Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Mark Maxwell
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of California, Merced
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Breeana Sylvas
Assistant Director
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 Yes
Research (or other scholarship) Yes Yes
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 Yes
Purchasing Yes Yes
Transportation No No
Waste Yes Yes
Water Yes Yes
Diversity and Affordability No 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 UC Merced Sustainability Progress Report is an update of the Sustainability Strategic Plan. It outlines milestones and accomplishments associated with the advancement of sustainability in curriculum.


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

Measurable objective and accomplishment included Core 1 general education course growth from five hundred students in 2006 to two thousand students in 2014. The course features lectures about environmental challenges and incorporates projects geared toward collaboratively devising solutions toward them.

An additional measurable objective and accomplishment included the increase of student enrollment in courses that comprised the sustainability minor topped 1000 students.


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

Chancellors Advisory Committee on Sustainability


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

The UC Merced Sustainability Progress Report is an update of the Sustainability Strategic Plan. It outlines milestones and accomplishments associated with the advancement of sustainability in Research.


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

A measurable objective includes the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and its continued efforts in conducting research in the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada to examine natural resources, air, water and soil pollution, and climate change that lead to improved environmental sustainability.

Additional measurable objective and accomplishment included the Office of Research Development Services implementation of Cayuse SP (an electronic research administration system that is part of the new "Contracts and Grants Ecosystem" which makes simpler to track grants and proposals that focus on sustainability.


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

Chancellors Advisory Committee on Sustainability


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

The UC Merced Sustainability Progress Report is an update of the Sustainability Strategic Plan. It outlines milestones and accomplishments associated with the advancement of sustainability in Campus Engagement.


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

A measurable objective and accomplishment included the reestablishment of the Chancellors Advisory Committee on Sustainability which seeks input on campus initiatives related to sustainability.

Additionally, a measurable objective included the charter of ASUCM Sustainability Council which acts as a liaison between UC Merced students, community, and administration to support outreach and sustainability dialogue among students.


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

Chancellors Advisory Committee on Sustainability, ASUCM


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:

The Climate Action Plan at UC Merced builds on a founding commitment to environmental stewardship and articulates a vision of climate sustainability for the campus. Incorporated in the Climate Action Plan is a focused presentation toward climate related planning and clarification around policy commitments included in UC Merced's Long Range Development Plan. The primary commitments driving the Climate Action Plan is a Zero Net Energy Campus by 2020, and a climate neutral university by 2020.


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

UC Merced’s basic approach to mitigating its climate effects is to:
1.Save as much energy as is economically feasible
2. Generate from renewable sources as much energy as is consumed annually
(zero net energy)
3. Offset remaining greenhouse gas emissions, prioritizing on-site and regional offsets
(climate neutrality)

These approaches recognize that energy efficiency can often be the most cost-effective approach to reducing GHG emissions. For UC Merced, energy efficiency commitments are a key part of making the zero net energy and climate neutrality goals feasible.


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

Facilities Management, Strategic Facilities Planning, Design and Construction


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

The UC Merced Long Range Development Plan incorporates policies that advance sustainability in Building design. All buildings on the UC Merced campus are required to achieve USGBC LEED Gold certification or higher.


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

UC Merced has a market-leading building energy-efficiency program that significantly reduces energy use and the climate impact of the university. The program requires new buildings to consume up to half the energy and demand of comparable university buildings in California and 30% less energy than required by Title 24, California’s energy efficiency code. Additionally, our buildings are designed to demonstrate 40% water savings over a comparable university building.

Long Range Development policies and strategies include:

SUST-2: Design campus facilities to achieve U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold certification at a minimum, when employing all campus base credits. Establish a minimum of 20-25 LEED campus base credits by creating
and implementing planning and design standards for all campus facilities and site development. Temporary
facilities (less than fifteen years life expectancy) shall strive for LEED Silver equivalence, unless recommended for exemption from policy by the Campus Physical Planning Committee and approved by the Chancellor.

SUST-3: Create a unique architectural identity for the campus by employing passive environmental systems, such as shading, orientation and roof configuration, as design features on campus buildings; employing sustainable materials; and designing campus buildings to employ renewable energy production systems.

SUST-4: Design buildings to maximize day lighting, occupant control over the interior environment, indoor air quality, and general indoor environmental quality. Wherever feasible and programmatically compatible, occupied building interiors should be naturally lit and naturally ventilated, as a priority in facility design.

SUST-5: Design buildings to utilize exterior shading to reduce building cooling loads, and utilize exterior circulation systems such as arcades, loggias, or porches to protect major entries to ground floor functions, reducing the need for environmentally conditioned space in areas of high traffic.

SUST-6: Minimize grid connected peak electricity loads shifting electricity cooling (approximately 25% of total) away from peak electricity demand periods through chilled water thermal storage, gas or cogeneration-driven cooling, and/or solar power.

SUST-7: Install campus energy performance monitoring systems in all new buildings and other monitoring equipment to foster continuous improvement in indoor environmental quality and energy performance. These systems will enable optimization of campus operations, inform improved design of future phases of the campus, and make the campus a “Living Laboratory” for study of engineering and resource conservation.

SUST-8: Explore the feasibility of acheiving water neutraility by determining UC Merced’s “water footprint” [(i.e., consumptive use of rainwater (green water), consumptive use of water withdrawn from groundwater or surface water (blue water) and pollution of water (grey water)]; Establish water footprint reduction targets for UC Merced and employ mechanisms to offset the environmental and social impacts of residual water footprints, such as, employing state of the art technologies, education, modeling new and cost-effective approaches in design and product selection.


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

Design and Construction, Facilities Management, Strategic Facilities Planning


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

The UC Merced Sustainability Progress Report is an update of the Sustainability Strategic Plan. It outlines milestones and accomplishments associated with the advancement of sustainability in Dining Services.


