Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.50
Liaison Derek Nichols
Submission Date May 17, 2022

STARS v2.2

University at Buffalo
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Ryan McPherson
Chief Sustainability Officer
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see pages 4-1 through 4-9 of the UB Climate Action Plan for a matrix that delineates numerous specific measurable objectives (https://buffalo.app.box.com/s/784h88tqz06gdmu1lag77bj73bx68pdp) which include but are not limited to:
*Form a Sustainability in Higher Education Task Force
*Integrate sustainability into the Undergraduate Academies
*Develop new environmental degree programs
*Add environmental requirements to the General Education curriculum
*Employ web-based learning to reduce UB's carbon footprint
*Integrate Climate Change in Discovery Seminars (include collaborating with local colleges and universities to co-teach discovery seminars at multiple schools in the Buffalo area
*Create courses in applied sustainability and climate action
*Inventory ongoing research initiatives and leverage the strategic strengths initiative
*Develop a seed fund to finance sustainability research
*Develop a green technology business incubator

In addition, the University's main strategic plan, Realizing UB 2020: Achieving Academic Excellence (attached in the section), places a premium on sustainability by organizing its academic strategy into five key themes: humanity, justice, innovation, health and the environment. These themes when taken together provide the foundation upon which sustainability is based.


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see section 4.3 and 4.4 of the UB Climate Action Plan for a matrix that delineates numerous specific measurable objectives (https://buffalo.app.box.com/s/784h88tqz06gdmu1lag77bj73bx68pdp) which include but are not limited to:
*Establish a Sustainability Coordinators Program
*Develop Campus Sustainability Series to achieve climate goals
*Use UB101 and employee orientations for sustainability education
*Create a campus climate change and sustainability lecture series
*Host Community Climate Change events on campus
*Expand Collaboration with local schools for climate education
*Establish a community Climate action outreach program

In addition, numerous other measurements and goals can be found through internal documents with UB Sustainability and throughout the engagement section on UB Sustainability portal: http://www.buffalo.edu/sustainability/engagement.html and https://www.buffalo.edu/sustainability/get-involved.html


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see UB's 10 in 10 Climate Action Plan (https://www.buffalo.edu/climate-action/10-solutions.html) and hover over the solutions tab and then click each of the ten areas to see detailed measurable sustainability objectives for UB's operations.

Also, please see section 3.2.10 and 3.2.11 of the foundational UB Climate Action Plan for a matrix that delineates numerous specific measurable objectives (https://buffalo.app.box.com/s/784h88tqz06gdmu1lag77bj73bx68pdp) which include but are not limited to:
*Onsite renewable energy generation (6,364 MT/CO2)
*Enhanced sub-metering and performance benchmarking
*retro-commissioning and energy audits
*Implement LEED Gold Standard across campus for new builds
*Increased building automation (9,621 MT/CO2)
*Building retrofits and upgrades: envelopes, HVAC, lighting and more (11,592 MT/CO2)
*Integrated energy considerations into space planning

In addition, please see the State University of New York strategic plan and specifically An Energy-Smart New York section: https://www.suny.edu/powerofsuny/energy-smart-ny/


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Please see the University at Buffalo Strategic Diversity and Inclusion plan (it can be downloaded here: https://www.buffalo.edu/inclusion/strategic-initiatives/strategic-plan.html) that delineates numerous specific measurable objectives which include but are not limited to:
*Create a Center for Inclusive Excellence to facilitate achievement by coordinating existing diversity and inclusion-related assets, and continuously assessing UB’s progress toward inclusive excellence
*Create and sustain a welcoming climate in which all members of the UB community are valued, respected, and empowered to achieve to their highest potential
*Attract, retain, and graduate a diverse and culturally competent student body
*Recruit, develop, and retain a diverse and culturally competent faculty and staff, with special attention to recruiting from underrepresented groups
*Provide leadership and communicate commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence across all academic and administrative units
*Collect, monitor and improve the reporting of data on UB’s progress toward inclusive excellence

The plan also calls for employing inclusive excellence as a strategic framework through numerous objectives including but not limited to:
*Improved communication and coordination among UB’s various equity and inclusion assets.
*A climate that is supportive of all members of the UB community (faculty, students, staff and administrators).
*A culture of self-reflection and innovation to address issues of diversity, inclusion and excellence.
*Structuring environments and interactions that encourage individuals to explore and understand others, learn from their differences and commonalities, and succeed together.
*Infusion of diversity-related content in courses, programs and experiences across the disciplines and in social aspects of the campus environment.
*Research, education and engagement programs that support diversity and inclusion in the community.
*Development of diversity and inclusion-related goals and plans at the department and school levels.

In addition, the Presidents Advisory Committee on Race has also promulgated a series of recommendations which have been adopted into a plan for moving forward and can be viewed here: https://www.buffalo.edu/president/vision/presidents-advisory-council/recommendations.html

Also, numerous measurable objectives are also located throughout Realizing UB 2020--Achieving Academic Excellence.

Finally, please see the Financing Climate Neutrality chapter of the UB Climate Action Plan for a matrix that delineates numerous specific measurable objectives (https://buffalo.app.box.com/s/784h88tqz06gdmu1lag77bj73bx68pdp) which include but are not limited to:
*Capturing utilities savings for climate neutrality
*Establish a revolving fund to climate neutrality
*Increase performance contracting
*Elective student, staff and faculty fees
*Implement User fees and tariffs
*Reduce Air Travel (reduction of 15787 MT Co2-e)
*Restructure student, faculty and staff transportation fees (reduction of 484 MT Co2-e)


Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Minor theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
---

Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

With a longstanding history of environmental leadership that extends over several decades, the University at Buffalo is committed to creating a better, more sustainable future for all of the communities we serve, locally as well as globally. This commitment informs every aspect of our mission as a public research university, from our innovative research, to our curriculum and educational programs, our operations and built environment, and our engagement with our broader communities.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

At the University at Buffalo (UB), we work every day to create a more sustainable campus and community through our research, teaching, operations and our interaction with the community. And we've been doing it for over fifty years.

As a public research institution, our model of sustainability focuses on finding solutions to global challenges through research, creating the next generation of change agents through our curriculum, setting the bar high for sustainability in our own operations, and sharing our experiences and learning from the external community.

UB is a sustainability leader in higher education. Our commitment spans 50 years — from the origins of the environmental movement at Love Canal to the innovative operational measures we take that continue to save the university millions of dollars a year and reduce UB’s environmental footprint on the future.

While we are proud of the road we’ve traveled, we want to build on our history of environmental stewardship and recognize that sustainability is not a goal to achieve, but rather a strategy for creating a better future. As we evolve our model of sustainability, we’re focused on embedding a culture of sustainable thinking and practice deep into all aspects of day-to-day activities and long-term ambitions.

As an institution of higher education, we are greatly appreciative of the opportunity we have to demonstrate ongoing sustainability leadership through our mission of educating the next generation, finding new solutions through our research and partnering with our community and our region. We strive to evolve and adapt, all the while sharing our stories of success and challenges in an effort to encourage others as they endeavor on their own sustainability journeys. We believe sustainability is inherently collaborative and are inspired by the efforts of others both locally and globally as we collectively work toward creating a better future through sustainability.


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

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

Please see: https://www.buffalo.edu/sustainability/about-us/guiding-principles.html which includes the above as well as the University Global Compact


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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