Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 38.99
Liaison Rosangelica Rodriguez
Submission Date Oct. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Trinity College (CT)
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.50 / 4.00 Rosangelica Rodriguez
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities
"---" 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:

Our strategic plan has a section titled A Sustainable Future the goal of this section is to build on Trinity's historic past to ensure a vibrant, sustainable future. This section was broken down even further into other sections that focus on physical campus plans, financial sustainability and urban environmental sustainability. Each of those smaller sections have several bullet points that explain how each of those areas can be addressed. The section on urban environmental sustainability asks for the development of achievable but ambitious goals, to track our progress through data collection, to develop a Sustainability Action Plan, and increase overall engagement in this area.


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):

Facilities and Environmental Sustainability Committee Report (FESC Report) - https://www.trincoll.edu/StrategicPlanning/Documents/Facilities-Sustainability%E2%80%94Draft%20Report.pdf

Facilities Strategic Plan

We previously issued a sustainability action plan in 2013 (SSP13) and a climate action plan in 2009. The SSP13 was Trinity's first real effort at a sustainability plan and it has provided long-term dividends for the college such as the creation of a green building policy, and tracking data on recycling and waste management. However, as we have developed our Summit Strategic Plan based on the work done by the Facilities and Environmental Sustainability Committee in 2017, completed our Facilities Strategic Plan, as well as completed the work for this assessment, it became clear that the 2013 Summit Sustainability Plan needs to be updated. The SSP13 will soon be phased out, however many of the listed long-term objectives from SSP13 will be included in our updated plan. Our updated plan will also include an enhanced scope looking at financial and social sustainability as well. In considering each section below, we pulled information from the SSP13, the FESC Report, the Facilities Strategic Plan, and our draft sustainability action 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:

Education is included as part of the SSP13 including tracking the number of courses that are sustainability related and sustainability focused. This inventory was completed. The plan also has a long term goal of advocating for an increase of environmentally themed courses.

The FESC Report calls for promotion of sustainability as a cornerstone value including "developing and maintaining a robust directory of sustainability internship and externship opportunities for students and recruit faculty sponsors to promote, guide and evaluate sustainability-related projects" as well as "fostering cross-disciplinary scholarship and teaching on environmental sustainability." The FESC report also recommends the establishment of an advisory committee on environmental sustainability that will address key elements including education/curriculum.

As a result of our work on the STARS report and based on the FESC recommendations, our working draft of our sustainability action plan includes a Research, Teaching & Learning category with a Curriculum subcategory. The Trinity faculty also recently passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency which specifically calls for "increasing the delivery of environmental and sustainability education across curriculum, campus, and community outreach programs." The faculty are working on developing detailed curriculum goals for the action plan, however we have already started tracking the number of courses that are sustainability related and sustainability focused. We are reviewing and updating that list annually on the sustainability website.


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:

The Education section in the SSP13 calls to develop an active list of student and faculty projects and post them publicly on the Trinity Sustainability website. The Trinity Sustainability website does highlight specific faculty sustainability research stories on the website. We would like to include highlights on student projects in future website updates.

The FESC Report calls for promotion of sustainability as a cornerstone value including "fostering cross-disciplinary scholarship and teaching on environmental sustainability," "recruit faculty sponsors to promote, guide and evaluate sustainability-related projects," and "highlighting accomplishments in environmental sustainability" The FESC report also recommends the establishment of an advisory committee on environmental sustainability that will address key elements including education.

As a result of our work on the STARS report and based on the FESC recommendations, our working draft of our sustainability action plan includes a Research, Teaching & Learning category with a Research and Scholarship subcategory. The Trinity faculty also recently passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency which specifically calls for "mobilizing more resources for action-oriented climate change research and skills creation." The faculty are working on developing detailed research and scholarship goals for the action plan, however we have created an inventory of the existing faculty research related to sustainability and will continue to update this list. As part of our working sustainability action plan, we intend to develop a list of student projects and publish both lists to the Trinity Sustainability website.


