Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.83 / 4.00 Michael Mendoza
Sustainability Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have current and formal plans to advance sustainability in the following areas? Do the plans include measurable objectives?:
Current and Formal Plans (Yes or No) Measurable Objectives (Yes or No)
Curriculum No No
Research (or other scholarship) No No
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement Yes Yes
+ Date Revised: Jan. 4, 2016
Air and Climate Yes Yes
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food No
+ Date Revised: Jan. 4, 2016
Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds Yes Yes
Purchasing Yes Yes
Transportation Yes Yes
Waste Yes Yes
Water Yes Yes
Diversity and Affordability No
+ Date Revised: Jan. 4, 2016
No
+ Date Revised: Jan. 4, 2016
Health, Wellbeing and Work Yes Yes
Investment No No
Other --- ---

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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

n/a


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

The facilities management sustainability profile addresses campus engagement: "As FM advances the sustainability of its programs and projects and its ability to apply metrics to the selection and environmental impact of them, it will become ever better positioned to engage with faculty and students in out-of-classroom learning experiences, both in and out of the classroom. Ultimately, FM desires to pro-actively invite faculty and staff to collaborate with FM staff in the design, execution and assessment of FM sustainability initiatives."

The Office of Sustainability manages an internal plan for all sustainability initiatives led by the office, which includes Campus Engagement. The office accepts outreach requests on campus (and in the community) to participate in department events and present to classes and student organizations. The Office also runs sustainability events and programs, each of which has an individual event or program plan.


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

FY2014 AND FY2015 FM Plan ACTIVITIES
FM will undertake the following:
• Support faculty-initiated requests to use FM data and/or resources to support sustainability-related teaching experiences (FY2014 and FY2015)

METRICS
• Number of faculty requests for FM support or collaboration that are well-satisfied

Office of Sustainability metrics:
- Number of partner events participating in semesterly
- Number of volunteers at events and in the garden
- Number of attendees at each Office of Sustainability coordinated event
- Number of new sign ups for the Sustainable Coog newsletter
- Number of sustainability presentations to classes and campus groups


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

Michael Burriello, FM Sustainability lead, tracks the sustainability performance plan which uses the metrics highlighted in the FM sustainability profile.

Sarah Kelly, manages the office of sustainability annual implementation plan


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

The Campus Community Garden was established to engage the campus and community in sustainable agriculture and healthy living. All of the produce is donated directly to local food pantries and facilities serving low-income families and individuals. The garden also engages in regular events to teach campus and community members how to garden, why it's beneficial and the impact of nutrition and gardening on overall health and well being. This is a formal partnership with the Houston based non-profit organization, Urban Harvest. The campus garden staff are currently in the process of developing additional plans to improve public engagement through lesson plans and using the garden as an experiment in UH and HISD classes.


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

All of these are measured annually:
Pounds of food donated to local food pantries
Number of outside groups engaged in community garden (schools, non-profits, etc.)
Number of volunteer hours


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

Sarah Kelly, Office of Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:

Both the Sustainability Task Force and the Student Government Association have developed policies that state there must be a greenhouse gas inventory completed every year at the University of Houston.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):
Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):

Sustainability Task Force, Office of Sustainability, Energy and Sustainability minor, FM Sustainability officer


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

The facilities management sustainability profile addresses buildings: "The university’s interest is to ensure that its buildings and facilities are constructed to meet stipulated longevity goals, are efficiently operated, effectively support programmed use and offer aesthetic appeal and comfort to building occupants. Since 2010, FM has contributed to development of the Administration and Finance Division’s master construction specifications and to improving the university’s design standards. FM will continue this support, ensuring that the documents are current with best sustainability building management practices. FM will author a companion policy that describes its practices to sustainably operate and maintain buildings. This will be a compilation of new practices and those described in existing policies and standard operating procedure documents."


