Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.78
Liaison Jennifer McLaughlin
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

South Dakota State University
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00 Jennifer McLaughlin
Sustainability Intern
Facilities and Services
"---" 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:

SDSU's strategic plan (Imagine 2023) addresses sustainability concepts throughout the report, particularly on the diversity & affordability side of sustainability.

South Dakota Board of Regents Strategic Plan (2014-2020) addresses sustainability particularly on the diversity & affordability side of 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)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
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Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

A copy of the climate action plan:
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The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
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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):

2025 Design & Master Plan


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Integrate modules, projects, papers, etc. into courses across all departments.
2. Formulate and utilize sustainability learning outcomes for colleges or the university in general.
3. Offer incentives to encourage faculty to integrate sustainability into their courses.
4. Develop a sustainability minor/certificate.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Develop financial support, mentorship, workshops or other incentives for students and faculty to conduct sustainability research.
2. Publish a sustainability research guide.
3. Increase the number of faculty conducting sustainability research.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
a. Implement a student and faculty peer-to-peer education program.
Increase opportunities for extracurricular learning through actions such as a selecting a sustainability themed common read, offering workshops and speakers, promoting the sustainability pledge, and implementing a student sustainable investment fund.
2. Provide multiple avenues to communicate information about campus efforts and sustainability best practices to campus. Outreach efforts could include items such as a sustainability map, commuter guide for using alternative means of transportation, guide for sustainable living in the residence halls, and signage regarding sustainable food sources.

Imagine 2023 (SDSU Strategic plan)
1. Create a culture that encourages and supports collaboration, sustainability, creativity, and bold ideas.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Collaborate with the Brookings Sustainability Council to enhance the community's sustainability.
2. Engage with other universities through AASHE, presenting at conferences, serving on an inter-campus committee on sustainability, and providing resources to higher education sustainability data bases.

Imagine 2023 (SDSU Strategic Plan)
Goal 2: Cultivate and Strengthen Community Engagement
1. Align academic and outreach programming across the university to optimize institutional efforts to support tribal communities and underserved populations.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Develop policies to encourage energy conservation and good air and water quality management.


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:

2025 Design and Master Plan
1. All new construction or major renovation projects must be LEED Silver. This is mandated by South Dakota Codified Law 5-14-32. Designers are also encouraged to use local products, as well as, find sustainable practices that go beyond LEED.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Develop policies to encourage energy conservation and good air and water quality management.

2025 Design & Master Plan
All new planning, capital projects, renovation projects, operations and maintenance, should incorporate the principles of sustainability and energy efficiency by minimizing the use of non-renewable energy sources, increased use of local renewable energy, and implementation of conservation measures that reduce energy consumption, and promote ongoing energy conservation practices. When possible, building placement should capitalize on solar heat gain/loss in the appropriate months and maximize the introduction of natural light and natural ventilation through the use of operable windows. All these rest on budgetary constraints and programmatic requirements. These fall into the facility & architecture sections of the 2025 Design Master Plan.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Increase the amount of food sourced from third-party or local-community based businesses.
2. Offer culturally diverse and vegan options.
3. Integrate sustainability into dining operations by providing discounts for using reusable mugs/containers, hosting sustainability-themed meals, and diverting leftover food from the landfill.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Conduct an assessment to identify endangered and vulnerable species and/or environmentally sensitive areas, AND develop and begin utilizing a plan to protect the identified species and areas.

2025 Design and Master Plan encourages the use of plants that require minimal long-term watering. The current Horticulturist works to ensure this is accomplished where possible.
The plan also encourages the protection of existing trees during construction projects.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Develop and approve policies such as using life cycle cost analysis when purchasing water and energy products and setting expectations for social and environmental responsibilities for contractors.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Increase the number of students, faculty, and staff commuting to campus by alternative means of transportation (i.e. biking, walking, carpooling, etc.).
2. Install infrastructure features such as long-term bike parking and shower facilities.
3. Offer incentives to encourage campus members to use alternative means of transportation, such as offering a guaranteed return trip, discounted parking passes for carpooling, and encouraging employees to live close to campus.

2025 Design & Master Plan
Becoming a walking campus is one of the guiding principles in SDSU’s current 2025 Design and Master Plan. Everything in this plan contributes to a more walking friendly environment (i.e. infilling of buildings and decreasing car-pedestrian conflict). In addition, there are plans to move all parking lots to the edge of campus and designing the lots so that they have sustainable designs, including storm water management.
Bike traffic and parking also needs to be considered in all campus improvement projects.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Increase campus recycling and diversion rates.
2. Implement additional recycling options, such as book and e-waste recycling.

2025 Design & Master Plan
It is encouraged to promote waste reduction and increase recycling efforts.
These fall into the facility & architecture sections of the 2025 Design Master Plan.


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Water 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 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:

Imagine 2023 (SDSU Strategic plan)
Academic Excellence
a.Ensure student success of underrepresented populations through the establishment and continuation of programming and initiatives focused on access.
b.Achieve strategic enrollment targets by implementing the strategic enrollment management plan, that will include strategies for at-risk and diverse student success.
c.Develop and enhance key retention and persistence programs that facilitate the development of skills in intercultural engagement, global citizenry, and international relationships.
Community Engagement
a.Increase diversity of faculty, staff, and students through inclusive recruitment and retention practices.
b.Regularly evaluate the climate at South Dakota State University as experienced by faculty, staff, and students, communicate, and respond with actionable strategies.

South Dakota Board of Regents Strategic Plan (2014-2020)
Goal 1: Student Success
a.Increase the number of degrees awarded to Native American students
Goal 4: Affordability & Accountability
a.Reduce the three-year federal loan default rate.
b.Move the system’s regional ranking for undergraduate resident tuition and fees from 6th best to 4th best.
c.Move student support from 61 percent of operating costs to 50 percent.
d.Reduce education and related spending per degree.


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:

South Dakota State University Sustainability Plan
1. Create a committee on investor responsibility that has social and environmental responsibility as part of their focus.
2. Devote a portion of SDSU's investments to sustainable investments.
3. Ensure a portion of the SDSU's total investment is publicly available.


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)? :
No

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):

Sustainability is the formation of a better society through the interdependent actions of improving environmental quality, increasing economic prosperity, and instilling social justice for present and future generations.
Definition of each pillar of sustainability
 Environmental sustainability – the act of preserving, restoring, and utilizing the earth’s natural resources in a way that does not inhibit ecological services, remove resources faster than they can be replenished, or harm the surrounding environment.
 Economic sustainability – the act of distributing money and resources equally so that all may obtain basic human needs. Being economically sustainable should allow the economy to function, prosper, and thrive.
 Social sustainability – the act of ensuring all people are treated with equity and have access to basic human rights, including but not limited to: clean water, nutrition, education, healthcare, sanitation, shelter, security, a meaningful livelihood, and the opportunity to pursue their aspirations.


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 No
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:

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.