Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.59
Liaison Richard Demerjian
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, Irvine
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Carrie Metzgar
Sustainability and Planning Analyst
Campus Physical and Environmental Planning
"---" 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:

RESEARCH

UCI’s Strategic Plan also provides measurable sustainability objectives for research. View the Plan here: https://strategicplan.uci.edu/docs/UCI_2016_Complete_Strategic_Plan.pdf

For Pillar 1 Growth That Makes a Difference: Expanding Our Capacity to Improves Lives (pg.6), the Plan outlines the following objectives and strategies for research:
-- Develop opportunities to address significant societal challenges – related to health, energy, food, climate and water – through the convergence of research from traditional academic fields, such as medicine, biology, physical science, engineering and information and computer science (known as convergence science);
-- Invest in academic and administrative structures that promote interdisciplinary practices;
accelerate faculty hiring in academic areas with the highest potential for establishing UCI’s leadership in convergence science;
-- Create a campuswide program for faculty who aspire to offer exploratory or innovative convergence science and other interdisciplinary courses;
-- Educate UCI faculty, staff and administrators about implicit biases that may create barriers to building diverse and interdisciplinary teams; promote team science as an area of excellence at UCI;
-- Build a large donor-supported research and education building devoted to the convergence of science and engineering.


CURRICULUM

In UCI’s Strategic Plan (https://strategicplan.uci.edu/docs/UCI_2016_Complete_Strategic_Plan.pdf), Goal 1.4 states: "Create appropriate programs and structures to facilitate interdisciplinary, problem-based scholarship and teaching, especially for convergence science." In alignment with this goal, the measurable sustainability objectives that address curriculum are provided in the 2017 Progress Report on UCI's Strategic Plan and the 2018 Full Set of Metrics Report. This is indicated by a graph depicting the percentage of cross-listed courses during the academic year. In 2019, faculty academic forums were held to discuss an overview of efforts and next steps in meeting the objectives. The specific metric updates are available online to those with current UCINetIDs.

The strategy to meet this objective is: "Solve complex problems oftentimes requires interdisciplinary approaches. Both faculty and students seek more opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary activities, but institutional structures sometime make that difficult. We seek to remove institutional barriers to interdisciplinary research and teaching.”


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:

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Set in alignment with the UCI Strategic Plan, Student Affairs developed their own strategic plan in 2018, entitled "Visions of Possibility Through 2025." This Plan serves as a roadmap for Student Affairs to support students in navigating their pathways to productivity and success.

View the Plan: https://sa-webapp01.sa.uci.edu/studentaffairs/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2018/11/SA-Strategic-Plan-11-9-2018.pdf

The Student Affairs Strategic Plan provides the following sustainability goals and measurable objectives for student engagement:

a) Goal 4: Prepare Students to Be Leaders in a Diverse & Global Society (pg. 12)
- 4.3 Expand sustainability knowledge to activate student engagement and behavior changes.
-- Performance Metrics: Measure student engagement through pre and post surveys.

b) Goal 6: Create Healthy Communities & Wellness-Minded Individuals (pg. 20)
- 6.1 Create sustainability and wellness-minded students and student leaders who can think globally and act locally by providing educational opportunities focused on personal and community wellness.
-- Performance Metrics: Increase student engagement with global food security and sustainability efforts through research and community service.

- 6.2 Achieve national leadership as a higher education institution in providing food and basic needs security to our students as a way to meaningfully support and advance their educational success.
-- Performance Metrics: Benchmark student numbers (from 2018) who require food, resources and crisis management help, and develop a systematic plan to annually reduce that number. Report annually and engage in continuous improvement.

- 6.3 Develop services and resources that support wellness, resilience, safety and reduce risk factors in residential environment.
-- Performance Metrics: Track attendance and utilization of resources and support programs. Measure student engagement through pre and post surveys.

The Student Affairs Learning Outcomes for academic year 2020-2021 also provides the following sustainability goals and measurable objectives for student engagement:
https://salo.studentaffairs.uci.edu/#/ (*Log-in credentials required)
-- Participants will learn more about what makes a campus and community sustainable.