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

METRICS
• Operationalize means of regular reporting and assessment of building energy use intensity and campus water use intensity
• Proactive peer review to draft version(s) of UH Infrastructure Master Plan
• Proactive peer review of UH design guidance
• Author sustainable building O&M policy


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

Facilities Management


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

Aramark institutes several sustainability initiatives into their company-wide plans. "Green Stakes are Aramark Higher Education’s national commitments to affect positive sustainable change. As part of our environmental stewardship program, we develop not only unique solutions for our campus partners, but also commit to elevating environmental commitments to ALL of our 500+ Higher Education accounts that we serve. We call these global commitments Green Stakes™ - our stakes in the ground, and our national commitments to affect change."

"Aramark has made a commitment to help preserve the world’s oceans and fisheries through a partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, which will guide company practices of supply, purchase and consumption of sustainable seafood. Through Seafood Watch, the Monterey Bay Aquarium recommends which seafood to buy and which to avoid, helping consumers become stronger advocates for an environmentally friendly seafood supply."


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

- implement an energy and water conservation program at every site.
- purchase paper products with recycled content.
- implement Daily Green cleaning products.
- divert 100 percent of our fryer oil waste
- increase our level of sustainable food offerings, with a yearly growth goal of 5 percent.
- Aramark has made a commitment to shift its seafood purchases in the U.S. toward sustainable sources over the next 10 years.


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

UH Dining services, Aramark


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

Energy Management plans are included in Facilities Management's Sustainability profile: "FM will continue to conduct energy audits in three buildings every year and initiate a system of building retrocommissioning. It will use the data generated through both activities to identify performance and cost-justified investments to improve building energy demand. FM will share this information with the Utilities and Planning staff so that they can combine that information with the findings of the Facility Condition Analysis to prioritize and plan for coordinated building investments. To date, FM has managed contractor’s auditing of nineteen campus buildings, representing over 2 million sf and has realized an energy savings of over $487,000. FM staff has undertaken this effort with CenterPoint Energy and will continue during FY2014 and FY2015."


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

METRICS
• Number of meters installed, the number of meters tied to the new software system and funds recovered from auxiliary unit billings.
• Number of energy audits/year
• Number of retrocommissioning projects completed/year
• Return on investment profile for energy conservation measures implemented
• Reduced electricity use for the campus (weather-adjusted)
• Reduction in campus greenhouse gas emissions associated with Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions
• Development of a capital plan for the university’s central utility plants.
• Boiler emissions performance compared to permitted allowance


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

Facilities Management


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

The facilities management sustainability profile addresses Grounds as part of the sustainability performance plan. "FM’s responsibility for grounds maintenance extends to sustainability interests, such as ensuring that the landscape is universally accessible and that it is beautifully sustained, but with minimal chemical application and watering. FM will continue universally accessible and that it is beautifully sustained, but with minimal chemical application and watering. FM will continue to establish expertise in these arenas and share it with other units within the university to build momentum and university-scale decision making to support FM's chemical and water reduction goals and objectives."


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

FM will undertake the following:
• Reduce grounds-related water use (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Reduce grounds-related chemical use (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Modify plant selection strategies to support water and chemical use goals (FY2014 and FY2015)

METRICS
• The number of zones connected to the central irrigation control system each year
• Adoption of the revised plant list into the campus design guidelines
• Acreage converted to the preferred plant list
• Active contribution of FM staff in the drafting of the university’s integrated pest management plan (for landscape) and
related FM policy and standard operating procedure documents
• Reduced volume of pesticides applied to campus landscape each year.
• Amount of purchased landscape compost materials as compared to university generated compost.
• Completion of a plan to improve the sidewalk experience – ADA compliance, safety, restricted vehicle access
• Active contribution by FM staff to the university’s landscape master plan (primary responsibility for developing this
documents rests with FPC)


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

Michael Burriello, FM Sustainability lead, tracks the sustainability performance plan which uses the metrics highlighted in the FM sustainability profile. Roger Warner, assistant director of Facilities Management, Grounds and Solid Waste & Recycling, and his team executes the initiatives.


