Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.20
Liaison Eric Boles
Submission Date March 8, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Arkansas
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.17 / 4.00 Eric Boles
Director
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have current and formal plans to advance sustainability in the following areas? Do the plans include measurable objectives?:
Current and Formal Plans (Yes or No) Measurable Objectives (Yes or No)
Curriculum Yes No
Research (or other scholarship) Yes No
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement No No
Air and Climate Yes Yes
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds Yes No
Purchasing No No
Transportation Yes Yes
Waste Yes Yes
Water Yes No
Diversity and Affordability Yes No
Health, Wellbeing and Work No No
Investment No No
Other No No

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Curriculum:

The University of Arkansas Resiliency Center (UARC) vision statement was approved in February of 2017 and is a collaboration across participating colleges, initially composed of the College of Engineering (ENGR), the Walton College of Business (WCOB), and the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design (FJSA+D). The UARC will collaborate across colleges to create inter- and trans-disciplinary programs, research, and outreach to support the academic and research missions of the School.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):

The UARC coordinates the existing undergraduate interdisciplinary minor and graduate certificate in sustainability (SUST), and will deliver four new core courses for interdisciplinary MS and PhD programs in the Fall of 2017. These emerging interdisciplinary graduate programs will be developed and administered by collaborating colleges, beginning with the Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, the College of Engineering, and the Walton College of Business. The measurable outcomes include enrollment in sustainability courses, sustainability minor, and sustainability graduate certificate, as well as student scores on sustainability literacy assessments.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):

The UARC is administered by an Executive Director, Dr. Marty Matlock who reports to the School’s Board of Deans, composed of the deans of each participating college, led by the host dean (FJSA+D).


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Research (or other scholarship):

The UARC research vision statement was approved in February of 2017. The UARC will support partnerships with business, industry, and community leaders to connect new knowledge with existing social and economic frameworks. The UARC will integrate cooperative learning programs for students to work with industries, businesses, communities, and governments in Arkansas and around the world as part of their formal education. Research on the sustainability of food and water touches every aspect of the UA academy: agriculture, architecture, arts and sciences, business, education, engineering and law. The interface of technology and the humanities is where research in food, water, and community resilience is strongest at the University of Arkansas.

The UARC will work across disciplines to create knowledge in context in order to better manage risks, create opportunities, identify innovations, and move technology to the market place. These will require an expansion of the University of Arkansas’ capacity to investigate and understand human systems, including social ethics, communications, individual and group decision-making, and social psychology of fulfillment and well-being. This convergence of social, economic, and ecological systems is the frontier of knowledge that the UARC will explore with its formal inception in the summer of 2017.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Research plan(s):

The annual awards in sustainability research are tracked each year and used as a metric for success along with peer reviewed publications by UARC representatives. Interdisciplinary collaboration across campus will be essential to seeing improvement in these metrics year over year.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):

The UARC is administered by an Executive Director, Dr. Marty Matlock who reports to the School’s Board of Deans, composed of the deans of each participating college, led by the host dean (FJSA+D).


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:

The UA Office for Sustainability (OFS) is continually engaging students, faculty, and staff in sustainability related initiatives across campus. This led the OFS to develop an internal Campus Communications Strategy document in 2015 which identifies an overarching mission to raising awareness among students while giving them opportunities to be involved. The communications campaign revolves around monthly themes and identifies best practices for all the commonly used communications platforms. Those tools include, but are not limited to the OFS website, blog, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Snapchat, Pinterest, and other press releases to media outlets.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Campus Engagement plan:

Attendance of events, website analytics, newsletter analytics, and social media analytics are all used to track progress on a monthly basis. An iterative strategy is used to increase each of those metrics by recognizing trends and reacting accordingly.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Campus Engagement plan(s):

UA Office for Sustainability Director and Communications Interns


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Public Engagement around sustainability:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Public Engagement plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Public Engagement plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:

In December 2015, the University of Arkansas committed to the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge as part of the COP21 Paris Climate Conference. This agreement re-asserts the U of A’s goal to strive toward carbon neutrality and demonstrates continued leadership on this issue. This commitment is part of the University of Arkansas Climate Action Plan Version 2.0, which was approved by the Sustainability Council in 2014. Achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 at the University of Arkansas will require continued effort and cooperation by students, faculty, and staff to be aware of their energy usage, waste habits, and transportation choices.
The CAP V2 can be found here: https://sustainability.uark.edu/_resources/publication-series/major-reports/2014-11-cap-v2.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):

The UA has a carbon neutrality by 2040 goal. The next milestone is to mitigate emissions to 1990 levels of 125,000 MTCDE or less by 2021. This goal is expected to be reached in fiscal year 2017, since the UA came within 10,000 MTCDE in FY16, and will receive the full benefits of the UA combined heat and power system in FY17. More projects have been identified to continue progress towards carbon neutrality in the coming years.