COMMUNITY AND CAMPUS ENGAGEMENT

The measurable sustainability objectives that address public engagement are provided in the 2016 UCI Strategic Plan, available here: https://strategicplan.uci.edu/docs/UCI_2016_Complete_Strategic_Plan.pdf

On pages 15-16, the Plan outlines the following objectives and strategies for public engagement:

a) Goal 3.4: Partner with Orange County to develop a national model for how to live responsibly and well in the 21st century
- Partner with Orange County in developing a sophisticated water conservation model that will provide a paradigm for 21st-century water management nationally and internationally;
- Partner with regional agencies and businesses to develop new, more sustainable models for energy production, delivery, and consumption, including traffic efficiency and pollution control;
- Implement an ethos of sustainability for students, faculty, and staff supported by clear processes and simple implementation strategies;
- Make UCI a favorite destination for the Orange County community through joint public/campus events, the provision of public spaces for the exchange of ideas, greater faculty involvement in regional service, and the expansion of arts engagement initiatives;
- Enhance the learning environment for Orange County citizens through dynamic engagement across the full educational spectrum, utilizing UCI Extension for online and remote learning, engaging the K-12 system with an emphasis on underserved communities, and undertaking an educational needs assessment of the county’s citizens.


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:

UC SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES POLICY
The UC Sustainable Practices Policy outlines sustainability targets for all University of California campuses. The policy objectives include, but are not limited to the following:

-- Reduce potable water by 36% by 2025 from three year
baseline
-- Zero emission or hybrid vehicles are at least 50% of all
acquisitions by 2025
-- Climate neutral from direct and indirect emissions of
purchased energy by 2025
-- Climate neutral from indirect emissions of commuting
and air travel by 2050
-- Buildings achieve a USGBC LEED "Silver" certification
-- Prioritize waste reduction in the order of reduce, reuse,
recycle and compost
-- Achieve zero waste with at least 90% diversion rate

View the UC Sustainable Practices Policy: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/SustainablePractices
View the UCI infographic summarizing the Policy: https://sustainability.uci.edu/sustainablecampus/uc-sustainable-practices-policy/

CLIMATE PROTECTION AND ENERGY

UCI Climate Action Plan
The measurable sustainability objectives that address climate protection and energy are provided in the 2016 UCI Climate Action Plan (CAP), available here: https://ucisustain.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/UCIrvine2016CAP.pdf

The CAP provides measurable objectives for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for specific target years. These objectives include reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and climate neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 sources by 2025.

Reduction strategies identified in the CAP include the following:
-- Planning for low carbon growth through sustainable land use planning & green building
-- Reducing energy demand through energy efficiency and conservation programs
-- Replacing fossil fuel energy with low-carbon energy sources through on and off-site renewable energy procurements and fuel switching
-- Mitigating remaining carbon emissions through mission consistent offset programs

WATER

UCI Water Action Plan
The measurable sustainability objectives that address water conservation and efficiency are provided in the 2017 UCI Water Action Plan available here: https://ucisustain.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/UCIWAP2017.pdf

A sample of the UCI Water Action Plan's goals and objectives:

The UCI Water Action Plan set a 30% total landscape irrigation water reduction target by 2020. To achieve this goal the campus is proposing the following strategies:
1. Remove underutilized turf and replace with California native plants or mulch
2. Improve irrigation system efficiency
3. Capture stormwater and reuse

LABORATORIES

UCI Green Lab Action Plan

The measurable sustainability objectives that address campus research laboratories are provided in the 2021 UCI Green Lab Action Plan (GLAP) available here: https://sustainability.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/UCI-Green-Lab-Action-Plan-2021.pdf

UCI’s GLAP strategy seeks to determine strengths and areas for improvement in six key program areas: 1) energy efficiency, 2) water conservation, 3) waste reduction, 4) sustainable procurement, 5) communications and outreach, and 6) resource development.

A sample of the UCI GLAP’s goals and objectives:
1. Develop inventory of ULT freezers that adjust temperature from -80°C to -70°C
-- Create ULT freezer inventory by 2024 and calculate annual energy use reductions.
2. Seek funding opportunities to purchase additional lowflow restrictors
-- Install at least 400 flow restrictors in research buildings by 2023.
3. Conduct pilot program for glove recycling
-- Launch pilot program for glove recycling by 2025.
4. Partner in the creation of the UC system-wide Green Labs Resource Library
-- Complete consolidation of resources by 2021. Work with UC campuses to set timeline goal for resource library completion.

