Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.34
Liaison Elizabeth MacKenzie
Submission Date July 24, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Iowa
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sara Maples
Interim Director
The UI 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:
The Strategic Plan for the University of Iowa contains the following statement:
"The University has committed to make sustainability a central priority of all aspects of the enterprise, from the academic mission to daily operations. Our goal is to lead change and to be a meaningful resource to all Iowans in the promotion of sustainability. We will build on successes to date that include highly ranked sustainability-related academic focus areas, the establishment of an Office of Sustainability, an undergraduate certificate in sustainability and a sustainability-focused living learning community, an interdisciplinary “cluster hire” focused on water sustainability (the Water Sustainability Initiative), new buildings designed to LEED standards, significant cost savings through energy audits, leadership in the development of renewable energy systems, and many others."
Integrate sustainability into all aspects of the university enterprise – academics, operations, and outreach:
1) Provide students with educational opportunities to increase their knowledge of and problem-solving skills in environmental, social, and economic sustainability;
2) Support the workforce development needs of green industries in Iowa;
3) Support and grow interdisciplinary research in sustainability-focused areas;
4) Achieve aggressive improvements in energy conservation, renewable energy reliance, waste reduction, and CO2 reduction.

After inception, the Office of Sustainability created the University of Iowa 20/20 Sustainability Vision to set measurable sustainability objectives in the following seven goal categories.
1) Achieve Net-negative Energy Growth
2) Green Our Energy Portfolio
3) Decrease Our Production of Waste
4) Reduce the Carbon Impact of Transportation
5) Increase Student Opportunities to Learn and Practice Principles of Sustainability
6) Support and Grow Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability-focused and Related Areas
7) Develop Partnerships to Advance Collaborative Initiatives, both Academic and Operational

A copy of the strategic plan:
The website URL where the strategic plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published sustainability plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
Yes

A copy of the sustainability plan:
The website URL where the sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a published climate action plan (apart from what is reported above)? :
No

A copy of the climate action plan:
---

The website URL where the climate action plan is publicly available:
---

Does the institution have other published plans that address sustainability or include measurable sustainability objectives (e.g. campus master plan, physical campus plan, diversity plan, human resources plan)? :
Yes

A list of other published plans that address sustainability, including public website URLs (if available):
The Facilities Management Department has a "Sustainable Campus Environment" section of its Master Plan.

Specifically, the plan seeks to promote the following principles:
1) Promote long-term sustainability of the campus for future generations through efficient land use, energy efficient buildings, management of energy and water resources, selection and management of building materials, recycling of waste, protection of indoor environmental quality, and life cycle costing.
2) Plan site development to orient buildings and landscape features to take advantage of site location and orientation to conserve energy, protect the landscape, and minimize environmental impacts.
3) Minimize impacts on the Iowa river as a regional water source and drainage way.
4) Protect campus natural areas and enhance their environmental benefits related to erosion control, storm water management, micro climate amelioration, habitat enrichment, native plant protection, and their educational value.
5) Encourage sustainable alternatives to private automobile use as a means of improving air quality, conserving non-renewable petroleum resources, and reducing the negative environmental impacts of parking lots.
6) Promote reuse of existing buildings and reviewing new buildings for LEED or “LEED-like” construction.

https://masterplan.facilities.uiowa.edu/sites/masterplan.facilities.uiowa.edu/files/wysiwyg_uploads/universityiowacampusmasterplan.pdf

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:
20-20 Vision #3:
The UI will provide students with educational opportunities that elevate their knowledge of and problem‐solving skills in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. These opportunities will include career‐related certificate and/degree programs, internships, and sustainability‐related research experiences.
The Sustainability Certificate provides students with an opportunity for sustainability-focused coursework.

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:
20-20 Vision:
The 20-20 vision states goals of "increasing...sustainability-related research experiences." For example, one campus department through which students and faculty can participate in sustainability research is the Environmental Policy center.
Areas Of Research include: International Environmental Law, Effects of Urban Form and Policy on Air Quality, Residential Energy Efficiency, Water Management
Land and Waterway Management, as well as Economic Growth and the Environment

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:
20-20 Vision #5:  
Sustainable practices will be incorporated into student campus activities, living and learning centers, food service, and health and wellness. A student sustainability activity fund will be created to support these efforts. To build leadership for a sustainable world, interdisciplinary internships for students will be increased. To promote the understanding of sustainability principles through the study of natural systems, the UI will enhance natural history activities and sustainability programming.

