Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.89
Liaison Micah Kenfield
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Micah Kenfield
Sustainability Coordinator
Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign developed its most recent strategic plan through an exercise entitled "Visioning Excellence". During the exercise, sustainability emerged as one of the top priorities for our campus.


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)? :
No

A copy of the sustainability plan:
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The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
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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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Offer an undergraduate minor in sustainability, starting with about 20 students in FY16, that will
provide in-depth learning about the three dimensions of sustainability and enable students to make
connections between the different disciplines to solve problems related to sustainability.
2. Provide opportunities for undergraduate students to obtain research and practical experience by
participating in independent study projects on sustainability topics.
3. Add at least five new sustainability-focused courses by FY20.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Create a hub for the sustainability community: to develop a comprehensive online gateway for faculty,
staff, students, potential donors, and all interested parties to find information about sustainability
research, education, outreach, initiatives, and operations.
2. Build connections: to bring together scholars from across campus to encourage collaboration, and to
enhance research endeavors.
3. Foster “actionable” research: to encourage and support research that provides real-world solutions to society’s grand challenges in sustainability, energy and the environment. iSEE research themes are broken into five categories: Climate Solutions, Energy Transitions, Secure and Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Infrastructure, and Water and Land Stewardship.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Support and communicate about co-curricular student sustainability programs.
2. Strengthen and communicate about sustainability outreach programs. Specifically, at least half of the full-time campus staff will be participating in the Certified Green Office Program by FY20.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
Organize and promote three major sustainability events on campus each year: Earth Week, Campus Sustainability Week, and the iSEE Congress.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
The central vision of our future is to completely eliminate all Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Maintain or reduce the campus gross square footage relative to the FY10 baseline.
2. Identify the highest achievable energy standards for new buildings and major renovations, and incorporate
these into the campus facility standards by the end of FY16.
3. Strengthen centralized conservation efforts focusing on building systems to achieve a 30% reduction
in total campus building energy use by FY20. This includes meeting LED Campus commitments.
4. Engage and incentivize the campus community in energy conservation, including a comprehensive
energy conservation campaign, with at least 50% of units participating by FY20.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. The Energy Generation, Purchasing, and Distribution SWATeam, in collaboration with Facilities & Services and topical Consultation Groups, will lead an exploration of options for 100% clean campus energy during FY16 and submit recommendations through the formal sustainability process.
2. Expand on-campus solar energy production. By FY20, produce at least 12,500 MWh/year, and by FY25 at least 25,000 MWh, from solar installations on campus property. These targets represent 5% and 10% of our expected 2050 electricity demand, respectively.
3. Expand the purchase of clean energy. By FY20, obtain at least 120,000 MWh, and by FY25 at least 140,000 MWh from low-carbon energy sources. These targets represent 48% and 56% of our expected 2050 electricity demand, respectively.
4. Offset all emissions from the National Petascale Computing Facility (and other successor facilities) by the conclusion of the current period of National Science Foundation support.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
Implement a project that examines the food service carbon footprint for Dining and other on-campus food vendors, while increasing local food procurement to 40% by FY25.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Perform a comprehensive assessment of GHG emissions from agricultural operations, and develop a plan to reduce them, by the end of FY16.
2. Design and maintain campus landscapes in a more sustainable manner; expand the specification of sustainable plantings in campus landscaping standards, develop and implement a tree care plan by FY16 and an integrated pest management program by FY17.
3. Incorporate sustainability principles more fully into the Campus Master Plan.
4. Implement a project that examines the food service carbon footprint for Dining and other on-campus food vendors, while increasing local food procurement to 40% by FY25.
5. Increase carbon sequestration in campus soils by determining the sequestration value of existing plantings and identifying locations for additional plantings, with a specific objective of converting at least 50 acres of U of I farmland to agroforestry by FY20.
6. Reduce nitrates in agricultural runoff and subsurface drainage by 50% from the FY15 baseline by FY22.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
By FY17, environmental standards will be applied to purchases of office paper, cleaning products, computers, other electronics, and freight/package delivery services. At least 50% of purchases in these categories will meet campus standards by FY20, and 75% by FY25.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Reduce air travel emissions from a new FY14 baseline by 25% by FY20, 50% by FY25, and 100% by FY30.
2. Reduce emissions from the Urbana-Champaign campus fleet by 20% for departmentally-owned and 10 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP)
carpool vehicles by FY20.
3. Conduct a detailed study by the end of FY17 to develop scenarios for complete conversion of the campus fleet to renewable fuels.
4. Reduce the percentage of staff trips made using single-occupancy vehicles from 65% to 55% by FY20, 50% by FY25, and 45% by FY30.
5. Implement the Campus Bike Plan on the schedule noted in that plan. Notable deadlines include full implementation of new bikeway facilities by FY25, bike parking within 150 feet of every building in the core of campus by FY20, and bike rentals by FY20.
6. Appropriately staff sustainable transportation efforts, especially through the hiring of an Active Transportation Coordinator.


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Reduce municipal solid waste (MSW) going to landfills. This involves reducing nondurable goods purchases, effectively reusing materials, and recycling. In the latter category, campus will increase the diversion rate of MSW to 45% by FY20, 60% by FY25, and 80% by FY35, while also increasing the total diversion rate to 90% by FY20 and 95% by FY25. MSW sent to landfills should decline to 2,000 tons annually by 2035.
2. Utilize landfills with methane capture.
3. Appropriately staff Zero Waste efforts through the hiring of a full-time Zero Waste Coordinator


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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. Obtain and publicize more granular water use data by FY16, including water quantity and quality data where available.
2. Improve the water efficiency of cooling towers by limiting the amount discharged to sewer to less than 20% of water intake for chiller plant towers, and less than 33% for stand-alone building towers, by FY20.
3. Perform a water audit to establish water conservation targets — and determine upper limits for water demand by end-use — for incorporation into facilities standards by FY16.
4. Inventory and benchmark campus’ existing landscape performance by FY17.
5. Through an open solicitation process, implement at least four pilot projects to showcase the potential of water and/or stormwater reuse by FY20, with the objective of implementing a broader program by FY25.
6. Investigate the water quality impacts


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:

From the Campus Strategic Plan(http://strategicplan.illinois.edu/goals.html):
d) Allocate additional institutional resources to increase the amount and availability of student scholarships and other financial aid
e) Enhance opportunities to generate external funding by providing grant proposal infrastructure for units that do not currently have access to such resources


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

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

From the Climate Action Plan:
1. By the end of FY16, develop criteria and a review process for the iCAP Working Group to allocate funding for feasibility studies of SWATeam-recommended sustainability projects and initiatives, using funds provided by campus administration and other sources.
2. By the end of FY16, increase the size of the Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to a level commensurate with our aspirational peers, expand the reach of the Fund, and increase the use of Energy Performance Contracting.
3. By the end of FY16, identify the amount of funds that are available across campus for projects that do not offer a rapid financial payback, but which are nevertheless important for improving campus sustainability, and identify options to increase that amount annually.
4. By the end of FY16, evaluate the feasibility of internally putting a price on carbon emissions.


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Wellbeing & Work 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 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:

From the Climate Action Plan:
Perform a comprehensive assessment of GHG emissions from agricultural operations, and develop a plan to reduce them, by the end of FY16.


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)? :
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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):

Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter ---
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) ---
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter ---
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) ---
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) ---

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