Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Richard Miller
Director
Office of Envirnmental Policy
"---" 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:

UConn’s Academic Vision: Sustainability is addressed as the focus of Global Engagement, one of the four core values upon which the academic plan is based: “Through outreach, research, and partnerships, we promote sustainable development and a happy, healthy, and inclusive society. This engagement is local and global, based on intercultural understanding and recognition of the transnational nature of the challenges and opportunities we face.”

UConn’s Master Plan (2015) for the University also contains a Sustainability Framework Plan which lists a series of initiatives and objectives in the five areas of energy, water, land, materials, and movement that act as a lens through which the UConn Master Plan of 2015 was formed. The purpose of the master plan is to provide the foundation for advancing the aspirations and development goals of the university as they relate to sustainability in order to create an environment where ideas, imagination, and creativity can thrive. The Master Plan thus will transform the campus in regard to both academic and student life and will enhance the campus’ environmental sustainability.


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)? :
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):
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 following objectives, strategies, and timeframes that advance sustainability in relation to curriculum are from both the Climate Action Plan (CAP) and the 2014 Academic Vision and are ongoing or recently completed initiatives.

- Promoting understandings and competencies across all cultural groups
- Understanding the intricate influence of neural, environmental, and genetic bases of communication and learning
- Ensure an undergraduate educational experience that prepares our students for lives of impact and leadership in and increasingly diverse, globalized world by emphasizing problem solving and the capacity to translate knowledge and skills into action
- Adapt educational practices to provide more interdisciplinary knowledge and increase opportunities for education in areas of pressing need and interest
- Place specific emphasis on meaningful honors programs and support programs for students who come from homes and schools where poverty prevails
- Develop new and innovative programs to enable our students to compete in our increasingly complex society
- Expand EcoHouse experience to include gardening and small scale food production
- Leverage UConn’s agricultural knowledge to retain and enlarge the sustainable food program and increase on-campus sustainable farming
- Expand the number of introductory energy courses available to students
- Development of an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies undergraduate program (completed 2014)
- Establish a UConn sustainable farming living-learning experience for students (completed, Information on Spring Valley Student Farm available here: https://dining.uconn.edu/spring-valley-farm/)
- Encourage senior design projects and Honors theses that increase campus energy efficiency and/or conservation
- Expand the University’s academic offerings related to sustainable design and green building
- Identify and explore unique research and education opportunities related to the University’s forest holdings
- Increase the number of environmentally-themed study abroad and international exchange program opportunities available to students


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 following is a list of ongoing or recently achieved strategies and objectives for addressing environmental issues through research as outlined in the University’s Climate Action Plan:

- Prioritize emerging and expanding interdisciplinary research opportunities that will create a measurable impact in order to act as stewards of our resources

- Develop the Social Innovation Park, through which practitioners can partner with scholars and students to create entrepreneurial solutions to the most pressing social problems of our time (see the Innovation Partnership Building finished in 2017, and the projects housed here)
- Create an institute to focus explicitly on the interconnectedness of human and natural systems (completed in 2019 with the establishment of the Institute of the Environment, https://instituteofenvironment.uconn.edu/),
- Support and nurture the development of interdisciplinary research and teaching initiatives tied to climate change, sustainability, and related environmental issues that foster linkages across the biophysical sciences, social and health sciences, engineering, humanities, and fine arts
- Work with the administration and UConn Foundation to secure dedicated support for graduate research and teaching assistantships at the interface of biophysical sciences and social sciences, with a focus on climate change, energy, and sustainability
- Initiate an annual graduate symposium on climate research (first held in 2018 by the Departments of Geoscience and Marine Sciences)
- Continue to support the development and improvement of climate-related research programs across the University
- Provide greater support for scholarly activities that bring together social scientists and biophysical scientists, with a goal of understanding the causes, dynamics, and consequences of climate change to all facets of the biosphere, including humans
- Establish an institutional structure that fosters collaborative, interdisciplinary environmental research across colleges/schools and disciplines, including biophysical sciences, social sciences, engineering, humanities, and fine arts (see especiallythe Institute for Community Resiliency and Climate Adaptation)
- Support opportunities for the University’s campus to serve as a research laboratory for developing and testing theories, methods, and technologies that promote carbon neutrality and more efficient resource use
- Develop closer ties or partnerships with state and federal agencies that have a focus on the environment in general, and on climate-related research in particular (see ongoing relationships & projects across the university with DEEP, DOE, and Eversource that focus on the environment and/or climate resiliency)
- Develop and pursue funding opportunities for endowed chairs or eminent faculty positions with a focus on climate change research
- Involve students in campus greening through the identification of research and educational opportunities

- Identify and explore unique research and education opportunities related to the University’s forest holdings

A Resilience Amendment to the CAP in 2012 also included Research goals:
https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2041/2017/01/Initiatives-Climate-Section6.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 following is a list of strategies and objectives for promoting awareness of and addressing environmental issues in the everyday experience of the students, as outlined in the University’s Climate Action Plan and the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership:
- Integrate green building and low impact design efforts into university education and outreach efforts (ongoing, energy and water dashboards/digital signage, online access to real-time sub-metering data and a virtual green campus tour)

- Increase the number of campus administrative and academic offices certified under the Green Office Certification Program from 33 (2016 baseline) to 100 by the end of 2020

