Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Smith College
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Emma Kerr
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Campus 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:

Smith strategic plan, adopted in October of 2016, includes 5 strategic themes. One of them focuses solely on sustainability.

Strategic Theme 5
Smith prepares women to foster and lead sustainable, just communities. Smith will use its curriculum, co curriculum and campus operations to address complex, urgent problems -- high-stakes challenges that often lie at the heart of global inequities.

Complex, urgent problems
- Create funding opportunities for cross-institutional learning and problem solving
where there is community interest around such topics as
- Inclusion, diversity and equity
- Climate change
- Education access
- The status of women worldwide, including in STEM fields
- Infectious diseases
- Food and water scarcity
- Terrorism
- Aging
- New complex problems as they emerge

Complex, urgent problems
- Strengthen campus operations in order to model
- Vibrant and efficient use of space
- Innovative practices in landscape management
- Sustainable food and dining practices
- Progress toward carbon neutrality


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)? :
Yes

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

The Study Group on Climate Change published their report, called Toward a Sustainable Future, which outlines a multi-tiered plan for how Smith can uniquely address climate change. Plans include creating new academic offerings, expanding campus programming, aggressively pursuing our commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, addressing climate change in the context of our endowment investments, and developing sustainability and climate-change initiatives that model ideal institutional behavior.
Find the report here: https://www.smith.edu/climatechange/SGCC-Report-FINAL.pdf


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:

The climate action plan was written in 2009, with short term goals to be completed by 2015. The short term goals listed below have largely been completed.
Near-term goals by 2015:
• Establish a major in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) with 20-30 majors graduating each year.
• Strengthen the existing Landscapes Studies minor with 15-20 minors graduating each year
• Create a fully funded and operational CEEDS.
- Create an environmental concentration under the auspices of CEEDS
• Provide adequate staffing in ES&P and LSS to support these initiatives
• Expand environmental offerings throughout the curriculum
- Create environmentally-oriented courses in all three academic divisions
• Increase study-away opportunities
- Increase the number of students participating in environmentally oriented study abroad experiences (programs, internships)

Long term goals include:
- Increase demand for Smith graduates by environmental organizations.
- Enhance Smith College's reputation as a place to study the environment.
- Establish Smith College as a national presence in the media, policy and among non-profit and research organizations.

The long term goals will be measured by looking at various metrics including number of successful applicants to environmental graduate programs, number of successful graduating job seekers, number of 5-year alumnae in environmental fields, and number of 5-year alumnae who completed the environmental concentration and articulate clearly the benefits of their integrative education as key to personal fulfillment.


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:

Toward a Sustainable Future:
ACTION:
Develop a Campus as Classroom data integration program that manages
operational climate and sustainability data in support of courses and
student-faculty research.

Smith has amassed an enormous amount of campus data related to climate change
and sustainability. The campus community is often unaware of these data, and access
is complicated by a lack of cataloging and the use of multiple systems and formats.
Developing this program will help the college organize campus energy, environmental,
financial, transportation, demographic and behavioral data for use by students and
faculty in courses and research. Curating this material will provide faculty and students
with real-world data and challenges, bringing relevance to coursework and projects.

ACTION:
Provide funding for faculty research across all disciplines on climate related
challenges.

Smith’s faculty are continually involved in cutting-edge research that enriches society,
and faculty research shapes the content of course offerings for students. The SGCC
sees a need to encourage and support climate-related research across the liberal arts,
especially in the social sciences and humanities. Significant faculty grants would be
offered, with priority given to new ideas that explore connections between climate
change and existing faculty scholarship where other funding sources are unavailable.
Research may be in collaboration with external colleagues, aligned with thematic years
or aligned to campus-specific challenges. For example, a research workshop or conference organized in conjunction with a thematic year on women and climate change could spawn faculty research that addresses socioeconomic factors of marginalized people affected by environmental degradation due to climate change or fossil fuel extraction. Social movements and forms of cultural and artistic expression around climate-change issues are other potential areas of exploration. Ideally, these grants would promote collaborations, foster interdisciplinary growth and seed external funding.

ACADEMIC IMPACT:
By implementing these recommendations, Smith will grow as a leader in climateaction
education. Increasing the number of courses that include sustainability and
climate change will help the college educate a wider number of students to become
sustainability leaders and innovators and to steward resources locally, nationally
and globally.


