Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 52.36
Liaison Matthew Williams
Submission Date Dec. 4, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Florida
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Liz Storn
Program Coordinator
Office of 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:

Stewardship is one of the four pillars of the UF Strategic Development Plan. With that in mind, the plan recommends studying open space, landscaping, street and utility networks, stormwater and other infrastructure, and partnering with the city on large-scale open spaces, bike-pedestrian trails and stream-corridor restoration to advance the region’s ecological health and outdoor amenities. Recommended collaboration with the community extends to energy, water, waste and recycling issues as well as healthy food initiatives with the local agricultural community.

Immediate plans to support this initiative include the creation of a UF landscape master plan and providing $50,000 to identify solutions that will address a UF/city/county environmental issue.


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:
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 opportunities are included in the Vision Plan for curriculum:
- Develop formalized, institutionalized, interdisciplinary, academic programs that support teaching and research for sustainability.
- Develop a core sustainability requirement in every college
- Provide support and incentives for students, faculty, and staff to cross departmental boundaries and approach problem solving in a multifaceted way.


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 Vision Plan includes the following Research objectives:
- The Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy’s Technology Incubator would accelerate commercialization of energy technologies throughout Florida by developing and demonstrating renewable energy technologies on campus
- UF/IFAS would continue to work to develop research and extension programs to support and demonstrate the implementation of sustainable agriculture in our state
- We would demonstrate research innovations whenever possible. Campus would act as a living laboratory for sustainability, allowing students to learn from and develop waste diversion strategies for campus.

The Reaching the Vision Plan further expands upon research sustainability objectives:
- Match University Scholars with research faculty to do feasibility
studies, etc. to accelerate new technologies
- Involve research groups on campus in research and decisions
involving carbon offsets, sequestration, renewable energy
certificates, etc. related to the Carbon Action Plan


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 Vision Plan includes the following objectives addressing Campus Engagement:
- Create opportunities for all faculty, staff, and administrators to gain access to sustainability resources and training
- Use the landscape as a teaching tool to study the intersection of human and natural systems as part of a healthy ecosystem. Outdoor areas would be designed to be energizing and therapeutic to the university community, as well as restorative to the environment.
- Make UF grounds a model of sustainable design and management. Healthy and aesthetically pleasing environs would inspire community members to spend time outdoors. All students would leave UF with an exposure to, if not understanding of, sustainable landscaping and its effects on the ecosystem
- Educate the campus community on how to decrease consumption and reduce our environmental impact through resource conservation.
- Education on campus and through IFAS Extension would create a demand for sustainable agricultural products and responsible business in the surrounding area. Students would learn lessons on campus and use the three E’s (environment, economy, and equity) as a framework to make food decisions throughout their lives.

The Climate Action Plan includes the following objectives:
- Continue and expand GHGE reduction campaigns via the O!ce of Sustainability Green Team Network and other outreach efforts with a focus on the conservation of electricity and water, the reduction of vehicle miles traveled, and utilizing the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) of materials and waste.


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 Vision Plan includes the following objectives addressing Public Engagement:
- Partner with community groups to offer alternative transportation resources and education.
- All food served on campus would be sustainably produced, with a preference for local and regional sources. We would create and strengthen local, regional, and national markets for sustainable products through our purchasing decisions. The university would lead by example and drive change in the local business community by creating a new consumer class


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:

UF set a visionary goal of carbon neutrality by 2025. This would be achieved by capturing the maximum energy efficiencies across campus in all buildings, utility infrastructure and service; developing and maintaining a comprehensive carbon inventory; establishing baselines for all areas in order to set reduction goals; encouraging our energy provider to develop a lower carbon portfolio; installing renewable energy on campus; and developing a revolving loan fund for efficiency retrofits and renewable energy innovations.


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:

All new major construction on UF main campus must achieve a minimum of LEED Gold (discussed in the Vision Plan).


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 energy plans tie in directly with the Air and Climate plans with the following objectives: Capturing the maximum energy efficiencies across campus in all buildings, utility infrastructure and service; establishing baselines for all areas in order to set reduction goals; installing renewable energy on campus; and developing a revolving loan fund for efficiency retrofits and renewable energy innovations.


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:

The following strategies are identified in the Agricultural Implementation Plan:
- Work with stakeholders to develop an assessment framework that defines sustainable agriculture for UF
- Work to support/develop opportunities/incentives for farmers to maintain land and help new farmers.
- Encourage all staff, vendors, and decisions makers on campus to engage in sustainability in dining services at UF and to align with other UF sustainability goals and directives (i.e. Waste, Sustainable Purchasing).
- Educate on the value of food and food systems, develop critical thinking skills around food systems and healthy lifestyles, and provide opportunities and access for students to engage in the local food system on campus.