Progress and details can be found here: http://reporting.secondnature.org/institution/detail!129


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):

UA Office for Sustainability and UA Sustainability Council


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Buildings:

The U of A Planning Guidelines document has a Criteria for Sustainability section with three required standards for all new construction and renovation.
1) Reduce the life-cycle cost of facilities by incorporating sustainable design principles in the planning, programming, design, construction, operation, maintenance, restoration, and renovation of all facilities and infrastructure projects, consistent with budget and University requirements. Strategies may include proper siting, building form, glass properties and location, material selection, and incorporating natural heating, cooling, ventilation, and day-lighting techniques.
2) Use the US Green Building Council’s LEED rating system OR the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes rating system as a tool in applying sustainable design principles, and as a measure of the sustainability achieved through the planning, design, and construction process. A LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations rating of SILVER or the Green Globes equivalent rating of TWO GLOBES is the standard to which University projects will be held.
3) Provide a life-cycle economic analysis of the sustainable strategies and features of the building, as well as an energy cost model that addresses all building system costs, such as building envelope, HVAC, and electrical systems. This analysis must be prepared by the designers of each project and submitted to the University for review.
The planning document can be found here: https://planning.uark.edu/campus_planning/content/guide%20-%20part%202.pdf

The UA also has a Campus Preservation Master Plan which focuses on preserving and restoring culturally significant structures on campus. The plan details can be found here: https://planning.uark.edu/campus_planning/content/preservation_masterplan.pdf

The University of Arkansas also has a progressive Integrated Pest Management Plan which proposes environmentally friendly solutions to pest management within all UA buildings with the exception of Athletics. That plan can be found here: https://sustainability.uark.edu/_resources/publication-series/major-reports/2014-10-ipm-plan.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Buildings plan(s):

At this time, the University is not requiring formal certification of most its projects, though some projects may. However, the design and construction team will be required to submit a checklist and narrative to substantiate the measures taken to achieve the equivalent of the certification levels desired. They are also required to provide a life-cycle economic analysis of the sustainable strategies and features of the building, as well as an energy cost model that addresses all building system costs, such as building envelope, HVAC, and electrical systems. This analysis must be prepared by the designers of each project and submitted to the University for review of design intent.

By January 2017, 13 buildings have been LEED certified and 5 buildings are Green Globe certified. These numbers continue to increase each year.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Buildings plan(s):

UA Facilities Management


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Dining Services/Food:

The Compass Group who provides all of the UA dining services across campus has many CSR plans online, has adopted a sustainability platform and 2020 vision which includes sourcing locally, progressive animal welfare standards, reduced antibiotic use in animal ag, sustainable seafood, and fair labor practices within their supply chain.
Their vision document can be found here:
http://issuu.com/becompass/docs/sustainability_platform_v5/1?e=0/12420280


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

The Compass Group vision is to reduce carbon and water footprints per guest by 20% by 2020 (based on a 2014 benchmark). One strategy for meeting that goal is to reduce their purchasing of red meat by 30% by 2020. They also have measurable 2020 goals established for sourcing locally, progressive animal welfare standards, reduced antibiotic use in animal ag, sustainable seafood, and fair labor practices within their supply chain.
The detailed document can be found here:
http://issuu.com/becompass/docs/sustainability_platform_v5/1?e=0/12420280

The UA also has a detailed food insecurity report which tracks various metrics.
https://service.uark.edu/foodprograms/resource-files/food-insecurity-report.pdf


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

Compass Group dining services, Chartwells dining services, and University of Arkansas Business Services for Student Affairs


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Energy:

The University of Arkansas Climate Action Plan Version 2.0, which was approved by the Sustainability Council in 2014, focuses on scope 2 emission reduction strategies since they account for about 50% of the campus carbon footprint.
https://sustainability.uark.edu/_resources/publication-series/major-reports/2014-11-cap-v2.pdf

Reduce energy usage through plug load management campaigns and green computing programs.

The UA is rolling out campus wide energy dashboards in the spring of 2017.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Energy plan(s):

The UA has a carbon neutrality by 2040 goal, and energy is the biggest piece of the pie. The next milestone is to mitigate emissions to 1990 levels of 125,000 MTCDE or less by 2021. This goal is expected to be reached in fiscal year 2017, since the UA came within 10,000 MTCDE in FY16, and will receive the full benefits of the UA combined heat and power system in FY17. More projects have been identified to continue progress towards carbon neutrality in the coming years.