LAND USE

UCI Long Range Development Plan
The 2007 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) is a comprehensive land use plan that guides physical development on the UCI campus through 2025-2026. Sustainable operations is a key component of UCI’s 2007 LRDP, serving as on overarching theme in major planning principles, land use elements, and environmental regulations and policy. View the LRDP here: https://cpep.uci.edu/physical/campus-lrdp.php

A sample of the LRDP's sustainability goals and objectives:
1) Manage transportation needs proactively.
-- Land use plans and development guidelines seek to balance the access and mobility requirements of the campus community with the desire to support a quality pedestrian environment, maintain human scale, and achieve campus sustainability objectives.
2) Promote sustainable development practices.
-- The University is committed to stewardship of the environment and to reducing its dependence on non-renewable energy sources. UCI has established a framework for environmentally sound development and operations within all sectors of the campus.

PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

UCI Physical Design Framework
The 2010 Physical Design Framework designates the planning principles and physical design standards applied to new campus development, facility renovation, and ongoing management and operation of campus facilities and grounds to ensure consistent with UCI’s established image and form. Sustainable operations and design practices is incorporated throughout the framework, within planning and design principles, guidelines, and the overall process. View the Physical Design Framework here: https://cpep.uci.edu/physical/pdf/UCI-Physical-Design-Framework.pdf

1. Promote Environmental Quality
-- Sustainable campus development and operations provide a means to stabilize campus budgets, increase environmental awareness, reduce the environmental consequences of University activities, and provide educational leadership for the 21st century.
2. Site Planning Guidelines: To encourage sustainable site development by
managing density, preserving open space, optimizing natural resource conservation and quality, and promoting increased pedestrian, bicycle, and transit modes of travel.
3. Landscape Guidelines: To promote environmental quality through the
selection of native and drought tolerant plant species, functional zoning of landscape types, and sustainable landscape management and urban forestry practices.

GROUNDS AND LANDSCAPING

UCI Green and Gold Plan
The UCI Green and Gold Plan identifies ways to better manage existing landscape assets and provides direction for future development of campus landscaping that is environmentally suitable and more sustainable given natural and financial resource constraints. The UCI Green and Gold Plan is available here: https://cpep.uci.edu/physical/landscape-plan.php

Sample of the UCI Green and Gold Plan's sustainability goals and objectives:
1. Develop a landscape that is sustainable and provides for long-term conservation of resources: energy, water, labor, and reduced production of green waste.
2. Develop campus landscaping and open space networks that maximize local and regional natural resource values.
3. Develop landscaping that provides the greatest functional value consistent with comprehensive campus planning and design objectives.
4. While selection of appropriate plant materials and proper planting and irrigation techniques are crucial first steps in developing sustainable landscaping, it is equally important that adequate management programs are in place to preserve this asset.


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:

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION & WELLBEING

Office of Inclusive Excellence Action Plan
The Office of Inclusive Excellence Action Plan sets goals and strategies in three areas:
1) Community: To ensure that everyone contributes to a thriving and health campus environment.
2) Thriving: To foster opportunities for everyone to maximize their potential at UCI.
3) Wellness: To promote health and welfare of campus, alumni, and visitors.

A sample of the Office of Inclusive Excellence Action Plan’s sustainability objectives and goals:
-- Promote positive and inclusive campus environment
-- Promote an inclusive excellence culture in learning and work environments
-- Recognize diversity as a core competency for the entire campus community
-- Facilitate access to wellness services
-- Embed health into all aspects of campus culture

View the Action Plan here: https://inclusion.uci.edu/action-plan/

UCI Student Affairs Strategic Plan: Visions of Possibility Through 2025
The Student Affairs Strategic Plan (https://sa-webapp01.sa.uci.edu/studentaffairs/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2018/11/SA-Strategic-Plan-11-9-2018.pdf) provides the following sustainability goals and measurable objectives for as they pertain to diversity, equity, and inclusion:

a) Goal 4 Prepare Students to Be Leaders in a Diverse & Global Society (pg. 11)
- 4.1 Offer deliberately designed educational programs and events to foster diversity and inclusion among students and staff that increase one’s awareness, content knowledge and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact inter-culturally across race, ethnicities, nationalities, religion, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, citizenship status, age and other potential points of division. Engage existing OVCSA entities such as New Narratives, Living Peace Series, Women’s Empowerment Initiative and build new programs in collaboration with student groups.