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:

The SSP13 has a Community Engagement section with the goal of empowering the campus community involving advertising existing efforts, educating about incentivizing sustainable behaviors in classrooms, dorm rooms, and offices. Projects included developing a green office certification program, and using sub-meters to conduct an energy reduction competition. As part of our draft sustainability action plan, we are working on developing a Green Office certification program as listed in SSP13 to empower, educate and incentivize sustainable behaviors in classrooms, residential buildings, and department offices. Our current draft plan expands the scope of our engagement from internal engagement on campus to campus engagement with the Hartford community and neighborhood. More detail is included about this external engagement in the public engagement section.

The FESC Report calls for promotion of sustainability as a cornerstone value including: "highlighting accomplishments in environmental sustainability," "reporting regularly to the campus community at large on progress towards the vision [to] facilitate the flow of information, foster ongoing community support, and instill institutional pride, as Trinity makes gains in its sustainability goals." The FESC report recommends hiring a full-time sustainability coordinator to "help devise, coordinate and integrate policies and practices in college operations, academic departments and programs, residential life, and community outreach." We hired a full-time sustainability coordinator in 2018. The FESC report also calls for an advisory committee to be established and create goals surrounding community engagement. The Summit Sustainability Committee fills this role.

Our action plan draft includes a category for Campus Life and Community Engagement with subcategories of Communication & Collaboration and Community Service & Partnerships. Both of these sections focus on engaging the campus community with objectives and tasks such as:
Objective: Increase awareness of campus sustainability efforts
- Recognize students through the creation of a campus life leadership award for sustainability
- Develop a sustainability orientation for new new employees

Objective: Increase access to campus sustainability information
- Create sustainability dashboards
- Distribute biannual campus sustainability reports


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 FESC report calls for highlighting accomplishments in environmental sustainability (e.g., through the Office of Communications) and reporting regularly to the campus community on progress. These reports and accomplishments would include our work with the community.

The Facilities Strategic Plan has 6 main pillars, one of which is Neighborhood Improvements. Trinity is committed to making investments in our surrounding area to increase resources and financial sustainability within the community.

Our draft action plan expands the scope of SSP13 to include campus engagement with Hartford and the surrounding neighborhood. The draft includes a Campus Life and Community Engagement category with a subsection focused on community service and partnerships. Objectives in this section include:
Objective: Strengthen and promote town-gown collaboration
- Share existing college resources available for community members through updated websites
Objective: Deepen and expand partnerships with community partners to advance sustainability
- Formalizing partnerships to support food recovery efforts
- Seeking additional community partnership opportunities for students and employees that advance sustainability efforts such as volunteer days within the community


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:

The SSP13 referred back to the goals in the 2008 climate action plan, some of which were accomplished. Of most significance was the goal of installing a fuel cell on campus which was installed during 2017 and provides clean and renewable energy for the college.

The FESC report called for the establishment of a committee to advise on projects related to climate and energy.

The 2008 climate action plan included data on a greenhouse gas emissions survey. Our draft strategic plan builds on the data that a greenhouse gas emissions survey provides and plans to repeat the inventory including Scope 1, 2, and 3 to track and reduce emissions.


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:

The SSP13 called for the creation of Green Building Policy. The plan called for major construction and renovation projects to be conducted at LEED silver standards. A Green Building Policy was created and projects since the adoption of the plan have been constructed at this level. As part of the draft action plan we will be reviewing the green building standards. In addition, a Green Office policy has been drafted and is being reviewed by groups on campus.

The FESC report recommended the creation of a strategic plan for facilities. This plan was created last year and is being used to guide our planning efforts as evidenced by this section.