A significant impact on the UA carbon footprint has been Energy Savings Performance Contracts that have reduced emissions by approximately 30,000 metric tons, and saved around six million dollars in the past 10 years.

An energy dashboard system is being deployed in summer of 2017 and will help UA community members visualize energy and water data across campus. Measurable objectives and tracking progress will be aided by that new system.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Energy plan(s):

The UA Office for Sustainability and UA Facilities Management


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Grounds:

The UA has a Campus Landscape Design Manual, which has a focus on low impact landscaping and enhanced biodiversity along with best management practices for stormwater management on campus. The UA Pollinator Committee worked closely with Campus Planning on the preferred plant lists.
https://planning.uark.edu/campus_planning/master_plan_documents.html

Also, the UA Community Design Center who specializes in low impact development has created a variety of planning documents which apply to the U of A grounds. For example one document is titled "Campus Hydroscapes: Watershed as a Planning Platform for Campus Improvements in the University of Arkansas Athletic Valley." That planning document can be found here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/uacdc/UARK_Campus-Hydroscapes_reduced.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Grounds plan(s):

The measurable objectives are not explicitly defined in these planning documents.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Grounds plan(s):

UA Facilities Management


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Purchasing:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Purchasing plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Purchasing plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Transportation:

The University of Arkansas Campus Transportation Plan 2015 attempts to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of both the bus routes and traffic flow, and also add to the accessibility and number of bike lanes and routes available on and off campus. That planning document can be found here: https://planning.uark.edu/campus_planning/content/2015_transportation_plan_smry.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Transportation plan(s):

The UA 2015 Transportation Plan does a good job of benchmarking participation rates in sustainable transportation modes and identifies strategies to increase participation rates in sustainable transportation modes through increasing the cost of parking permits, funding bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and improving the bus routes. A timeline is not established in this document.

To support and expand on that plan, Campus Planning and the Office for Sustainability are developing an official master plan for UA bicycling infrastructure which will be completed by Fall of 2017.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Transportation plan(s):

UA Parking and Transit


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Waste:

The UA is committed to divert 90 percent of all waste from the landfill by 2021, and has an internal Zero Waste Strategy Document which has not yet been published online. The UA also participated in the development of a City of Fayetteville Recycling and Waste Diversion Master Plan which includes an assessment of University of Arkansas waste systems. That document can be found here:http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10583


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Waste plan(s):

The measurable objective is to be 90 percent diversion from landfill by 2021, but the UA is only at 30% diversion rate in 2016. In 2017, the UA is working closely with its solid waste management service provider to establish a more consistent recycling and organics collection system across campus in an effort to increase the diversion rate.
https://sustainability.uark.edu/about/our-commitments/zerowaste/

A published 3rd party waste audit for the UA can be found here:
http://www.fayetteville-ar.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6285


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Waste plan(s):

UA Office for Sustainability & UA Facilities Management


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Water:

Although the carbon footprint embodied in water is not significant in the Northwest Arkansas region, there is a section dedicated to UA campus water usage within the UA Climate Action Plan V2. The focus of that document is on inventorying how water is used across campus to identify priorities. The full document can be found here:
https://sustainability.uark.edu/_resources/publication-series/major-reports/2014-11-cap-v2.pdf

The UA Environmental Health and Safety team has also published a Stormwater Management Plan which identifies best management practices. The document can be found here: https://ehs.uark.edu/DocumentPages/U%20of%20A%20SWMP-2009%20.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Water plan(s):

A project to harvest runoff for use in the UA cooling towers has been designed. Half of the funding for this project is still being solicited. The cooling towers currently use city water, and account for approximately 30% of the water consumption on campus. This is an opportunity to reduce the UA potable water consumption by 40 million gallons.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Water plan(s):

UA Facilities Management, UA Office for Sustainability, UA Sustainability Council


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:

The University Housing Master Plan has stated primary goals of safe, affordable housing which promotes diversity.
https://planning.uark.edu/campus_planning/content/housingplan_update.pdf

The UA Libraries also have well defined diversity goals and strategies. Found here:
http://libraries.uark.edu/Webdocs/diversity/UA_Library_Diversity_Goals_2012-2013.pdf


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

Objectives, strategies, and timeframes can be found in the UA Housing Master Plan, however they are not explicity focused on diversity and affordability.

The UA Libraries Diversity Goals document does a good job identifying objectives and strategies, but not metrics and timeframes.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

UA Housing and UA Libraries along with the UA Diversity Affairs Office


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the other plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the other plan(s):
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The institution’s definition of sustainability:
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Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:

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.