Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.45
Liaison Bambi Ingram
Submission Date Feb. 7, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alabama at Birmingham
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Julie Price
Sustainability Coordinator
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:
UAB's strategic plan, Forging the Future, includes sustainability as a shared value under Stewardship. The broad incorporation of sustainability in the plan, just approved in 2018, is already evident in the selected UAB Grand Challenge. The UAB Grand Challenge includes the sustainability manager as a team leader in developing built environment systems that support healthier populations. Sustainability is also prominently featured in the ongoing reshaping of the core curriculum, another priority of the strategic plan.


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:
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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)? :
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):
The UAB Master Plan, approved in February 2016, places strong emphasis on sustainability and the term, along with application are woven throughout the document. The end of document commits UAB to completing a Sustainability Plan, which was completed.

The primary elements of the University of Alabama at
Birmingham campus vision include:
• An urban campus of quality places and spaces
interconnected by walkable streets and paths
• A network of vibrant open spaces for active and
passive recreation, gathering, and learning
• A richly supportive setting for student living
• A hub for innovation, creativity, research and
artistic expression
• Compelling architecture that frames and
engages memorable outdoor places
• Integrated parking and multimodal transportation
systems that provide convenient access
and movement across the campus
• A cost-effective utility system with low carbon
footprint and energy unit index
• A healthy, green and sustainable environment
• A harmonious, purposeful partnership with
neighbors

https://www.uab.edu/news/student-experience/item/7129-new-campus-master-plan-developed-after-key-stakeholder-involvement

In addition, the UAB IT Strategic Plan passed in July 2016 has many sustainability components--credited below under "Other Impact Areas." The link is below. This plan also includes a statement of blanket sustainability efforts (though the measurables are addressed in the other impact area related to social and cultural impact):

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS: As UAB IT replaces or enhances services, it constantly looks at energy usage, specifically in the power and cooling needs of infrastructure. As UAB grows, information technology needs will grow, and sustainability is one of the criteria considered as new or expanded technology choices are considered. Consolidation of servers from existing central and distributed IT locations into a single, cost-efficient and secure computing environment will be foundational for building a sustainable campus from a technology perspective.

https://www.uab.edu/it/home/images/IT_StrategicPlan_2016_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:
1. Advance the annual Red Mountain Project sustainability course development program
2.Pursue academic department-level collaboration for incorporating learning outcomes related to sustainability
3.Explore opportunities to incorporate sustainability into the new Signature Core Curriculum
4.Develop a proposal for a sustainability certificate program to be offered at the undergraduate level
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/curriculum

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:
1.Develop a departmental pilot program for recognition of interdisciplinary efforts in promotion and tenure
2.Cultivate a Green Labs culture across the institution through partnerships with Occupational Health & Safety and individual departments
3.Draft enterprise-wide freezer maintenance, redundancy, and replacement guidelines
4.Recognize sustainability research and scholarship within the UAB academe, and use internal and external communications platforms to highlight research for sustainability
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/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:
1.Promote sustainability goals at student and faculty recruitment and orientation programs
2.Create a student sustainability leadership program
3.Implement the Sustainability Ambassadors program for faculty and staff
4.Provide funding for campus engagement in sustainability initiatives through the Sustainability Investment Fund and other similar programs
5.Develop an annual seminar for interdisciplinary sustainability topics
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/campus-engagement

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:
1.Develop formal and informal partnerships with area municipalities and other stakeholders to support sustainability and resilience initiatives
2.Establish online community-based sustainability courses
3.Build a more effective and user-friendly website for the UAB Sustainability program and raise the program’s social media presence to national prominence
4.Initiate tracking mechanisms for all new project partnerships to assess overall impact of the program
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/public-engagement

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:
1.Collect baseline data assessing the carbon footprint for energy, transportation, and waste for the campus and hospital
2.Purchase clean energy and promote actions that incentivize the construction of new clean energy projects
3.Develop a roadmap for carbon reduction with key performance indicators and benchmarks
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/air-climate-and-energy

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:
1.Revise and update current design, construction, and space planning standards
2.Conduct Life Cycle Assessments (LCA’s) to better understand energy use and environmental impacts of all construction and renovation projects
3.Adopt centralized service sites in all buildings, including break rooms and appliances, printing, waste removal, and recycling
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/buildings