Our Facilities Strategic Plan focuses on the work that needs to be done across campus in the academic facilities, student housing, campus infrastructure, chapel, and athletic facilities. Each of these projects will be viewed through the lens of sustainability. The Summit Sustainability Committee is an integral part of project discussions within the pillars, particularly within campus infrastructure projects.

The draft action plan includes a section on Buildings and Infrastructure and calls to update the existing green building policy. It also includes completion of a utilities master plan study and a review of green cleaning practices within our housekeeping contract.


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:

The SSP13 referred back to the goals in the 2008 climate action plan, some of which were accomplished. Of most significance was the goal of installing a fuel cell on campus which was installed during 2017 and provides clean and renewable energy for the college.

The Facilities Strategic Plan includes an infrastructure section. Action steps within that category include the completion of the fuel cell project and the replacement of the electrical switching gear both of which have been completed.

Our draft action plan includes and Air and Energy section and calls for the college to reduce emissions and increase energy saving behaviors and changes such as installing motion detectors and occupancy sensors, and installing LED light fixtures. The plan also calls for the completion of a campus energy audit.


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:

The SSP13 includes a food and dining section including the following objectives:
- Create a baseline of the following food types:
*Organic (USDA Certified)
*Local (Connecticut Grown and within 100 mile radius)
*Sustainably Grown (Certified Fair Trade, Sea Food Watch, Antibiotic and Hormone Free, etc.)
- Collect baseline and growth data for trash, recycling, and composting.
Chartwells, Facilities
- Reinvigorate a composting program for all eligible pre-consumer food waste.
- Expand and publicize discount “bring your own cup/mug” programs in dining areas.
We have been tracking recycling and waste management data. In addition, Trinity has partnered with Blue Earth Composting and composting is available in our main dining hall on campus as well as in some of the residential buildings on campus. Both coffee shops on campus do offer a "bring your own cup/mug" discount as well.

Our draft action plan also includes a Food and Dining section and includes objectives such as establishing a formal food recovery partnership and pursuing additional green restaurant certifications.


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

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

Our draft action plan does include a Grounds section in the Campus Operations subcategory. It includes objectives such as creating green landscaping standards, creating a campus tree map, and a campus tree plan. A tree map is currently in development and the Summit Sustainability Committee is in the process of creating a comprehensive campus tree plan.


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:

The SSP13 included objectives to:
- Identify environmentally preferred products sold by W.B. mason and have them prioritized for Trinity purchasers, including Energy Star Appliances
- Develop and implement a strategy to purchase 30% recycled content paper for at least 50% of all paper purchases on campus.
- Identify cleaning supplies currently used and create a preferred green cleaning list
Our current procurement policy calls for the purchase of Energy Star Appliances as called for in SSP13 and our draft action plan will include a Procurement/Purchasing section and will specifically look at the purchase of office supplies and purchase of appliances.

The FESC report tasked sustainability coordinator with conducting a campus-wide inventory of appliances and making green recommendations for their maintenance, replacement or upgrade. The report also calls for the advisory committee to review purchasing decisions to make them more sustainable.


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:

Transportation was included as a category in the SSP13. The plan called for phasing in lower emission vehicles into the campus fleet as well as updating commuting data. It also called for securing more or permanent funding for the UPASS program, allowing for a 5% increase. Trinity has secured funding for the Bantam Bus Pass program and have lobbied for the participation of private colleges in the UPASS program and have identified resources that would fund that participation. We have seen an increase in bus riding with the opening of our downtown campus. The FESC report recommends that the advisory committee consider issues of transportation as well.

Our draft action plan calls for an update to the procurement policy to continue to purchase more efficient vehicles as well as conducting a greenhouse gas emissions survey that includes emissions from the campus fleet. We will also work to increase participation in the Bantam Bus Pass program on campus and explore other commuting opportunities.