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

Facilities management identified several areas where green purchasing will be implemented, including in the integrated pest management plan, the green cleaning products plan, and in building materials. The facilities management sustainability profile addresses purchasing in several areas. One example: "FM will expand its research to identify additional preferred (healthy) products and materials for building use. An FM staff member will be designated to manage materials research, including petitioning input from architects contracted with UH. This person will also analyze the wisdom for FM of establishing a purchasing preference for Green Seal© or EcoLogo© products. She or he will be responsible for developing a system for tracking FM experiences with preferred materials and their prices."


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

METRICS
• Number of products and materials identified by FM as preferred (healthy)
• Purchased volumes of all preferred products (and of materials that they are meant to replace), costs,
• Issuance of an FM progress report on the integrated pest management initiatives for buildings and structures


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

Facilities Management


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

Transportation and fleet plans are included in Facilities Management's Sustainability profile: "FM maintains infrastructure and provides the university with vehicles and other mobile equipment that is safe and reliable. It is responsible for maintaining UH’s pool of 425 vehicles. In FY2014, FM will complete an assessment of the university road system – its condition, suitability and needed improvements. FM will develop, plan and prioritize the size of the current and future fleet of vehicles. It will consider the current and future use of alternative fuels (including diesel-electric, plug-in hybrid, 100% electric, hydrogen fueled, B20 or higher biofuel, E85 of hither ethanol fuel), advanced fuel injection systems, idle shut-off systems, right-sizing of the fleet to ensure sustainability within the fleet and recycling of oil, anti-freeze, metals, tires and batteries. Finally, FM will launch a pilot program for FM staff. FM is promoting staff health and sustainability through its Ride Red bike initiative. This is a bike-share program which will use Cougar Cards. Pilot Ride Red bike stations are planned for the General Services building, the Central Plant and the Moody Residence area. Program responsibility will be shared by Auto Shop with support from FM Technical Services and the pilot will be evaluated in December, 2013."


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

FY2014 AND FY2015 ACTIVITIES
FM will undertake the following:
• Assess and immediately implement cost effective opportunities to reduce fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions and reduce its chemical use (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Implement a pilot program to reduce the use of fleet cars (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Assess and take steps toward implementing cost effective ways to surface and maintain the university road system in ways that will reduce related chemical use (FY2014 and FY2015)

METRICS
• Complete the Campus Road System Improvement Plan (see the “Environmental Stewardship” section of this text)
• Establish the next steps in “greening” the university’s fleet
• Implement the Ride Red bike initiative.


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

Facilities Management


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

Waste reduction measures are addressed in Facilities Management's sustainability profile: "FM will continue its expansion of number and volume of materials that it diverts from the waste stream, both solid waste and special wastes. FM will improve its ability to account for diversion rates by individual or groupings of materials. UH objectives for its solid waste management are to limit generation, maximize recycling and composting referred to collectively as “recycling” or “waste diversion”) and dispose of solid waste in ways that most effectively protect human health and the environment. In FY2012 the university community generated 3,636 tons of solid waste, 25% of which was recycled or composted."


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

FY2014 AND FY2015 ACTIVITIES
FM will undertake the following:
• Modify its solid waste management related practices, including supporting the findings of the Central Facilities strategic solid waste management plan, expected to be released in 2015 (FY2014)
• Attach university recycling logo to the recycling collection trucks
• Collaborate with other university groups to improve the recycling program through improved receptacles, improved signage and enhanced efforts to guide the university community’s recycling habits.

METRICS
• Track university waste diversion and waste disposal rates by program, using standard metrics of weight and cost as compared to traditional handling (disposal) methods
• Track the number of materials introduced into the university waste diversion programs
• Track the number of recycling collection trucks with recycling logos as a portion of total recycling collection trucks
• Track the number of uniformly designed recycling receptacles as a portion of total number of receptacles
• Track the number and type of community education events, including release through the internet or hard copy of
written information about the university’s waste diversion program
• Increase the number of Adopt-a-Spot locations by 5 in each of FY2013 and FY2014
• Number of 70 BigBelly© units installed on campus