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:

ACTION:
Plan and implement themed, yearlong, campus-wide programs that bring the Smith community together for an in-depth examination of focused aspects of climate change.

These programs will provide a structure that enables multiple academic and administrative departments to connect students to pressing global problems and to foster reciprocal relationships between the college and program guests and presenters. As a diverse women’s college with a global focus, Smith is uniquely poised to examine the social inequities that climate change brings to the world’s most vulnerable groups, including women from communities dependent on local natural resources and those who live in regions threatened by climate change. At engagement sessions, faculty and students were particularly drawn to the theme of women, climate change and social justice, which could serve as a launch-year theme in 2018-19. The SGCC imagines these yearlong programs occurring on a biennial basis. As the programs are planned, all segments of the Smith community, including alumnae, will be encouraged to participate.
Programming could include, for example, a traveling exhibit at the Smith College Museum of Art that complements the theme, Presidential Colloquium speakers, first-year student readings and student-led climate-action workshops.


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:

The Study Group on Climate Change Report includes public engagement.

Action: Partner with institutions and organizations to address climate change locally
and globally.

While Smith can and will address climate change to the best of its ability, the college
will need to work with other organizations to have the greatest impact. Joint efforts
are currently underway for a study to assess the geographic region’s vulnerability to
climate change, including the effects of weather pattern changes and health concerns.
In addition, Smith, Amherst, Hampshire and Williams Colleges and the Center
for EcoTechology are testing the idea of a Community Climate Fund which would
allow the institutions to invest money locally toward activities that will reduce GHG
emissions—for example, making a local non-profit organization’s buildings more
energy-efficient. Testing the Community Climate Fund has involved faculty and
students in research and development and could ultimately provide a source of funding
for faculty and student innovations.


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:

From the SCAMP
-Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
- By 2015 reduce emissions to 22,330 MT eCO2 or 29% below the 1990 level (22% below 2009).
- By 2030 reduce emission to 8,480 MT eCO2 or 73% below 1990 levels.
- Add 3.5 million kWh of on-site renewable electricity generation and 4,500 MMBtu of solar thermal energy by 2030 to replace fossil fuel use
-Evaluate and replace boiler fuel consumption with a sustainably harvested, domestically produced and/ or recycled biofuel by 2020
- Evaluate and replace cogeneration turbine fuel consumption with a sustainably harvested, domestically produced and/or recycled biofuel by 2030
- Revisit and revise these assumptions on a regular basis


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:

From the SCAMP:
-Reduce electrical consumption 19% through efficiency projects (4.4 million kWh) by 2015 and by an additional 9% (2.1 million kWh) by 2030.
-Reduce electrical consumption through behavioral conservation programs by 10% (2.3 million kWh) by 2020.
- Reduce thermal demand by 20% (48,000 MMBtu) by 2015 and by an additional 8% (15,000 MMBtu) by 2030.
- Reduce eCO2 by 29% (7,700 MT) by 2030.


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:

From the SCAMP:
-Reduce electrical consumption through behavioral conservation programs by 10% (2.3 million kWh) by 2020
-Reduce thermal demand by 20% (48,000 MMBtu) by 2015 and by an additional 8% (15,000 MMBtu) by 2030
-Reduce eCO2 by 29% (7,700 MT) by 2030
-Reduce electricity consumption by 15% by the end of 2014 (MOU with National Grid) compared to 2011 baseline


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:

Toward a Sustainable Future:
Action: Expand local collaboration and locally sourced food in Smith College dining.

Food plays a visible role in campus sustainability and climate-action efforts. Over the last few years, Smith College dining has introduced a number of initiatives, such as signing the Real Food Challenge, which will double the amount of local and sustainable food purchased for campus by 2020. Other actions need to be implemented, such as developing partnerships with local producers and suppliers, aggregating buying power with centralized receiving and processing, and providing adequate equipment and storage to capitalize on seasonal availability and pricing. Training the Smith community to cook and eat seasonally should be prioritized.