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:

Sustainable water practices are included in the SSP13. Examples from the plan include:
- Reduce or eliminate bottled water vending on campus. Increase water fountains and coordinate a tap water/reusable bottle campaign.
- Educate the campus about electronics and universal waste recycling.
- Set up designated inkjet and laser cartridge recycling centers and publicize them along with universal waste recycling.
- Research and implement three best practices for reducing solid waste.
As a result of the plan and campus demand, we have been installing more water bottle filling stations around campus focusing on high traffic areas. We also offer electronics and batteries recycling in the student center.

The FESC advisory committee is intended to develop actions to increase recycling rates and reduce solid waste on campus.

Our draft action plan builds on the goals of the original plan including installing additional hydration stations on campus to reduce single use water bottles, creating a universal waste management program, and working with student affairs to reduce waste associated with student move-in and move-out.


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:

The SSP13 includes water goals as part of its objectives such as:
- Track water usage to develop a historical baseline.
- Research best practices at other colleges for reducing water use.
- Reduce or eliminate bottled water vending on campus. Increase water fountains and coordinate a tap water/reusable bottle campaign.
As a result of the plan and campus demand, we have been installing more water bottle filling stations around campus focusing on high traffic areas.

The FESC report emphasizes water as a topic for the advisory committee to consider as it looks at sustainability for the college overall.

The Facilities Strategic Plan includes campus infrastructure as one of its main pillars including our heating/cooling system. Improvements to the heating/cooling system will result in more efficient water usage.

Water is also one of our subcategories in the draft action plan. Objectives for that section include:
- adding hydration stations to high traffic areas of campus
- replacing failed equipment with more efficient options
- installing rain sensors to reduce water needed for irrigation and landscaping


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:

Diversity & Affordability are included as topics in our Summit Strategic Plan and are included in our draft sustainability action plan. One of our primary goals in the Summit Strategic Plan is to steward Trinity's current and future resources to support our position as a first-choice institution for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and corporate and community partnerships. We have demonstrated our commitment to this goal in recent years by building our financial aid resources and allocating additional funding to financial aid to attract and support a high quality, diverse, engaged student body.

With regards to our draft sustainability action plan, our Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be integral in developing the objectives for the plan.


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:

The Summit Strategic Plan calls for us to "steward Trinity's resources to achieve long-term financial stability." This will be accomplished by
- Build the endowment to support mission-related investments and to provide for the college’s financial strength in the future
- Strengthen existing and build new programs that generate revenue, serve Trinity and the region, enhance our core mission, and accommodate an evolving population of non-traditional students and life-long learners
- Aggressively and creatively pursue partnerships and efficiencies to make the best use of resources on campus and in the surrounding region
- Assess, continually and rigorously, opportunities for cost savings that do not compromise our core mission or values
- Enhance fundraising efforts broadly and plan and undertake a comprehensive fundraising campaign to support our vision

The FESC report also called for the potential creation of a Green Revolving Fund for sustainability projects on campus.

Financial Stewardship is included as a section in our draft action plan. Objectives will likely include exploring sustainable investing options and increasing financial resources for sustainability projects on campus.


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:

Wellbeing was not previously included in our published plans, however it is being included in our draft action plan. The Health and Wellness category includes subcategories such as: Personal Wellbeing and Workplace Health & Safety. Objectives in those sections include:
- Additional communication about health services and benefits
- Conducting bi-annual satisfaction and campus climate surveys
- Offering worker's compensation education programs and additional skills trainings


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:

Our draft action plan is building on and enhancing the work done in each of our previous plans and reports. It includes a section on campus coordination and planning to continue this work and provide guidance to the college community as we move forward.


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

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

Per the College's Summit Strategic Plan

- Develop achievable, ambitious goals for environmental sustainability in an urban setting; track and report on progress toward them.
- Provide the infrastructure to support our environmental goals.
- Develop curricular and campus programming (e.g. internships and classes) to embed environmental sustainability into the academic and campus experience, engaging students, staff, and faculty intellectually in pursuit of these goals and fostering shared responsibility.


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.