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

Facilities Management


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

Water reduction measures are included in Facilities Management's sustainability profile: "FM will establish a goal for reduced campus water consumption associated with infrastructure, buildings and grounds. FM will assess its available means of impacting each. This will become the FM water conservation strategy. The drought of 2010 and 2011 changed FM’s attitude and approach to lawn management. Now, irrigation occurs every second or third day and mulch is used in greater volumes. “Smart” irrigation controllers were piloted and shown to be an effective means of irrigation control. FM will endeavor to expand its means of reducing grounds-associated water use. FM will develop a water balance to understand campus water use. This will be the basis of an analysis of activity that FM can take to reduce campus water use in its infrastructure, buildings and grounds. It will be used to formulate resource plans to support this initiative."


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

FY2014 AND FY2015 ACTIVITIES
FM will undertake the following:
• Reduce grounds-associated water consumption (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Prepare to reduce building-associated water consumption (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Innovate at the central plants to reduce infrastructure-associated water use (FY2014 and FY2015)
• Support university stormwater management (FY2014 and FY2015)


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

Facilities Management


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:

In the summer of 2013, the Multicultural Student Services Task Force was charged with identifying the feasibility of creating a new department/center that focuses on addressing the needs of the diverse University of Houston student population. The task force established goals and strategies to launch a new center for diversity and inclusion, which was recently developed.


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

The objectives from the task force for the newly developed center of diversity and inclusion include:

Year 1:
Fill staff according to the proposed staffing model
Build relationships with current departments, programs, and student organizations with whom the center might want to partner
Establish a visible presence on UH’s campus
Participate and/or sponsor at least one campus wide event
Develop a strategic plan and measurable outcome consistent with the department’s mission and the Division and University Plan


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

Center for Diversity and Inclusion


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:

The facilities management sustainability profile addresses health, wellbeing and workplace. "Sustainability in the Workplace – Leverage staff productivity and willingness to be inventive to realize FM sustainability objectives. Weave sustainability into all manner of staff education and training, from sessions that provide context and inspire, to addressing routine issues of minimum expectation and expected schedule. FM is striving to embrace the person within the employee and is actively engaging their workforce with training, communication, development programs, educational opportunities and recognition programs."


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

FY2014 AND FY2015 ACTIVITIES
FM will undertake the following:
• Comply with university guidelines and standards
• Provide staff with exceptional training and information to motivate them at work and inspire effort and energy in support of FM sustainability programs and projects

To comply with university human resource guidance and standards and take affirmative steps to educate and motivate FM staff to outperform on sustainability related programs and projects, FM will:
• Make timely submissions of all university records and reports on human resource activity
• Maintain or exceed current levels of staff diversity
• Target FM custodial staff for improved wage rates, additional training, better equipment and supplies and recognition for excellence. Training will focus on streamlining operations, simplifying processes, improving efficiency, improving data and technology and enhancing accountability.
• Test telecommuting and condensed workweek pilot programs
• Support staff’s interest in formal education through flexible work schedules to provide for enrollment in degree programs
• Provide dynamic forum at which experts discuss current issues and challenges important to FM’s sustainability interests. The FY2014 and FY2015 training agenda will include green cleaning, IFMA Facility Management Professional training and certification (FMP) and IFMA Sustainability Facility Professional training and certification (SFP). The goal for 2013 is for 65 FM staff members to earn both their FMP and SFP credentials.
• Continue FM focus groups
• Analyze and pursue funding for workspace designs that have been proven to improve collaboration and morale
• Commit to using expertise about FM’s most important sustainability areas of focus as a criteria for new candidate selection

METRICS
• Employee diversity profile
• Number of employees engaged in IFMA training
• Custodial staff productivity
• Metrics on results of telecommuting test pilot
• Number of staff accommodated in their desire for flexible schedules to allow them to enroll in degreed programs
• Successful pursuit of funding for improved workspace design


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

Facilities Management


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the other plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the other plan(s):
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The institution’s definition of sustainability:
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Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:
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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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.