Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.41
Liaison David Tedder
Submission Date Sept. 30, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Kentucky
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.25 / 4.00 Shane Tedder
Sustainability 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? :
No

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

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)? :
Yes

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):
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:

Yes, the Sustainability in Research and Instruction at the University of Kentucky: Challenges and Goals Report includes these objectives:

Goal 2: All UK Students Experience Sustainability in their Academic Careers
Sustainability is inherently interdisciplinary, providing an opportunity to expose our students to broad
cross-college collaborations and innovative pedagogical approaches. The Council process highlighted
faculty energy and unmet demand among the faculty and students for sustainability curricular and
instructional efforts.
Short-Term Objectives
- Support Efforts to Build Instructional Capacity for Sustainability Coursework. Sustainabilityoriented courses present unique challenges to instructors, including balancing the breadth and
depth, potentially reaching beyond a faculty members disciplinary training, and others. A
unique workshop, funded by a 2018 Sustainability Challenge Grant called “Teaching
Sustainability, Teaching Sustainably” has provided support for instructors to generate new
sustainability-oriented content and cohort building around these efforts. The Council
recommends continued support for these efforts.
- Facilitate Co-Branding and other Resource Sharing Among Existing Sustainability Curricula.
Unifying promotional and recruitment efforts, would help prospective students interested in
sustainability find the right major, communicate how students can engage in sustainabilityrelated coursework and strengthens faculty’s collective voice. Further, it would ensure we are
not duplicating efforts and are fully leveraging opportunities for shared academic experiences
such as capstone courses, experiential learning activities, etc.
Medium-Term Objectives
- Create a Graduate-level Sustainability Certificate, designed to be accessible to all of the
Colleges. Elements would include introductory and capstone coursework that would engage
students across colleges in real-world problem solving and experiential learning activities, as
well as sustainability-themed coursework within the discipline area.
- Examine the UK Core for Opportunities to Integrate Sustainability Learning Objectives for All
Undergraduates – perhaps in the Community, Culture and Citizenship or Global Dynamics
course opportunities in the current UK Core model.
Long-Term Objectives
- Establish a “School of Sustainability.” As stated in Goal 1, this would provide an institutional
home that could provide administrative support and an instructional home for these efforts.


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:

Yes, the Sustainability in Research and Instruction at the University of Kentucky: Challenges and Goals Report includes these objectives:

Goal 1: Facilitate Interdisciplinary Research and Instructional Efforts
UK is not alone in its struggle to break down disciplinary “silos” and address structural issues that create
barriers to faculty efforts in sustainability and other interdisciplinary areas. Considering these
impediments as well as the benchmarks created by other institutions leading in sustainability, the
Council recommends that the university take steps to facilitate interdisciplinary research and teaching
through the following:
Short-Term Objectives
- Reward faculty for interdisciplinary research and instructional efforts. Increasing
opportunities for extramural funding, as well as growing demand for interdisciplinary curricula
are drawing faculty towards critical growth areas, such as sustainability. Faculty, particularly
junior-level, need assurances that their efforts in these areas are valued. This requires
addressing administrative issues regarding effort and credit toward promotion and tenure,
which require intentional effort and time to revise processes, administrative regulations, etc. As
reviews of these issues are undertaken, we highly recommend listening to and nurturing faculty
currently working in these areas, and creating a climate where successful teaching and research
in interdisciplinary areas, such as sustainability, are seen as synergistic and supportive of the
disciplinary expertise and home department. This might include mentoring a mentoring
program for faculty as well as chairs as well as sustainability-focus development programs.
- Hold “Town Hall” meetings to gain campus-wide dialogue and perspective on interdisciplinary
barriers. Fall 2018 is an ideal time to host a series of facilitated listening sessions, as it would
capture energy from synergistic efforts such as the Graduate School Blue Ribbon report.
Provost-level organization and support of such an effort would inform all of these goals and
objectives, and illuminate a path forward for interdisciplinary programs, using sustainabilityoriented programming as a first step in these efforts.
Medium- Term Objectives
- Administrative Changes in Promotion and Tenure and Merit Reviews Explicitly Valuing
Interdisciplinary Efforts. These structural changes to how “statements of evidence” and
12
intellectual contributions are valued will benefit sustainability programming, as well as other
interdisciplinary topical areas. Currently, faculty members are subject to unit-level support for
these efforts. Uniform guidance at the Provost-level would institutionalize University-wide
valuation of these efforts. Specific initiatives may include additional instructional credit (DOE
percentage) for interdisciplinary, co-taught faculty efforts.
Long-Term Objectives
- Establish a “School of Sustainability.” The creation of an academic unit outside of the colleges would institutionalize support, administration, and provide ongoing oversight and assessment for sustainability efforts.