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:
University Strategic Plan:
Public research universities evolve by addressing the needs of each generation in each state. We will expand our public engagement to contribute to economic and cultural vitality and to the health and quality of life of the people of Iowa. We will help place-bound Iowans achieve their educational aspirations. We will align University resources with important state needs.


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:
Facilities Management Master Plan:
Encourage sustainable alternatives to private automobile use as a means of improving air quality, conserving non-renewable petroleum resources, and reducing the negative environmental impacts of parking lots.

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:
20-20 Vision #1:
The UI will employ energy conservation efforts, build LEED facilities, modernize aged building systems and nurture a culture of conservation to reach the goal of consuming less energy on campus in 2020 than consumed in 2010 despite projected growth.   

Sampling of strategies to be pursued over the course of the decade:
1) The UI will continue to update building design standards to lower the impact of growth.
2) The UI will continue to pursue aggressive energy conservation opportunities.
3) Campus divisions and departments will be incentivized to conserve energy.
4) Building HVAC systems will be upgraded employing more energy efficient designs.
5) Commissioning and Retro‐commissioning efforts will become standard practices.
6) A branded energy conservation marketing effort will be developed and implemented."

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:
20-20 Vision #2:
The UI will pursue a renewable energy supply strategy that optimizes long‐term supply and fuel price stability while preserving an ability to test and take advantage of other potential fuels. As we transition from our dependency on fossil fuels, we will increase the use of biomass, geothermal, solar, wind, landfill gas, gasification and other emerging energy alternatives to achieve the goal of 40% renewable energy consumption on the campus by 2020.

Sampling of strategies to be pursued over the course of the decade:
1) Boiler #10 will be converted to combust biomass.
2) The UI will develop a renewable energy supply strategy which optimizes long‐term
supply and fuel price stability – while preserving an ability to test and take advantage of
other opportunity fuels.
3) Growth in main campus energy production will be based on natural gas in the near term in a manner enabling the long‐term transition to the use of low Btu gas produced from renewable sources.
4) All energy consumed on the Oakdale Campus will be produced on that campus from
renewable sources, including landfill gas, gasification and direct combustion of biomass.
5) Wind, photovoltaic and gasification will become increasing contributors to the fuel mix.

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:
20-20 Vision #3:
The UI will foster a culture oriented to reducing waste, increasing recycling, facilitating composting of organic waste, and enhancing green purchasing practices to achieve our goal of a 60% waste diversion by 2020. One component of this plan is that campus food service and composting operations will be retooled to both minimize and capture food waste. Campus dining has begun composting approximately 450,000 pounds of food waste, improving their diversion rate to 41%.
https://dining.uiowa.edu/about-us/sustainability

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:
Facilities Management Master Plan:
Grounds are encompassed by several facets of the Facilities Management master plan.
1) Site development to orient buildings and landscape features to take advantage of site location and orientation to conserve energy, protect the landscape, and minimize environmental impacts.
2) Minimize impacts on the Iowa river as a regional water source and drainage way.
3) Protect campus natural areas and enhance their environmental benefits related to erosion control, stormwater management, microclimate amelioration, habitat enrichment, native plant protection, and their educational value

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:
20-20 Vision #3:
The UI will foster a culture oriented to reducing waste, increasing recycling, facilitating composting of organic waste, and enhancing green purchasing practices to achieve our goal of a 60% waste diversion by 2020. The purchasing department has identified 5 components of their plan to make purchasing green; include purchasing energy-star equipment, source reduction, buy local, encouraging green goods and services, and reducing paper through e-procurement. https://uiowa.edu/ap-purchasing/article/green-purchasing

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:
20-20 Vision #4:
The UI will seek ways to reduce the vehicle miles traveled by single occupant vehicles, employ increasingly efficient fuels and technologies, improve the greenhouse gas efficiency of vehicles operated by employees and students, and seek net reductions and/or offsets in University‐related air travel with the goal of achieving, by 2020, a 10% reduction in per capita emissions of fossil fuel‐produced CO2 from University‐related transportation and travel.