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:

From the SCAMP:
-Map 
turf 
areas
-Identify 
areas 
of 
use 
intensity
-Identify 
opportunities 
for 
turf 
reduction
-Identify 
areas 
for 
landscape 
study/experimentation, 
e.g.
 low 
maintenance 
"mini
ecosystems," 

water 
sensitive
 landscapes, 
or 
advantageous 
plantings 
for 
heating 
and

cooling
-Cultivate 
academic
 cooperation
 for 
long‐term 
ecological
 study 
areas
-
Develop 
a written
 Integrated
 Pest 
Management 
Plan
-
Continue
 investigation



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:

From the SCAMP:
-Develop data on institutional purchasing patterns; identify the highest value and most frequently purchased goods
-Identify areas of purchasing which have the greatest environmental/climate impact
-Develop policies that cover 50% of purchased goods by 2015


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:

From the SCAMP:
-Improve fleet-weighted average EPA estimated fuel mileage from 16 mpg to 25 mpg by 2015, which will reduce fuel use in college fleet vehicles by 33% (10,000 gallons saved, 85 MT eCO2 eliminated).
-Reduce single-occupant personal vehicle use for commuting from 69% of trips to 59% of trips by 2015 (167,405 miles or 69 MT eCO2)


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:

From the SCAMP:
-Reduce landfill solid waste by 20% (147 tons) by 2015
-Increase recycling rate to 34% of solid waste by 2015
-Increase recycling rate to 50% of solid waste by 2025
-Reduce GHG emissions by 72 MT eCO2 though composting and solid waste reduction by 2015


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:

From the SCAMP:
-Reduce potable water consumption by 11.8 million gallons (~24% ) by 2015 19% through efficiency and 5% through behavior change.
-Eliminate use of potable water for irrigation by 2015
-Reduce thermal demand associated with heating water by 3,384 MMBtu’s and GHG emissions by 328 MT eCO2 per year by 2015.
-Reduce potable water consumption by an additional 1.5 million gallons between 2015 and 2030


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:

Strategic Theme 2
Inclusion, diversity and equity

1. Strengthen recruitment, retention and support of students, staff and
faculty to ensure diversity, via
-Best practices in inclusive recruitment and selection
-Expanded focus on student success through programs including
-AEMES (Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences)
-Bridge (Pre-orientation program for multicultural students)
-Posse (Cohort program aimed at aimed at increasing diversity and equity in STEM fields)
-Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship International Student Program
-First generation student orientation
-Disability Services

2. Strengthen education access and success via financial supports,
such as
-Equitable access to Smith opportunities regardless of financial
means
-Improved aid packages across all income tiers
-Continued progress toward need-blind financial aid decisions


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:

Toward a Sustainable Future:
Action: Increase the college’s commitment to impact investing from $9.5 to
$30 million.

Impact investments are investments made in companies, organizations and funds with
the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Smith utilizes an outsourced investment office, Investure, to manage its endowment. For several years Smith has been investing in the company’s Sustainability Series, a pool of investments in companies driving positive environmental change and best environmental practices. The goal of this fund is to achieve both financial returns and positive social impact. Over time, the college has increased its commitment to the Sustainability Series from an initial $1 million to $9.5 million.


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

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

Lives of Purpose and Distinction, Strategic Plan
Strategic Theme 2
Inclusion, diversity and equity are fundamental to excellence. To educate the next generation of women leaders, Smith will invest in an inclusive, healthy campus and pedagogy.

-Create sustained education on learning, living and working in an intercultural context
-Campus climate assessment
-Opportunities to develop inclusive community practices to prevent bias
-Programs on inclusive teaching practices via the Sherrerd Center
-Opportunities for connection among students and alumnae via the Office of Alumnae
Relations


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
Yes

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

Lives of Purpose and Distinction, Stragetic Plan
Strategic Theme 1
Face-to-face education provides powerful, lifelong preparation for learning, living and leading. To educate the next generation of women leaders, Smith will invest in its distinctive campus resources.

- Create an Office for the Arts, providing coordinated
-Arts programming
-Grants-seeking and administration

- Strengthen investment in unique collections as teaching resources, including
-Botanic Garden
-Museum of Art
-Special Collections in the Library
-MacLeish Field Station
-Smith College Campus School


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)? :
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
---

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

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:

In 2009 former President Carol Christ signed the President's Climate Commitment, from the ACUPCC, now Second Nature's Carbon Commitment. Through this signing we committed to creating a climate action plan (SCAMP), and setting a carbon neutrality goal of 2030, which we are actively pursuing.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.