Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.80
Liaison Mark Maxwell
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, Merced
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Breeana Sylvas
Assistant Director
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:

The UC Merced Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) provides guidance to campus planners and administrators on the location of future buildings, services, open spaces, and circulation systems. The LRDP also includes prescriptive sustainability requirements for planning, design, and construction. A new updated draft of the document is being developed.

https://merced2020.ucmerced.edu/sites/opb.ucmerced.edu/files/page/documents/revisedlrdp_with_amendment_2017_small.pdf

The Sustainability Strategic Plan represents the campus's comprehensive sustainability goals. The plan incorporates strategic actions to achieve set goals along with performance indicators to measure sustainability performance. The document also incorporates elements of campus-wide documents.


A copy of the strategic plan:
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:
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)? :
Yes

A copy of the climate action plan:
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The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
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 campus has both a Zero Waste Business Plan, a Waste Diversion Plan, and a Water Action Plan, and reports out annually on progress around sustainability initiatives.


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:

The goal identified in the Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) is to impart the skills that advance social, economic, and environmental sustainability graduating the worlds sustainability leaders. A measurable objective or key performance indicator associated with curriculum includes monitoring the number of sustainability courses offered by the institution. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

The campus wide goal is to promote sustainability research and identify multi-disciplinary living laboratory research opportunities for students. A measurable sustainability objective or key performance indicator includes monitoring the living laboratory research opportunities provided by the institution. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

The UC Merced Sustainability Engagement goal is to raise visibility, understanding, and knowledge of sustainability within and beyond the UC Merced community. A measurable objective or key performance indicator includes monitoring the number of sustainability engagement initiatives, programs, and events held throughout the campus and community. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

A measurable objective or key performance indicator associated with engagement in the university's Sustainability Strategic Plan includes monitoring the number of sustainability engagement initiatives, programs, and events held throughout the campus and community. An action item identified in the strategic plan is engagement within the community.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

Identified in the university's Climate Action Plan and Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) are measurable objectives and key performance indicators focused on UC Merced achieving carbon neutrality by the year 2020, the campus monitors it's carbon emissions to measure progress. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

A measurable objective or key performance indicator in the Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) includes tracking the number of campus buildings certified under LEED new construction and existing building operations and maintenance. The university's green building goal is to use LEED certification to drive comprehensive, continuous green building in sustainability site development, improvements, building, construction, operation, and maintenance. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf

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.

The campus is drafting a new version of the UC Merced Long Range Development Plan that will include sustainability around 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:

A measurable objective or key performance indicator in the Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) includes achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020 through energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. The campus is monitoring its renewable energy portfolio around the ZNE goal. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

Measurable objectives and key performance indicators identified in the Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) is to monitor the sustainable food purchases. The university goal is for the campus to achieve twenty percent (20%) sustainable food purchases by 2020. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

A measurable objective associated with grounds includes a reduction in campus water usage. Strategies included in the Long Range Development Plan that impact grounds and water usage 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.

A new draft of the UC Merced Long Range Development Plan is currently in the process of being developed.


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:

A measurable objective and key performance indicator identified in the Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) is to monitor the total number of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) registered equipment, Green Seal, and certified cleaning janitorial products. The campus procurement goal is to drive the market for best practices in sustainable procurement by maximizing the procurement of environmentally preferable products and services. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

One measurable objective and key performance indicator identified in the Sustainability Strategic Plan is to monitor Transportation Demand Management growth on the campus. The transportation goal is to increase alternative modes of transportation usage among constituency and reduce the carbon footprint of transportation, parking, and fleet services. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

Measurable objective and key performance indicator associated with the waste goal it to monitor the campus diversion rate. UC Merced has a zero landfill waste goal by 2020. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

A measurable objective and key performance indicator associated with water usage reduction is to monitor the per capita water consumption when compared to campus three-year average baseline. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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:

A measurable objective and key performance indicator associated with diversity in the UC Merced Sustainability Strategic Plan (SSP) is to monitor the number of diversity and social justice initiatives, programs, and events. The campus diversity and social justice goal it to promote diversity programs and initiatives that build sustainable communities and socially enrich the lives of campus community members through equity, access, affordability, and security. The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Investment & Finance and the published plans in which each objective is included:

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 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, see: https://www.unpri.org/

These activities are ongoing.


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:

A measurable objective and key performance indicator includes monitoring the number of campus programs, events, and initiatives. The campus health and wellness goal it to encourage sustainability and healthy living by supporting health and wellness programs.
The SSP also incorporates action items identified to achieve goal.

http://sustainability.ucmerced.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Final-Sustainability-Strategic-Plan_2017-2022.pdf


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 Sustainability Strategic plan (SSP) includes Human Resources goal that states to provide educational and professional development opportunities for staff. The key performance indicator associated with this goal includes monitoring the number of employees who have received information on sustainability.


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)? :
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

The UC Board of Regents adopted the UC Sustainability Practices Policy which includes the following statement:

The University of California is committed to responsible stewardship of resources and 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.


The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):

Sustainability is a holistic ethic in social, environmental, and economic action.


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 Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

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

UC Merced Triple Net Zero goals are to achieve zero waste, zero net energy, and carbon neutrality by 2020.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.