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan includes measurable sustainability objectives for campus and public engagement across several of the key areas of the plan, including Materials Management, Food and Dining Services, and Energy.

Materials Management:

4. Increase education and outreach on waste
diversion/reduction and procurement practices
4.1 Create comprehensive outreach and
education plan using audit results
4.2 Conduct targeted education and
outreach efforts
4.3 Improve and expand web pages for
Recycling, Waste Management and
Surplus Property
4.4 Target print publications and request that
they are printed on recycled content paper,
include statements of recycled content and
encourage recycling of the publication

Food and Dining Services
2. Improve stakeholder engagement and education
2.1 Increase student knowledge of food and
dining sustainability year over year
2.2 Increase knowledge of dining and
sustainability among non-student customers
and staff year over year
2.3 Expand opportunities for stakeholder input
on local and sustainable dining offerings
and initiatives

Energy

3. Increase energy awareness
3.1 Develop and distribute regular
communications about energy awareness
for the campus through a variety of channels
3.2 Develop and distribute key documents
relative to campus energy awareness
including energy policy, usage guidelines
and an annual energy report
3.3 Organize and participate in campus outreach
events focused on energy awareness
3.4 Develop and implement annual assessment
instrument to track energy awareness
among students and employees


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan includes measurable sustainability objectives for campus and public engagement across several of the key areas of the plan, including Materials Management, Food and Dining Services, and Energy.

Materials Management:

4. Increase education and outreach on waste
diversion/reduction and procurement practices
4.1 Create comprehensive outreach and
education plan using audit results
4.2 Conduct targeted education and
outreach efforts
4.3 Improve and expand web pages for
Recycling, Waste Management and
Surplus Property
4.4 Target print publications and request that
they are printed on recycled content paper,
include statements of recycled content and
encourage recycling of the publication

Food and Dining Services
2. Improve stakeholder engagement and education
2.1 Increase student knowledge of food and
dining sustainability year over year
2.2 Increase knowledge of dining and
sustainability among non-student customers
and staff year over year
2.3 Expand opportunities for stakeholder input
on local and sustainable dining offerings
and initiatives

Energy

3. Increase energy awareness
3.1 Develop and distribute regular
communications about energy awareness
for the campus through a variety of channels
3.2 Develop and distribute key documents
relative to campus energy awareness
including energy policy, usage guidelines
and an annual energy report
3.3 Organize and participate in campus outreach
events focused on energy awareness
3.4 Develop and implement annual assessment
instrument to track energy awareness
among students and employees


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:

Yes, the Emissions Reduction Plan includes this measurable objective:

Reduce campus greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 (2010 baseline).


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

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

From 2010 through 2018, the University, in compliance with a state statute, required LEED certification for all new construction. In the summer of 2018, the state statute became defunct and the University is currently evaluating the development of an internal standard in lieu of the state statute.


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan and the Utilities Master Plan includes objectives that address energy, including:

1. Optimize, renovate and upgrade buildings for
energy efficiency
1.1 Work with private partner to achieve
contractual targets for optimizing buildings
for energy efficiency
1.2 Determine energy consumption of
buildings and list in accordance with
potential for energy conservation and
synergy with capital plan
1.3 Identify energy saving projects in up to 10
buildings; focus on heating, ventilation and
cooling improvements
1.4 Obtain funding for 2019 projects, assign to
project team and complete projects
1.5 Repeat actions 1.2 and 1.3 for 2020, 2021
and 2022 projects
2. Optimize electricity used for campus lighting
2.1 Update campus standards for indoor and
outdoor lighting
2.2 Create inventory of indoor and outdoor
lighting with metrics and list in accordance
with potential for energy conservation and
synergy with capital plan
2.3 Identify up to 10 opportunities for
optimizing lighting and develop a
scope of work for each
2.4 Obtain funding for 2020 projects, assign
to project team, complete projects
2.5 Repeat actions 2.3 and 2.4 for 2021
and 2022 projects
3. Increase energy awareness
3.1 Develop and distribute regular
communications about energy awareness
for the campus through a variety of channels
3.2 Develop and distribute key documents
relative to campus energy awareness
including energy policy, usage guidelines
and an annual energy report
3.3 Organize and participate in campus outreach
events focused on energy awareness
3.4 Develop and implement annual assessment
instrument to track energy awareness
among students and employees
4. Optimize utility plants and distribution systems
4.1 Survey campus utility distribution
systems and identify, prioritize and
implement efficiency improvements,
such as targeting 85 percent return rate
on condensate systems
4.2 Optimize heat exchangers with poor
performance (low differential between the
chilled water supply and return or Delta-T);
target a minimum Delta-T of 10 degrees
system wide
4.3 Improve plant metering to increase
operator awareness of energy
consumption in order to increase plant
production efficiency
4.4 Establish preventative maintenance
programs in these areas to sustain
savings/performance