- Place energy dashboards in highly trafficked campus buildings (done: see above, dashboards installed in 2013 in two large classroom/academic buildings, purchased by the Office of Sustainability and repurposed as digital signage in 2017)
- Increase the number of in-residence hall education opportunities and projects through regularly scheduled energy conservation challenges, housing-based educational and demonstration opportunities, and student eco-representative programs (ongoing: annual 1-month EcoMadness competition in the residence halls for conserving energy and water utilizing volunteer student Eco-Captains)
- Work with Athletics to incorporate renewable energy (and energy efficiency) displays into campus athletic events (retrofitted lighting at Sherman Complex, competition venue for NCAA events - field hockey, lacrosse, track and field)
- Establish additional on-campus gardens for UConn community members (done: EcoGarden Club, EcoHouse, and Spring Valley Student Farm)
- Identify additional opportunities to purchase, produce, and serve locally-grown food sources (ongoing, see on-campus Farm-Fresh Markets, also SVSF and Dining Services' Local Routes program, which makes UConn the largest purchaser of local produce in the State of Connecticut)
- Develop and expand existing transportation-based education and outreach programs (ongoing, Campus Commuter Program to be formally implemented at the end of 2020)
- Formalize UConn@COP as a co-curricular, experiential learning and leadership development program for high achieving students to participate in the UN’s annual International Climate Summit (020 Vision Plan(complete): UConn cohort has participated in COPs 21 through 25 and has been formalized as a 1-credit independent study wherein participating students develop an outreach plan to share their experiences & learnings from COP with the UConn community.)


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:

The following is a list of strategies and objectives for promoting awareness of and addressing environmental issues in the everyday experience of the students, as outlined in the University’s Climate Action Plan:

- Increase the number of service-learning courses as an engagement strategy
- Further enhance and promote our service-learning courses and efforts
- Promote opportunities for more engaged student learning, enabling more individualized university experiences, such as lab-based research, internships, study abroad, fieldwork, independent projects, performances, productions, and artistic events
- Study the impact of our service on the state and the community and increase our capacity to prove the benefits of our student’ efforts on local, state, and national audiences
- Support University-community partnerships and better articulate how to work collaboratively in shared space, foster additional partnerships and increase our engagement efforts
- Explore the possibility of integrating, perhaps under the offices of Public Engagement and the Provost, some nonacademic units (such as University museums and collections) that are currently under the domain of academic Colleges and Schools
- Encourage faculty to develop more service-learning classes and opportunities
- Focus on doubling by 2020 the number of UConn students who participate in study abroad programs
- Promote the UConn libraries as a resource for all citizens to become better educated, more information literate, and more exposed to unique cultural materials
- Explore the establishment of a Global Education Institute focusing on education abroad, interdisciplinary global studies degree options, and global studies certificates


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:

The following goals established in the Climate Action Plan provide a foundation for reducing 2007 scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% by the year 2020, 50% by 2025, and 100% by the year 2050. Other goals taken from the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership give specific metrics for the year 2020.

- Establish an EPAC Climate Action Plan Workgroup to begin implementation of CAP and to track progress (EPAC has served in a CAP oversight role, but mitigation measures have emerged from smaller issue-specific workgroups, committees and inter-departmental efforts, such as the newly established President’s Sustainability Working Group, monthly Energy Efficiency meetings with Facilities, Office of Sustainability and Conservation account managers from UConn's energy and natural gas utility companies - Eversource and CNG)
- Compile annual greenhouse gas inventories (done by Office of Sustainability interns and staff)
- Work with relevant departments to establish an MOA regarding annual data submission requirements and reporting protocol (Office of Sustainabilityhas established these protocols for annual GHG data submission and reporting, per the ACUPCC/Carbon Commitment. MOA has not been needed.)
- Establish permanent position to assist the EPAC with oversight of CAP implementation, identification and acquisition of funding sources, and tracking progress (in progress, duties dispersed among Office of Sustainability staff and interns)
- Review the CAP and recommend revisions and updates, as appropriate - a significant assessment and update of the CAP was done in 2014-2015, which resulted in a broad consensus among Office of Sustainability, Facilities and UPDC on more specific goals, priorities and action items selected in order to achieve 2020 and 2025 interim milestones in CAP
- Establish a web-based data reporting process for the University’s inventory - done and annually updated on Office of Sustainability 's website and through Second Nature's Carbon Commitment website
- Identify and pursue funding sources, including external sources (in progress:
Campus Sustainability Fund
Renewable Energy Credit (REC) account (resulting from Class 3 REC sales for efficient operation of campus cogen plant) provides funding for energy efficiency/GHG reduction initiatives, including outreach efforts, like the LED desk lamp giveaway program during Move-In, 2017
40% and 50% utility rebates for qualifying energy efficiency/GHG reduction initiatives, like RCx and LED retrofitting,
ESCO performance contract with Con Ed Solutions enabled significant energy efficiency and steam infrastructure repair and replacement projects in 2016-17
- Setting CAP goals and more specific 2020 Vision Plan metrics helped achieve certain climate-related measures ahead of the 2020 goal: Increased the percentage of purchased power system-wide that consists of renewable energy from 40% (2016 baseline) to 100% by 2017


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:

The following are select strategies and benchmarks from the Climate Action Plan, and as updated and specified for achieving certain interim milestones in the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership.