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:
1.Investigate opportunities for increasing the amount of energy generated from onsite renewable energy sources
2.Institute a Green Revolving Fund (GRF) to invest money in projects that improve efficiency and decrease resource use; cost savings that result from efficiency projects will replenish the GRF, allowing it to return to its original size, or to grow
3.Install interactive dashboards in lobbies of all major buildings to educate and engage occupants with energy and water consumption
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/air-climate-and-energy

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:
1.Revise vendor specifications for all university and hospital dining operators to support overall sustainable dining practices, including local and sustainable food sourcing, service material waste reduction, and food waste reduction and diversion
2.Track dining purchases to identify and highlight sustainable certifications, including local, fair trade, sustainable, and animal welfare approved
3.Implement food waste dehydrators or digesters in all on-site kitchens to mitigate food waste sent to the landfill
4.Develop a free food alert app. for leftover food pick-up from events
5.Encourage preference for green catering services that use sustainable servingware and local food sources, and reduce food waste for events
6.Eliminate the use of plastic straws and Styrofoam in campus dining
7.Establish an expanded food truck permit program with guidelines for servingware procurement, waste, and energy use and emissions
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/food-and-dining

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:
1.Explore innovative technology solutions for grounds management equipment
2.Design and manage landscapes to support native plant populations and integrated pest management
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/grounds-and-waste

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:
1.Connect campus and hospital purchasing programs to develop uniformity in purchasing policy and practice
2.Create an institutional information campaign that promotes a culture change to a circular economy model in new transactions
3.Publicize successful efforts to procure goods and services that minimize energy use, waste, and social impacts

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:
1.Develop an institutional telecommuting and expanded flexible workday policy to reduce commute time, improve recruitment and retention, and support work/life balance
2.Conduct a biennial commuter survey
3.Provide incentives for use of sustainable transportation such as public transportation, carpooling, electric vehicles, walking, and cycling to campus and on campus
4.Align with UAB Campus Master Plan goals for walkability and multi-modal transportation systems
5.Produce a master plan for bike facilities
6.Strengthen partnerships with local transit and area transportation organizations
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/transportation

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:
1.Assess total solid-waste and specialized waste amounts produced by the campus and hospital
2.Benchmark and set goals for waste reduction
3.Compost major organic waste streams
4.Develop a student-run recycling center with job-specific learning outcomes
5.Increase recycling revenue through in-house baling for direct sale of recyclable commodities to the market
6.Evaluate a business model for internal secure paper shredding for the campus and hospital
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/grounds-and-waste

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:
1.Develop design standards for rainwater and utility water capture systems in new buildings, to include a cost-benefit analysis
2.Use new water resource connections, including wells and industrial water (non-potable), to reduce the use of drinking quality water for utilities and industrial purposes
3.Expand the current groundwater and condensate recovery program to meet the level of 25% of utility consumption
4.Install smart water metering systems in larger buildings
5.Increase deployment of smart irrigation systems
6.Draft a sustainable stormwater management plan
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/water

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:
1.Implement educational courses for social sustainability using the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) modules: Cultural Awareness Building Blocks, SafeZone Training, Unconscious Bias, and Bystander Intervention
2.Include social sustainability messaging during recruitment and onboarding
3.Work to increase the number of individuals completing ODEI education modules
4.Establish effective data collection mechanisms for enterprise-wide diverse suppliers and second-tier spending
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/diversity

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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance 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 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:
1.Redefine the current wellness and incentive strategy, and identify member populations with higher disease prevalence and opportunities for improved medication adherence
2.Develop targeted interventions for select member populations and document a multi-year strategy to include measurement of outcomes
3.Promote campus walking trails, measure their use, and evaluate areas for improvement
4.Create a wellness champion strategy and communication network, and engage champions for specific wellness programming
5.Conduct biennial employee engagement surveys and develop response-driven initiatives
https://www.uab.edu/sustainability/about/strategic-plan/wellbeing-and-work

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:
The IT Strategic Plan's Imperative 7: Enhance the community of information technology excellence for the economic, social, and cultural benefit of Birmingham and beyond.This imperative lists more than 50 measurable objectives related to UAB IT's support of tech-related social and cultural improvement in the Birmingham area.

https://www.uab.edu/it/home/images/IT_StrategicPlan_2016_FINAL.pdf

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):
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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:
See Sustainability Strategic Plan

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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Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.