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

Measurable objectives and accomplishments associated with Dining Services include sustainable purchases and a reduction of the impact of waste.

One measurable objective incorporates UCM Dining Services integration of a waste reduction program that reduced the amount of paper waste accumulated in the Dining department by 40%.

An additional measurable accomplishment included Dining Services reduction of paper waste generated by residential dining by 2% through the integration and use of the re-usable container program with the partnership of the Ozzi Corporation.


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

Dining Services


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

The Long Range Development plan outlines UC Merced’s Zero Net Energy goal to achieve zero net energy by 2020 through aggressive conservation efforts and development of renewable power.


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

Strategies include conservation and sustainability development in Planning, Design and Construction of new buildings to increase energy efficiency.

TZC-1: Zero Net Energy: Achieve zero net energy by 2020 through aggressive conservation efforts and development of renewable power. Zero net energy means producing the same amount of renewable energy that is consumed. Buildings will be designed to consume half of the energy and demand of other University buildings in
California, surpass Title 24 minimum efficiency standards by 30%, and achieve all 10 LEED credits for optimizing energy efficiency.

SUST-4: Design buildings to maximize day lighting, occupant control over the interior environment, indoor air quality, and general indoor environmental quality. Wherever feasible and programmatically compatible, occupied building interiors should be naturally lit and naturally ventilated, as a priority in facility design.

SUST-5: Design buildings to utilize exterior shading to reduce building cooling loads, and utilize exterior circulation systems such as arcades, loggias, or porches to protect major entries to ground floor functions, reducing the need for environmentally conditioned space in areas of high traffic.

SUST-6: Minimize grid connected peak electricity loads shifting electricity cooling (approximately 25% of total) away from peak electricity demand periods through chilled water thermal storage, gas or cogeneration-driven cooling, and/or solar power.

SUST-7: Install campus energy performance monitoring systems in all new buildings and other monitoring equipment to foster continuous improvement in indoor environmental quality and energy performance. These systems will enable optimization of campus operations, inform improved design of future phases of the campus, and make the campus a “Living Laboratory” for study of engineering and resource conservation.

SUST-8: Explore the feasibility of acheiving water neutraility by determining UC Merced’s “water footprint” [(i.e., consumptive use of rainwater (green water), consumptive use of water withdrawn from groundwater or surface water (blue water) and pollution of water (grey water)]; Establish water footprint reduction targets for UC Merced and employ mechanisms to offset the environmental and social impacts of residual water footprints, such as, employing state of the art technologies, education, modeling new and cost-effective approaches in design and product selection.


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

Facilities Management


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

The Long Range Development plan outlines UC Merced’s landscape and infrastructure goal, plans, and strategies to advance sustainability in Grounds.


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

Strategies included in the Long Range Development Plan include:

SUST-9: Minimize consumption of potable water resources through the design of
landscapes that minimize the use of irrigation water after the plants’ initial growing
phase, and providing for use of recycled water for all irrigation.

SUST-10: Design campus landscaping to emphasize regional natives, avoid invasive or allergenic species, and select plantings that are compatible with campus infrastructure, developing a palette of approved plant, ground cover and tree lists, as well as landscape design guidelines. Explore the feasibility of seasonal use of irrigation water from the Merced Irrigation District.

SUST-11: Utilize tree planting and other methods to shade buildings, walking and open activity areas, and reduce to heat island effects of roads and surface parking lots.

SUST-12: Design roadways, parking lots and circulation pathways to minimize, detain and filter stormwater run off.


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

Facilities Management


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

The UC Merced Sustainability Progress Report is an update of the Sustainability Strategic Plan. It outlines milestones and accomplishments associated with the advancement of sustainability in purchasing.


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

A measurable objective and accomplishment included UC Merced spent over $6.2 million on environmentally preferred products and recycled 49,572 pounds of paper; the equivalent of 421 trees.

Additional strategies include the procurement practice of taking into account the entire supply chain; from the orgin of raw materials, material properties (including recycled content and toxicity); sustainable manufacturing processes, packaging and delivery methods, operational costs, impacts and opportunities for potential reuse through repuposing, recycling or composting.


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

Procurement Services


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

UC Merced has a commitment to achieve zero landfill waste by 2020. The Waste Diversion Plan is intended to be a living document that can be used as a guide to help the campus reach zero landfill waste by 2020 as well as meet the mandates of the California Integrated Waste Management Act.

The campus future program includes source material consolidation where all waste materials entering the campus must be recyclable or compostable.

Additionally, unlining mini bins to reduce overall waste generation. Waste stations, which consist of one large compost, one recycle and one landfill bin will be spread throughout office areas. Individuals will be responsible for taking their compost out to the waste station.


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

Measurable objective include weighing recyclable and compostable material. As well and the installation of mini bins.


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

Waste incorporates the entire UCM campus to include all offices and departments.


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

UC Merced Water Action Plan is a strategic planning document intended to identify water systems or processes that;

1. Maximize Campus water use conservation and efficiency
2. Optimize water resource management
3. Protect resources in the context of the local watershed
4. Enhance economic, social, and environmental sustainability while meeting operational objectives

The UC Merced Water Action Plan takes into account relevant regional conditions and regulatory requirements recognizing historical progress and acknowledges current location best practices being implemented.


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

Strategies and timeframes include measurable outcomes that contribute to water usage reduction and conservation associated with campus policies that include; water consumption targets, the implementation of water-efficient technologies, non-potable water sources. Additionally, strategies associated with the management of stormwater and the protection of the watershed, as well as education and outreach are noted in the plan.


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

Facilities Management, Design and Construction, Physical and Environmental Planning, Strategic Facilities Planning


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):
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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?:
Yes

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.