- Against a 2015 baseline, achieve a 20% reduction in average Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in campus buildings with (i) electrical, steam and chilled water service from the Central Utility Plant by 2020 (from 234 to 187 KBtu/SF/yr) and (ii) electrical and steam only from the CUP (from 184 to 147 KBtu/SF/yr)
- Complete ESCO Phase II by 2020. ESCO Phase II incorporates replacing an additional 5,000 linear ft. of steam system and ECMs at 24 campus buildings
- Campus-wide interior and exterior retrofit to LED lighting by 2020
- Revise the Sustainable Design and Construction Policy - Set LEED Gold certification as UConn policy for all new construction and major renovation in 2016 (up from LEED Silver, set in 2007)
- Encourage senior design projects of Honors theses that increase campus energy efficiency and/or conservation
- Expand the University’s academic offerings related to sustainable design and green building
- Better integrate green building and low impact design efforts into university education and outreach efforts - led to LID campus signage and on-line virtual tour of 20+ LID features
- Conduct routine energy conservation challenges within the residence halls - continued growth and refinement of UConn's successful annual EcoMadness dorm energy and water conservation program
- Work with Athletics to incorporate renewable energy displays into campus athletic events - first Carbon-neutral UConn basketball game held in February 2017
- Select surface materials that are characterized by high albedo, high emissivity, and low heat capacity, instead of traditional impervious surface materials (ongoing and accomplished in new construction projects through LEED certification)
- Require integration of green roofs into all new building designs; retrofit existing buildings where possible (ongoing, not required but green roofs added at Laurel (McHugh) Hall (2012), Storrs Hall Addition (2013), Next Gen Residence Hall (Werth Tower, 2016), Innovation Partnership Building (2017), New Engineering Science Building (2017)
- Seek to achieve net zero energy and water buildings with all new construction
- Sub-meter and smart-meter buildings, in order to track energy consumption, manage for maximum efficiency, and reduce carbon impact (in progress)
- Commission all new buildings to ensure proper energy usage and control - has been done as a routine policy since major Retro-Commissioning program was completed in 2010-2014


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:

The following are a series of current, near-term, and long-term goals outlined in the Sustainability Framework Plan, CAP, Renewable Energy Strategic Plan, and the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership that can serve as stepping stones to the overall goal of carbon neutrality.

- Increase the percentage of purchased power system-wide that consists of renewable energy from 40% (2016 baseline) to 100% by 2020 (complete.)
- Achieve a renewable/clean energy capacity of >2 MW from distributed generation sources installed and operating by 2020
- Sub-meter and smart-meter buildings, in order to track energy consumption, manage for maximum efficiency, and reduce carbon impact (50% complete)
- Design new buildings to achieve LEED Gold certification using the appropriate LEED rating system (ongoing)
- Retrofit energy consuming systems in all existing buildings (current/near-term)
- Establish appropriate energy use intensity targets for all building types (current/near-term)
- Refer to RESP for near term renewable energy projects with proven viability (current/near-term)
- Follow Climate Action Plan and associated acceleration proposals to remain on planned trajectory (current/near-term)
- Connect all buildings to central monitoring and control system (long-term)
- Commission all new buildings to ensure proper energy usage and control (long-term)
- Implement energy efficient systems in new construction projects (long-term)
- Integrate appropriate renewable energy technologies (long-term)
- Implement more stringent benchmarking and building rating systems as they become available and applicable (long-term)
- Review Climate Action Plan and accelerate as needed to maintain trajectories toward neutrality (long-term)
- Adjust building temperature set points and occupancy schedules (optimal temperature set points established, ongoing)
- Establish a lighting update program (interior and exterior)(ongoing: 80+ buildings re-lamped since 2010, reducing 3,000 TPY eCO2; Sherman Complex retrofitted lighting done in 2013, reducing energy used by at least 55%); 2020 Vision Plan now calls for campus-wide LED retrofit by 2020 - this retrofit has been underway since mid-2016
- Reduce fume hood energy consumption (ongoing through outreach, new construction and retrofits)
- Establish an energy-efficient computing policy (HuskyPC program sets baseline efficiency standards; purchasing policy requires third-party certification for energy efficiency)
- Implement a residence hall appliance policy (ongoing consideration)
- Minimize energy use associated with equipment and appliances by minimizing phantom loads associated with office appliances, eliminating the use of window air conditioning units wherever possible, and discontinuing the use of small individual space heaters (all appliances purchased are EPA Energy Star; Green Office Certification program promotes positive behavioral change and practices; Window ACs removed from several buildings during LEED certified renovations, in favor of central HVAC systems: Arjona, Monteith, IMS/Gant, demolition of old CT Commons residence halls and of 7 former fraternity "Brown Houses" located on the South Campus)
- Identify and improve energy efficiencies associated with campus food service equipment and appliances (ongoing, and much achieved through Green Restaurant Silver Certification of all 8 UConn campus dining halls in 2016-17)
- Correct inefficiencies in campus utility distribution systems - including major replacement of steam system projects in 2015, 2016 and 2017 (ongoing)
- Expand and better integrate current energy monitoring efforts (ongoing through sub-metering program and PI data collection system)
- Promote continuous improvement of operational strategies at the cogeneration facility (ongoing - must maintain at least 50% efficiency rating in order to sell Class 3 Renewable Energy Credits under state RPS law, proceeds of which have been used for energy conservation measures and programs)
- Establish a program to continuously commission buildings (19 Retro-commissioning (RCx) projects completed with ECMs installed and operating from 2010-2013, reducing 13,000 TPY of eCO2)
- Improve the efficiency of building HVAC systems through heat zoning and high-efficiency filters (ongoing, see RCx measures above)
- Develop and initiate a boiler efficiency and emissions reductions program (ongoing, required for compliance with new state Boiler MACT regulations)
- Develop and implement an equipment energy efficiency purchasing policy (ongoing, current EPA Energy Star standard for all purchases of appliances, EPEAT standards for electronics and computers)
- Maximize efficiency of laboratory airflow through new technologies (ongoing - see fume hood response above)
- Identify and evaluate additional applications for variable-frequency drives (VFDs) (ongoing)