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan includes objectives that address Food and Dining, including:

1. Integrate sustainability metrics and targets in
dining operations
1.1 Achieve annual increase in waste
diversion rate
1.2 Pursue annual decrease in single use
beverage cups and to go containers
1.3 Improve and track employee training related
to sustainability
1.4 Minimize, with a goal of elimination, the use
of polystyrene (foam) in all dining locations
1.5 Increase use of reusable containers by
students and other customers
2. Improve stakeholder engagement and education
2.1 Increase student knowledge of food and
dining sustainability year over year
2.2 Increase knowledge of dining and
sustainability among non-student customers
and staff year over year
2.3 Expand opportunities for stakeholder input
on local and sustainable dining offerings
and initiatives
3. Improve sustainability through purchasing goals
3.1 UK Dining shall increase the amount of its
total Kentucky Farm and Food Business
impact purchases year over year
3.2 Establish purchasing targets for the food and
dining operations of UK HealthCare
3.3 Measure and increase the variety of
sustainability certified food products offered
on campus
3.4 Measure and increase the percentage of
given products that fall under one or more
sustainability certifications
4. Work with dining units, catering and UK
HealthCare to further integrate sustainability
in the campus dining experience
4.1 Promote and track dining and franchise
participation in existing corporate social
responsibility commitments
4.2 Improve vending product selection to
include and market products with
health and sustainability certifications
4.3 Develop and offer zero waste
catering options
5. Expand programs that address food insecurity
5.1 Increase efforts to address food insecurity
on campus and in the community
5.2 Collect data related to food insecurity
from UK community


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:

Every project that impacts campus landscapes must abide by the POLICY FOR PROMOTING SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH THE CAMPUS LANDSCAPE which is contained within the Campus Landscape Guidelines.

STEP 1 : PRE-PLANNING AND DESIGN
Site plans should be developed with sustainability as a priority,
and design teams should report to the University using the
current SITES Rating System for Sustainable Land Design and
Development™. All projects should be designed to address
prerequisites and maximize the points from credits appropriate
to the context of the project. Third party certification is not
required. A summary scorecard should be presented during
the schematic design phase to indicate targeted credits and
should be updated and reviewed throughout design and
construction phases to monitor progress and change.
STEP 2 : DESIGN REVIEW
A team composed of University personnel, including the
Superintendent of Grounds, Project Manager, and the
University Sustainability Coordinator, will review and approve
compliance with this policy.


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan includes the following objectives that address purchasing.

2. Develop and implement a sustainability
purchasing protocol
2.1 Assemble team to draft the protocol
2.2 Present protocol to President’s
Sustainability Advisory Committee for review
2.3 Present protocol to EVPFA for review
and approval


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan and the Transportation Master Plan include measurable sustainability objectives, including:

1. Improve access to transit options
and increase ridership
1.1 Establish level of service standards for
campus transit stops
1.2 Evaluate all transit stops on and
adjacent to campus and develop a
plan to bring all stops up to the newly
established standards
1.3 Partner with Lextran to improve
convenience and efficiency of public
transit for campus commuters
1.4 Expand BluPass partnership with Lextran
to provide free public transit to UK
students and employees beyond 2019
with annual increases in ridership
2. Expand and enhance campus bicycle infrastructure
2.1 Add on-street facilities in strategic locations
and enhance existing facilities
2.2 Increase quantity and quality of campus
bike parking
2.3 Expand bicycle incentive programs,
including the bike voucher program and
Wildcat Wheels
3. Launch a commute club program to incentivize
transportation options other than driving alone
3.1 Implement a "cash out" program to
encourage former permit holders not to
renew parking permits
3.2 Assess and implement ride sharing options
for the campus
3.3 Create and promote a robust and
convenient guaranteed ride home service
3.4 Implement a personalized commute
planning program
3.5 Implement a car sharing program with
incentives for club members
4. Implement parking strategies and technology
to increase predictability, save time and reduce
vehicle miles traveled
4.1 Evaluate and implement parking
strategies that improve the predictability
of locating available spaces
4.2 Add technology to provide real-time data
on available spaces in structures


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:

1. Increase UK’s waste diversion rate to 50 percent
The Sustainability Strategic Plan includes objectives that address waste, including:

1.1 Establish protocols for collecting,
handling and tracking for these waste
streams: surplus, recycling, organics,
universal waste, Healthcare waste (nonregualated), and construction waste
1.2 Reduce production and increase diversion
of organic waste, including food, pallets
and other organics (i.e. limbs, leaves,
tree stumps)
1.3 Increase waste diversion through
the surplus program and other reuse
programs
1.4 Increase recycling rate by 25 percent
(vs. 2017) by expanding options and
promoting participation
1.5 Increase waste diversion from
construction and renovation projects and
capture weight data for each project
1.6 Identify opportunities to increase waste
diversion from UK HealthCare operations


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 Sustainability Strategic Plan includes objectives that address water, including:

1. Maximize stormwater infiltration and evapotranspiration
1.1 Develop a Stormwater Master Plan for campus
1.2 Create standards for, and prioritize, low impact
development and green infrastructure for
stormwater management in support of the
Campus Landscape Guidelines
1.3 Optimize the use of pervious hardscape by
setting standards for construction and identifying
priority areas for retrofit
1.4 Minimize unnecessary soil compaction and
reestablish healthy soil profiles through
remediation and construction standards
1.5 Support UK’s efforts to implement annual
increases of campus tree canopy coverage
2. Minimize negative impacts to water quality across
all operations
2.1 Develop and maintain a Stormwater Quality
Management Plan that meets all regulatory
requirements and fully expresses the stormwater
usage and management aspirations of the University
by engaging all of the interests, expertise and
knowledge of its faculty, staff and students. This plan
shall include a comprehensive section on stormwater
procedures that contains all policies/procedures/
best management practices (BMPs) utilized to protect
water quality and encompassing new initiatives such
as an extensive preventative maintenance program,
stormwater protection during emergency/unplanned
events, and a new waterfowl management program
2.2 Optimize the use of riparian buffers and managed
no-mow setbacks along streams and waterways
where possible
2.3 Manage, track and optimize the application of
lawn/turf chemicals and deicers/salts
2.4 Reduce sanitary sewer exfiltration through lining/
replacement projects
2.5 Eliminate the discharge of harmful substances
into the storm and sanitary sewer systems
2.6 Make improvements to our construction project
management to provide for better oversight and
enforcement of stormwater requirements
2.7 Operate an effective illicit discharge detection and
elimination program to reduce/eliminate nonstormwater discharges
3. Optimize the use of water in campus facilities
3.1 Set performance and construction standards for
faucets, showers, fountains, irrigation, etc.
3.2 Set targets for water use as a function of indoor
building space
3.3 Harvest condensate from cooling systems
3.4 Monitor and maintain delivery systems to
minimize leaks and protect water quality
4. Optimize the use of water on campus grounds
4.1 Optimize irrigation systems usage
4.2 Utilize stormwater harvesting for irrigation/
reuse
4.3 Develop strategies and design standards for
landscaping that optimizes water use
5. Conduct water-focused outreach and engagement
on campus
5.1 Develop and maintain social media sites focused
on stormwater
5.2 Develop and distribute education materials
to UK’s faculty, staff, students, visitors, and
the broader community, and focus efforts on
pollutants impairing local waterways
5.3 Conduct annual staff training on stormwater
impacts and illicit discharge detection and
elimination
5.4. Routinely evaluate the stormwater program to
determine its effectiveness
5.5 Develop a stormwater steward program
5.6 Host events to increase stormwater awareness
5.7 Involve students, faculty, and staff in stormwater
activities including planning and operational
efforts (drain marking, rain garden maintenance,
stream restoration projects, etc)
5.8 Develop a consortium of stormwater professionals
with a specific focus on college and university
campuses


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 University Diversity Plan includes 8 measurable objectives, all with connections to the social equity/justice side of campus sustainability.

• Increase its percentage enrollment of undergraduate African American, Hispanic/Latino, and
underrepresented minority students.
• Increase its percentage enrollment of graduate underrepresented minority students.
• Raise the first year retention rate of underrepresented minority and low-income students.
• Raise the six-year graduation rate of underrepresented minority and low-income students.
• Increase the number of undergraduate degrees awarded to underrepresented minority and lowincome students.
• Increase the racial and ethnic diversity of its faculty and staff.
• Promote equity and inclusion.
• Produce culturally competent students, faculty, and staff


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?:
No

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

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:
---

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:
---

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

Sustainability implies that the activities of the University of Kentucky are ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable, and that they will continue to be so for future generations. A sustainability focus also encourages the integration of these principles in curricula, research, and outreach. This principled approach to operational practices and intellectual pursuits prepares students and empowers the campus community to support sustainable development in the Commonwealth and beyond.


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) No

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

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.