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:

The Land and Resource Management Implementation Plan (https://sustainable.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LandandResourceManagement-111209.pdf) and the Vision for a Sustainable UF plan contain the following strategies:

- Manage lands so that there is no net loss of biodiversity
- Promote indigenous species and appropriately limit the use of inorganic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
- Develop educational interpretations to promote biodiversity
- Conserve areas by designing the university's built environment into a denser urbanized center.
- Set the standard for and educate the public about a sustainable approach to the landscape.


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:

The Vision for a Sustainable UF plan contains the following objectives:
- Develop a web-based, user-friendly interface to identify sustainable options for purchasing decisions.
- Integrate analysis of total cost of ownership and full-cost accounting into purchasing decisions
- Develop materials to support campus-wide and department level understanding and compliance.
- Negotiate "extended producer responsibility" clauses with contract vendors.
- Develop "report cards" to track sustainable purchasing on campus and the performance of campus suppliers/vendors
- Offer sustainable purchasing training to all purchasers.


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 Campus Master Plan includes 7 specific pedestrian project priorities, 17 independent bicycle project priorities, 3 bicycle/pedestrian grade-separation project priorities, and 8 campus bus shelter construction/improvement priorities. Additional policies include: The University administration and Student Government shall continue to work with RTS to maintain and enhance service for on-campus routes and off-campus student-oriented residential concentrations subject to ongoing system performance monitoring; The University administration and Student Government shall participate with the
City of Gainesville, Alachua County, MTPO, FDOT, Gainesville Community Redevelopment Agency, and Regional Transit System (RTS) to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety through educational programs, safety awareness campaigns and facility improvements including intersection modifications, traffic signal equipment upgrades (e.g. count-down and audible signal heads) shared-use paths, overpasses/underpasses. In particular, the development of facilities presented in Figure 8-3 shall be encouraged; Retain University of Florida Design and Construction Standards for bicycle and pedestrian facilities consistent with the most recent applicable publications of the Florida Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.


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 State of Florida has established a goal of 75% recycling by 2020 with the following interim goals: 60% recycling by December 31, 2016, 70% recycling by December 31, 2018 and 75% recycling by December 31, 2020. Additionally, UF is striving for Zero Waste. Additionally, the "Vision" plan envisions sorting all waste for the most productive re-use, recycling, or conversion to energy with the following priorities:
- Construction & Deconstruction Waste - reduce and eliminate waste followed by recycling materials on campus
- Biomedical Waste - explore options for waste to energy
- Organic Waste - Sustainably manager through anaerobic digestion or composting.


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 Land and Resource Management Implementation Plan contains the following sustainability objectives to address Water (https://sustainable.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LandandResourceManagement-111209.pdf):
- UF will require water metering on all new buildings and use data to compile new standards for water conservation according to building classifications.
- UF will evaluate the cost to install water meters on existing buildings
- Improve financing, marketing, and diffusion of water fountain filtration system upgrades
- Evaluate water quality performance standards of all campus water bodies and re-evaluate thresholds as needed.


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 UF Diversity Action Plan of 2011 (https://hr.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Diversity-Action-Plan-August-2011.pdf) and the Equity, Health and Wellbeing Implementation Plan (https://sustainable.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/EquityHealthandWellbeingPlan-111209.pdf) include the following measurable sustainability objectives:
- Develop a comprehensive communications and marketing program to advance diversity by expressing that UF is a welcoming and inclusive institution for diverse internal and external stakeholders. Initiate proactive, ongoing media campaigns to support the efforts to foster a welcoming campus climate.
- Develop instructor led diversity awareness workshops to embed knowledge and to explore sensitive issues in a structured environment
- Collect data and create databases to systematically and effectively assess progress to achieve diversity goals.
- Develop a MentorNet or e-mentoring program by which undergraduate and graduate students in science and engineering, whose backgrounds and experience indicate a need, can be mentored by professionals in industry and universities.
- Develop mentoring / community building programs for any students who have demonstrated barriers to overcome for success.
- Develop policies and practices to ensure residential facilities foster a greater understanding of diversity, and each provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for a diverse population.


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:
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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:

The Equity, Health and Wellbeing Implementation Plan (https://sustainable.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/EquityHealthandWellbeingPlan-111209.pdf) contain the following objectives:
- Develop a fully coordinated wellness effort on campus.
- Provide an integrated and accessible child care/family support system
- Create easy campus-wide access to healthy food choices at affordable prices
- Increase accessibility to conflict resolution assistance.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas and the published plans in which each objective is included:
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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)? :
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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The institution’s definition of sustainability (e.g. as included in a published statement or plan):
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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) No

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

In 2006, UF's then-president J. Bernard Machen was among the first to sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment.


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.