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:

- Increase the percentage of locally-grown or community-based food from 35% (2015) to 40% by 2020, as included in the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership
- Achieve third-party Green Restaurant certification for all of its dining halls by 2020; all eight dining halls have been certified GRA Silver by 2017, well ahead of schedule
- Recycle/Reuse/Divert 100% of food waste - in 2019 UConn sent the food waste of all 8 dining halls on campus to a commercial (Quantum BioPower) anaerobic digester and composting facility.- Identify and improve energy efficiencies associated with campus food service equipment and appliances (part of GRA Silver certification for campus dining halls; for on-campus vendors, part of Food Franchisee Sustainability Guidelines)
- Establish a UConn sustainable farming living-learning experience for students - part of CAP and Spring Valley Student Farm was established and has grown to two student residence farmhouses on UConn farm property west of the main campus)
- Establish additional on-campus gardens for UConn community members
- Identify additional opportunities to purchase, produce, and serve locally-grown food sources
- Continue to emphasize local, sustainably grown food and vegetarian options (current/near-term)
- Buy local when the option is available (current/near-term)


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:

Ongoing objectives geared towards preserving and improving upon campus landscapes and land holdings are as follows.

- Expand the Hillside Environmental Education Park (HEEP) on the North Campus from 64 to 165 acres by 2020, including recreational trails, managed invasive species and educational signage about the area’s natural resources and history. Measurable objectives can be found in the 2020 Vision Plan. (complete; ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new addition to the HEEP occurred in 2018).
- Use the Sustainable Sites Initiative by 2020, either independently or in conjunction with LEED, on capital projects to develop landscapes in as beneficial and measurable ways as buildings, as noted in the Campus Sustainable Design Guidelines and the 2020 Vision Plan.
- Preserve or augment natural systems and resources while increasing passive and active open space, by beginning to implement components of the woodland corridor vision for both north and south campuses, and create and cultivate 35-acre farm parcel at Spring Manor Farm. These measureable objectives can be found in the 2020 Vision Plan.
- Develop a campus landscaping master plan designed to minimize chemical, energy, and water usage (Now completed as the Landscape Master Plan, 2010 http://media.masterplan.uconn.edu/Historic/Landscape_Master_Plan_and_Design_Guidelines.pdf and http://media.masterplan.uconn.edu/Final/B_LANDSCAPE_WEB.pdf)
- Improve turf quality on campus (ongoing). Measurable turf management objectives listed in 2010 Landscape Master Plan.
- Establish a permanent position to oversee the management of the University’s forest holdings (ongoing consideration) Initiative listed in Climate Action Plan; UConn Arboretum Committee is Co-Chaired by Greg Anderson (EEB) and Mark Brand (Plant Science) http://www.uconnarboretum.uconn.edu/officers.php; (complete, Eileen McHugh serves as UConn’s tree Warden.)
- Inventory the University’s forest holdings and establish a plan to maximize carbon sequestration (Climate Action Plan)
- Develop and implement a management plan to improve and expand the urban forest (ongoing through UConn's campus Arboretum Committee)
- Establish general forest acquisition goals and a ‘no net loss’ policy. Objectives stated in the UConn Tree Care Plan (2014) http://ecohusky.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2041/2017/01/Development-Trails-Trees-Forests-UConn_Tree_Care_Plan.pdf
- Identify opportunities to further incorporate low-impact design components in the University's current construction and renovation projects, as discussed in the 2020 Vision Statement and the Sustainability Framework Plan.
- Record and photo-document storm water management practices currently employed at the University to demonstrate compliance and best practices. (Sustainable Design and Construction Policy)
- Explore the potential for implementing "green roofs" at various locations. (Green roofs implemented on two new constructions); Required in Climate Action Plan
- Office of Sustainability will serve as an advisory figure in the upcoming North Campus/Tech Park planning and development process, guiding UConn's growth while remaining sensitive to our environmental footprint. (Office of Sustainability’s Mission Statement http://ecohusky.uconn.edu/leed-buildings/
, LEED Policy http://policy.uconn.edu/2014/10/01/the-university-of-connecticut-sustainable-design-and-construction-policy/
- Use the Sustainable Sites Initiative, either independently or in conjunction with LEED, to develop landscape in a beneficial and measurable way (current/near-term, Climate Action Plan)
- Complete Hillside Environmental Education Park expansion (complete; Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Continue to participate in Arbor Day Foundation Tree Campus USA program and integrate with UConn Forestry (current/near-term) (Office of Sustainability Website https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/tree-campus-usa/)
- Install pervious surfacing materials as standard practice (current/near-term) (Climate Action Plan)
- Consider green roofs and high SRI roofs for all new buildings (current/near-term) (Climate Action Plan)
- Require low or zero irrigation landscaping for new developments (current/near-term) (Landscape Master Plan, Sustainability Framework, Climate Action Plan)
- Continue to advance LID and green infrastructure initiatives (current/near-term) (Climate Action Plan)
- Expand and enhance campus forests, woodland corridors, and the campus arboretum as a learning landscape (current/near-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Maintain and improve existing green space (current/near-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Replace prime farmland lost to development (current/near-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Move to district and campus-wide approach to LID and green infrastructure via woodland corridors, pervious paving, and other strategies (current/near-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Increase support for UConn Forestry program (current/near-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Analyze the potential for underground utilities and implement as appropriate (long-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Experiment with alternative surfacing and landscaping techniques to reduce impervious cover (long-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Address steam line issues that may pose hazardous material/brownfield risk (long-term) (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Implement landscape to minimize or avoid irrigation (Climate Action Plan)


