination of knowledge, the University of the South is well positioned to contribute to this global project of pursuing sustainability. Our College of Arts and Sciences already encourages students to synthesize ideas and, as sustainability demands, to recognize interconnections among diverse spheres of knowledge. Our School of Theology is equipped to dramatize the role that ethics and spiritual discernment must play in learning to live sustainably.


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

Although “sustainability” can be variously defined, we understand it to describe both a vision and a principle of behavior that would allow others--throughout the globe and in future generations—not only to endure, but to enjoy as high a standard of economic security, health, and cultural satisfaction as we enjoy today. To realize this vision, on behalf of the entire biosphere, requires learning to live within limits. It also requires learning about and respecting the sustaining potential of ecological systems.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) No

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.