Performance Metrics:
-- Develop assessment tools to measure intercultural awareness, content knowledge, cognitive skills, and empathic understanding of participant’s pre and post events
-- Compare results with control groups that do not attend these events
-- Develop database of student organizations collaborating across cultures and interests to shape events for common goals and benefits to students
-- Document skillset development among student leaders that work with these events

The Student Affairs Learning Outcomes for academic year 2020-2021 also provides the following sustainability goals and measurable objectives for diversity, equity, and inclusion & wellbeing:
https://salo.studentaffairs.uci.edu/#/ (*Log-in credentials required)
-- Social Responsibility: Students will be able to: 1. Describe social identities. 2. Describe and discuss oppression, power, and privilege. 3. Discuss their interactions across cultural differences. 4. Demonstrate stewardship of human, economic, and environmental resources. 5. Create more equitable and just communities.
Diversity & Global Consciousness
-- Personal Responsibility: Students will be able to: 1. Articulate their values and beliefs. 2. Describe how values and beliefs inform actions. 3. Recognize how their actions influence others. 4. Demonstrate accountability to self and others.
-- Wellness: Students will be able to: 1. Describe all areas of wellness. 2. Identify appropriate resources for support. 3. Utilize strategies for maximizing wellness. 4. Implement strategies for the wellness of others.
-- Participants in the Student Leadership Institute for Climate Resilience (SLICR) can better understand and describe basic concepts of sustainability and community resilience; be able to use leadership practices and skills that develop personal resilience; and be able to use leadership practices and skills that enable effective action for campus and community resilience.

SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT

In 2014, the University of California became a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). UC was the first American public university to join the leading international network of institutional investors committed to including environmental, social and governance factors in their ongoing investment decision making.
See: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/university-california-joins-un-supported-principles-responsible-investment

The six key PRI principles are:
-- We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
-- We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
-- We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
-- We will promote acceptance and implementation of the principles within the investment industry.
-- We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the principles.
-- We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the principles.

For more information, visit: https://www.unpri.org/


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):
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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?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
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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:

"The University of California (“University”) is committed to responsible stewardship of resources and to demonstrating leadership in sustainable business practices. The University’s locations should be living laboratories for sustainability, contributing to the research and educational mission of the University, consistent with available funding and safe operational practices. Policy goals are presented below in nine areas of sustainable practices..."

This is the formal statement from the UC Sustainable Practices Policy. The statement and the policy are endorsed by the UC Regents: https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/3100155/SustainablePractices


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

UCI’s working definition of sustainability developed by a faculty task force.

"Sustainability" is the equitable endurance of natural and human systems in the present and the future. This includes scientific, technological, legal, economic, ethical, governance, social, and other issues that have an impact on the conservation of finite resources for future generations and support long-term environmental and human health.


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
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
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) No
UN Global Compact No
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:

The University of California is a signatory of We Are Still In (https://www.wearestillin.com/) and is also a member of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3) (https://secondnature.org/initiative/uc3-coalition/).


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Additional information to support Part 2. Sustainability in institution’s highest guiding document:

UCI's Strategic Plan (adopted February 2016) continues to be one of the university’s highest guiding documents. The Plan is built around four pillars: 1) Growth That Makes a Difference, 2) First in Class, 3) Great Partners, and 4) New Paths for Our Brilliant Future. Sustainability-focused goals and objectives within UCI's teaching, research, and public service mission is a key feature of the Strategic Plan, as is addressed in several areas of the Plan and referenced in Part 1 of this credit:

-- Pillar 1 (Goal 1.4): Identifies the objective for students and faculty to work on the societal challenges of climate, health, energy, food, and water through the convergence of traditional academic fields
-- Pillar 2 (Goal 2.6): Identifies sustainability as a focus for UCI’s campuswide honors program, which is open to all UCI undergraduate students.
-- Pillar 3 (Goal 3.4): Identifies partnership opportunities with regional agencies and businesses to develop new, more sustainable models for energy production, delivery, and consumption, including traffic efficiency and pollution control and implement an ethos of sustainability for students, faculty, and staff supported by clear processes and simple implementation strategies.

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.