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:

- Increase UConn’s share of EPEAT Gold-rated electronic purchases from 23.5% in 2015 to 30% by 2020. Measureable objectives can be found in the 2020 Vision Plan.
- Establish fleet efficiency purchasing requirements (Climate Action Plan)
- Establish a green purchasing policy to minimize packaging and other waste associated with campus purchases (ongoing, Vendor Code of Conduct approved in 2013)
- Develop and implement an equipment energy efficiency purchasing policy (ongoing, current EPA Energy Star standard for all purchases of appliances, similar standards for electronics and computers)
- Review Vendor Code of Conduct annually
- Buy local when option is available (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Identify opportunities to influence market change where UConn has purchasing power (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Develop procedures for standard lifecycle assessment on purchases (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Develop procedure for evaluating demolition and redevelopment projects and materials (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Enhance existing recycling programs and begin to emphasize reductions in packaging to minimize the initial waste stream (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Adopt building benchmarking systems which are stringent in the building materials category (Sustainability Framework Plan)
- Strengthen the Sustainable Design Guidelines and other policies with regard to material procurement (Sustainability Framework Plan)


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:

The current, near-term, and long-term goals towards incentivizing mass transit and alternative modes of transportation and towards reducing related emissions, as outlined in the Sustainability Framework Plan, the Climate Action Plan, and the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership are as follows.

- Increase the percentage of EV and hybrid vehicles in UConn’s light duty fleet to 25% (from the 18% baseline in 2015) by 2020
- Increase passenger trips on University shuttle buses from 1.3 million/yr (2015) to 1.5 million/yr by 2020
- Assess the impact of future growth on transit needs (current/near-term)
- Improve bus and shuttle services by providing more frequent service, better service communication, and more accommodating service infrastructure, such as sheltered waiting areas and enhanced user interface options (current/near-term)
- Continue to purchase alternatively fueled vehicles under the existing DOT grant (current/near-term)
- Minimize footprint of all new parking structures (current/near-term)
- Meet the criteria for a Bicycle Friendly University (current/near-term)
- Streamline vendor delivery and distribution system and schedule (current/near-term)
- Enact a strong bicycle sharing service on campus and begin to implement more bicycle infrastructure within roadway projects (current/near-term)
- Connect to the regional rail system (long-term)
- Link to the larger bicycle network in the local and regional context (long-term)
- Implement intelligent system for vendor deliveries, warehousing, and campus distribution via small vehicles on campus (long-term)
- Fully integrate bicycle transportation infrastructure within all campus districts (current/near-term)
- Design and install renewable energy and green infrastructure on new parking lots and structures (long-term)
- Move fully toward alternatively-fueled fleet (long-term)
- Manage parking demand to address long-term growth with smart parking systems and improved wayfinding (long-term)
- Prioritize near-term routes to make biking more viable in the very near future (current/near-term)
- Develop a modal transportation advisory committee (done)
- Develop a campus transportation master plan for travel to and from Storrs (ongoing as part of 2014 Campus Master Plan for Next Gen CT capital improvement program)
- Establish a campus policy that transit be considered when planning new campus buildings (done through Master Planning process)
- Establish fleet efficiency purchasing requirements (ongoing)
- Phase out older, inefficient vehicles and replace with higher efficiency (ongoing)
- Develop and implement a mandatory vehicle efficiency improvement program (ongoing)
- Enforce the state anti-idling policy
- Increase the efficiency of campus delivery systems (all deliveries done using EV/e-Star van acquired in 2012)
- Discourage unnecessary on-campus driving (ongoing transformation to pedestrian-focused campus)