Sampling of Strategies to be pursued over the course of the decade:
1) Carbon‐efficient fuels and technologies will be increasingly employed.
2) The UI will implement vehicle management practices for passenger and freight systems to improve the greenhouse gas efficiency of vehicles.
3) Demand management programs will be expanded to reduce the vehicle miles traveled by single occupant vehicles used for commuting or intra‐campus transportation.
4) The UI will investigate a local offset program to address the greenhouse gas impacts of University‐related air travel.

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:
20-20 Vision #3: The UI will foster a culture oriented to reducing waste, increasing recycling, facilitating composting of organic waste, and enhancing green purchasing practices to achieve our goal of a 60% waste diversion by 2020.

Sampling of strategies to be pursued over the course of the decade:
1) A comprehensive recycling program will be developed and initiated.
2) The UI will modify its buildings to facilitate recycling.
3) A branded marketing effort will be developed and implemented.
4) Green purchasing practices, designed to reduce waste, will be implemented.
5) Waste minimization practices will be incentivized and facilitated at departmental levels.
6) Campus food service and composting operations will be retooled to both minimize and capture food waste.

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:
20-20 Vision #6:
The UI will pursue international prominence in water sustainability education and research by supporting interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service on issues of water availability, water quality, the economic and health impacts of floods, flood control, water conservation, rural economic development, and the linkages between emerging water resource issues and global climate change. The UI will work to increase awareness in Iowa about the shared value of Iowa’s water resources and the impacts of land use in river watersheds. The water resource principles developed through sustainability research programs will be adapted where applicable to the UI campus and its operations.

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:
University-Wide Strategic Plan:
Internationalization and Diversity - Growth in diversity is measured using the Diversity Report, containing information on percentage of underrepresented minorities, women in leadership, and other relevant ratios.

Sample of Strategies to enhance educational excellence by expanding domestic and international diversity and by bringing the world to Iowa and taking Iowa to the world.
1) Strengthen recruitment and retention of talented underrepresented domestic minority students and international students and scholars;
2) Infuse international and multicultural perspectives in our institutional missions;
3) Expand the proportion of students who study abroad;
4) Expand the University’s global reach through active partnerships with institutions abroad.

Affordability:
The University is committed to preserving by containing costs
and by the most efficient and innovative use of existing resources.

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:
---

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:
University-Wide Strategic Plan:
Human Resources will attract and support a healthy and engaged workforce to maximize productivity, reduce costs, and achieve excellence. A comprehensive health management program will focus on individual improvement and campus culture. A 12 month on-boarding program for new staff and faculty will enable higher productivity sooner and stronger retention later. HR will implement the Professional & Scientific classification and compensation redesign, and create a fully integrated talent management system to ensure the development and retention of our most productive employees. LEAN process improvement leadership will be available to implement additional administrative efficiencies.

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:
20-20 Vision #7:
The UI will continue to create and nurture partnerships with communities, businesses, government agencies and other educational institutions with the goal of understanding and meeting the ever increasing need for environmental, social and economic sustainability. In particular, the UI will work individually and collaboratively with Iowa businesses and community colleges to meet the demands of supporting the workforce and economic development needs of green industries in Iowa.

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:
In her 2008 Earth Day speech, University of Iowa President Mason challenged the University community to integrate sustainability deeply into our learning, discovery, and outreach missions. Similar calls for an increased focus on sustainability in University operations and academic activities were issued by the UI Faculty Senate, the Board of Regents, and Governor Chet Culver. The University’s new strategic plan, Renewing the Iowa Promise: Great Opportunities – Bold Expectations, identifies sustainability as both a foundational commitment and a key strategic initiative.

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

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 No
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:
The University President is a signatory on the "We Are Still In" pledge, a commitment to follow the Paris Climate Talk resolutions in spite of President Trumps denouncement.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
---

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
---

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.