- Increase the use of vehicles that run on carbon-neutral or low-carbon fuel sources (ongoing through DOT grant program to replace older fleet vehicles)
- Work with campus unions to encourage flexibility in employee workday definition (ongoing)
- Increase access and provide incentives for telecommuting and online courses
- Develop a campus rideshare incentive program (ongoing, parking permit incentives introduced in 2013)
- Establish an on-campus car sharing program (done: Hertz 24/7 program in place since 2011)
- Provide a weekday shuttle service to nearby off-campus park-and-ride lots
- Increase local housing options and availability
- Establish a bike-sharing program (UConn Cycles volunteer-provided pilot program operating since 2011; RFI for vendor-provided program planned in 2014)
- Improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and access from off-campus housing (ongoing)
- Increase bus and shuttle availability to and from off-campus destinations (ongoing balance of ridership and cost issues)
- Advocate for the development of a regional light rail commuting option
- Establish a campus parking cap
- Develop an incentive program to discourage parking permit purchases (ongoing, first- and second-year students prohibited from obtaining on-campus parking permit)
- Implement a campus-wide parking fee increase; use the revenue to fund campus mass transit improvements and to incentivize carpooling and low-emission vehicles (ongoing)
- Price parking according to vehicle fuel efficiency and EPA emissions rating
- Offer a reduced-cost parking pass, priority parking and related emergency support services for rideshare participants (ongoing)
- Develop a reduced-cost parking pass for motorcycles and scooters when registered as the sole vehicle (ongoing)
- Hire a pedestrian and bicycle coordinator to ensure implementation of Bicycle Master Plan recommendations (ongoing, new Parking and Transportation Services manager hired in 2013 with much of these duties)
- Improve campus bicycle amenities and paths
- Develop a bicycle commuter-incentive program
- Create and affordable on-campus bicycle shop
- Establish a campus-wide bicycle loaner program
- Require vehicle and rental programs to provide efficient and alternative fuel vehicle options (ongoing, EVs and ULEVs provided through Hertz 24/7)
- Negotiate discounted bus and train ticket rates for UConn faculty, staff, and students (ongoing, ultra- low-fare bus trips from campus to NYC and Boston added in 2012)
- Discourage air travel to locations within reasonable driving or train distance (ongoing)


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:

The following strategies are among those geared towards maintaining and expanding campus-wide areas for recycling, reducing the amount of construction and demolition related waste generated from University projects, and considering the associated environmental impacts when selecting materials for use on campus. The strategies and goals from Climate Action Plan were adopted in 2004 and have been applied to every applicable building project since. The 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership supplements these goals.

- Increase the waste diversion rate from 47% (2015 baseline) to 60% by 2020
- Minimize waste to achieve a 33% reduction in total waste generated per person, per year vs. the 2005 baseline (from 360 lbs. to 240 lbs. pp/yr) by 2020
- Develop procedure for evaluating demolition and redevelopment projects and materials
- Enhance existing recycling programs and begin to emphasize reductions in packaging to minimize the initial waste stream
- Enrich ongoing recycling and waste management initiatives
- Expand composing practices and equipment
- Develop procedures for standard lifecycle assessment on purchases
- Develop a construction materials selection, recycling, and reuse guide (long-term)
- Develop an agricultural and landscaping waste composting system (done: UConn Compost Facility opened in Summer 2010)
- Identify opportunities to use agricultural wastes to generate new products (long-term)
- Maximize the use of organic, conservation-till agriculture on campus (ongoing)
- Develop a campus landscaping master plan designed to minimize chemical, energy, and water use (ongoing)
- Maximize recycling of landscaping organic waste (ongoing, UConn Compost facility and leaf waste composting)
- Correct inefficiencies in steam utility systems (ongoing)
- Upgrade water fixtures in campus buildings to maximize efficiency (ongoing)
- Construct a water reclamation facility
- Increase campus food waste recycling (in progress, 5 campus dining halls now have in-kitchen eCorrect decomposers installed and operating to reduce food waste volume by 80% and enable reuse of remaining compost-like material as a soil amendment by UConn's Landscaping Services)
- Establish a green purchasing policy to minimize packaging and other waste associated with campus purchases (ongoing)
- Provide easily accessible recycling stations throughout the campus that allow for the collection and separation of paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics, and metals
- Provide recycling stations at convenient locations both inside and outside of buildings, including event gathering areas, parking lots, and site plazas
- Consider the viability of adaptive reuse of existing structures in lieu of new construction
- Minimize the waste impacts associated with future reconfiguration of interior office by using open office environments, flexible systems furniture, and modular partitions for office areas
- Design projects to be recyclable
- Specify carpet and ceiling tiles (and other products) from companies that participate in reclamation programs (companies who will take back their products for recycling after their useful life)
- Strive to recycle and salvage as much demolition waste as possible if existing development on site cannot be reused
- Require contractors to incorporate a construction waste management plan such that a minimum of 50 percent of construction waste is diverted from landfills
- Reduce the consumption of resources by using materials that have a long service life and, therefore, require less replacement
- Divert materials from waste streams and minimize consumption of virgin resources by specifying materials with a minimum of 20 percent post-consumer or 40 percent post-industrial recycled content
- Facilitate the future recyclability of materials at the end of a project’s useful life by incorporating materials that can be readily recycled in the future
- Avoid composite systems (products that permanently combine different materials), given that these are difficult to separate and recycle
- Favor materials that can be recycled indefinitely, as opposed to materials that can only be recycled once
- Look to salvage items from campus demolition projects for reuse
- Favor the use of materials that can biodegrade to those that cannot, where appropriate

In addition we measure our everyday MSW-type waste and recycling volumes through our hauler's recycling and trash transfer and weigh stations. Last year, we began weighing public surplus store materials that are diverted from the waste stream by public sale for reuse.
We also measure e-waste recycling, sneaker recycling, and the waste, recycling, composting, and reuse of food, landscaping and agricultural materials.


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:

The following are the current, near-term, and long-term goals established in the Sustainability Framework Plan, CAP, the 2011 Water Supply Plan, and the 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership, in an effort to minimize potable water consumption and optimize rainwater management.

- Correct inefficiencies in steam utility systems (ongoing multi-year, $100 million project, some funding allotted in state bond-funded $1.5 Billion Next Gen CT/STEM capital improvement program)
- Upgrade water fixtures in campus buildings to maximize efficiency (done in all residential halls, ongoing elsewhere during renovation and deferred maintenance projects - e.g., Young Building, Bousfield, Storrs Hall)
- Construct a water reclamation facility for tertiary treatment and reuse of wastewater from UConn's pre-existing sewage treatment facility (done: $27 Million RWF constructed and began operating during Summer 2013)
- Upgrade water fixtures in campus buildings to maximize efficiency
- Establish appropriate water consumption targets for all building types (current/short-term)
- Meter all buildings and track water consumption (current/short-term)
- Upgrade to low-flow fixtures in all existing buildings (current/short-term)
- Implement landscape to minimize or avoid irrigation (current/short-term)
- Engage student and faculty further in water conservation practices (current/short-term)
- Detect and repair all system leaks (long-term)
- Optimize water reclamation facility to meet operational potential (current/near-term)
- Design new buildings to meet or exceed water savings target (long-term)
- Capture and reuse rainwater and greywater to offset potable water usage (long-term)
- Reduce process water use from food service, laundry, and cooling towers (long-term)
- Establish appropriate water consumption targets for all building types
- Meter all buildings and track water consumption
- Upgrade to ultra low-flow fixtures in all existing buildings
- Implement landscape to minimize or avoid irrigation
- Engage student and faculty further in water conservation practices
- Detect and repair all system leaks
- Optimize water reclamation facility to meet operational potential
- Design new buildings to meet or exceed water savings target
- Capture and reuse rainwater and greywater to offset potable water usage
- Reduce process water use from food service, laundry, and cooling towers
- Require low or zero irrigation landscaping for new developments (current/near-term)
- Use LID to increase the square footage of impervious cover disconnected from campus storm drains – from 175,000 SF (2015 baseline) to 250,000 SF in the Eagleville Brook watershed, and an additional 75,000 SF in the Roberts Brook (Fenton) watershed by the year 2020
- Maximize efficiency of the RWF to achieve >300,000 GPD savings of potable water use during peak demand periods by the year 2020
- 30% (.45 MGD) reduction in avg. daily potable water use vs. 2005 baseline (1.49 MGD avg. daily demand) by the year 2020 (complete, over 50% reduction in daily potable water use)


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:

The Office of Institutional Research continually publishes data on the University’s student, faculty, and staff diversity: https://oire.uconn.edu/huskydata/

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODE) sets specific goals and targets for new hires in order to ensure diversity across various levels of staff and management and across all academic and operational departments. ODE also provides education and training services to all members of the University in order to spread the mission.

Global Affairs sets goals for ensuring globalization, such as number and quality of study abroad opportunities, international exchange students and programs, international partnerships on research and career services, and the living and learning experience of international students at UConn.

In August 2015, UConn’s Diversity Task Force created a report with several initiatives, including:
-Build an effective and sustainable diversity infrastructure.
-Hire a Chief Diversity Officer and establish a Diversity Office and website (done in 2016)
-Create a Diversity Council with representation from throughout the university; and
-Modify the name of the existing Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) to Office of Institutional Equity (OIE).
-Enhance recruitment and retention efforts of faculty and staff from traditionally underrepresented populations.
–Sustain and build upon student diversity successes.
-Produce consistent diversity data and information and establish a transparent system of monitoring, evaluation, and accountability.
-Build upon, tie together and expand multi-cultural curricula and programming.
-Significantly expand diversity fundraising.

Source: http://accreditation.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1777/2016/06/3.3-Diversity-Task-Force-Report.pdf

Following this report, the University Diversity Council was established in May 2016 by President Susan Herbst. The council consists of 34 faculty, staff, and student members and contains the following committees:
-Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention Committee
-Student Recruitment and Retention Committee
-Diversity Education and Training Committee
-Communication/Campus Climate Committee
-External & Community Partnerships Committee

More information can be found here: http://diversity.uconn.edu/university-diversity-council/
The importance of diversity is further outlined in the 2014 Academic Plan.


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:

Working in conjunction with the Office of Sustainability and CSR staff in Athletics Licensing, Dining Services, Ethics and Procurement, the UConn Foundation, Chief Investment Officer and Investment Committee, Graduate and Undergraduate Student Managed Funds, operating under the guidance of UConn's School of Business, periodically assess Socially Responsible and Environmentally Responsible Investment (SRI/ERI) and ESG policies and plans. In recent years, this has included:

- Evaluating the feasibility of fossil fuel divestiture, especially the feasibility of divesting in coal industry investment holdings, to the extent they can be disentangled from other fossil fuel stocks and investments
- Developing and implementing policies for SRI/ERI and/or ESG
- Conducting a Carbon Accounting for all investment holdings


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:

UConn's Health Enhancement Program (HEP) provides financial incentives for employees to maintain effective health education and preventative maintenance programs. The Work-Life program considers methods for outreach and assistance to employees. The HEP annually measures and rewards each employee's performance and participation in certain specified and individually-tailored health maintenance and educational programs. The Work-Life program measure participation in annual outreach programs, like the annual Work-Life Fair, Professional Development programs, and Employee Assistance Program.

The goals of the work/life program can be found at http://hr.uconn.edu/worklife/. There are many resources available to employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
The University also maintains a website with several links to aid in Work-Life Balance:

http://employees.uchc.edu/engagement/worklife.html

The University Master Plan lists several Health and Wellness objectives:
Support Life of the Mind and Body
• Promote comprehensive health and wellness
• Locate recreation and athletics prominently
• Use campus to embody total human well-being

Put Campus Vitality and Activity on Display
• Increase student activity visibility
• Better utilize open space for gathering
• Provide bike paths, walking paths, nature trails

Reinforce Campus as Arboretum
• Make landscape central to campus experience
• Optimize connections to nature
• Enhance views and capitalize on topography

http://media.masterplan.uconn.edu/Final/01_CAMPUS_MASTER_PLAN_WEB.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:

UConn and the Connecticut state government have created the initiative Next Generation Connecticut: Building Connecticut’s Future through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
The plan includes the following goals:
• Hire 259 new faculty (of which 200 will be in STEM)
• Enroll an additional 6,580 talented undergraduate students
• Build STEM facilities to house materials science, physics, biology, engineering, cognitive science, genomics and related disciplines
• Construct new STEM teaching laboratories
• Create a premier STEM Honors program
• Upgrade aging infrastructure to accommodate new faculty and students
• Expand digital media and risk management degree programs and provide student housing in Stamford
• Relocate Greater Hartford Campus to downtown Hartford

To achieve this initiative, UConn has agreed to invest $384 million.

This further investment in STEM will result in dramatic increases in both STEM research and STEM graduates, in turn producing innovations and inventions that will directly contribute to sustainable economic growth for Connecticut.

The Sustainability Framework Plan was developed as part of the Next Generation Connecticut initiative.

More information on this initiative may be found here:
http://nextgenct.uconn.edu/


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 University of Connecticut shall plan, design, construct, renovate and maintain sustainable, energy- and water-efficient buildings that:
• Yield cost savings through lowered lifetime costs,
• Provide enhanced learning atmospheres for students and healthier environments for all building occupants and visitors, and
• Realize the University’s commitment to responsible growth and environmental stewardship.
Accordingly, for any building construction or renovation project entering the pre-design planning phase, and whenever the estimated total project cost exceeds $5 million, excluding the cost of equipment other than building systems, the University shall establish the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating as a minimum performance requirement.
The University shall comply with all applicable LEED protocols, including registering the project with the US Green Building Council at the beginning of the design phase and applying for LEED certification at project completion. Provided, however, if the administrative costs of LEED certification, including project registration fees, and documentation and monitoring costs, incurred exclusively for the purpose of achieving certification, are reasonably expected to exceed $50,000 for any project, the University shall inform the University’s Board of Trustees (acting through its Building, Grounds & Environment Committee) and seek approval to pursue certification.
The University may exempt a project from the minimum performance requirements of this policy only with the approval of the University’s Board of Trustees (acting through its Building, Grounds & Environment Committee). To attain such exemption, and in addition to complying with procedures specified for a similar exemption pursuant to any applicable state law or regulation, the University shall prepare a written analysis substantiating that the costs of achieving LEED certification would significantly outweigh the benefits.

Statement endorsed by the UConn Board of Trustees may be found here:

https://policy.uconn.edu/2014/10/01/the-university-of-connecticut-sustainable-design-and-construction-policy/


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

The definition adopted for general campus sustainability programs is as follows: Meeting the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter Yes
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) Yes
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) Yes

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

UConn is a Tree Campus USA, a certification granted by the Arbor Day Foundation, meaning that the campus effectively manages their campus trees, develops connectivity with the community beyond campus borders to foster healthy urban forests, and strives to engage their student population utilizing service learning opportunities centered on campus and community forestry efforts. (https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/tree-campus-usa/)
UConn is also a signatory of Bee Campus USA (since 2017)
https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/bee-campus-usa/

UConn is a signatory and higher education leader of the "We Are Still In" multi-sector coalition, pledged to uphold the principles and goals of the UN's 2015 Paris Agreement, through continued climate research education, outreach and public service, and continued leadership by example through low-carbon campus operations (see Notes below)


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University's Climate Action Plan serves as the guide for long-term sustainability initiatives. The CAP was adopted (2009) and approved by the president in 2010, and was last amended in 2012 to add an Adaptation/Resilience section. Subsequently, an interim 2014-15 assessment was completed to help UConn achieve 2020 and 2025 interim milestones in the CAP; and a 2020 Vision for Campus Sustainability and Climate Leadership was competed and approved by President Herbst in January 2017, in order to set 21 more specific and measurable targets in 8 different Sustainability- and CAP-related categories.

Information about UConn's WASI commitment can be found here:
https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/2017/11/30/green-business-climate-action-and-fiscal-sustainability-cop23/

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.