Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.34
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Sally DeLeon
Acting Manager
Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:
The University Sustainability Goals -- approved by the University Sustainability Council -- outline goals for integrating sustainability into university research and academics (https://sustainability.umd.edu/progress/sustainability-goals). Measurable progress towards these goals can be tracked in the Education for Sustainability section of the SustainableUMD Progress Hub (https://sustainingprogress.umd.edu/measuring-progress/education-sustainability).

Education for Sustainability Goal: The university will continuously seek ways to provide students with educational opportunities that will advance their knowledge, skills and awareness of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Opportunities will include degree programs, internships, research experiences, volunteer and employment positions, and participation in campus committees and student organizations. Sustainable behaviors will be modelled in residence halls, dining operations, student activity locations, and as part of campus events.
1. Integrate sustainability broadly across the curriculum and student life so that all students demonstrate skills and knowledge related to the Sustainability Learning Outcomes.
2. Use the campus as a living laboratory by enhancing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to work together to develop and implement solutions to campus sustainability challenges.
3. Adhere to strategies outlined in the Education for Sustainability Report.

The UMD Climate Action Plan includes status and recent progress on Education and Research strategies. Visit https://climateplan.umd.edu for more information.

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College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Sustainability Plan:
1. Expand the number of participants in the Chesapeake Project, a multi-day workshop that helps faculty integrate sustainability through various disciplines. The college set a goal of having at least one faculty member per department participate by December 2016, two faculty members participate by 2018 and 30 faculty members from the college participate by December of 2020.
2. Develop a detailed plan for integrating sustainability into the college academics by December 2014.
Read the plan at: https://bsos.umd.edu/about-us/sustainability-plan

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:
Local and Global Impact Goal: The university will continue to create partnerships and other opportunities that further sustainability and smart growth principles and policies with state and local communities, businesses and suppliers, agencies and organizations. In particular, the university will work collaboratively to further research, stewardship and investment in local food and agricultural systems, renewable energy and environmental technologies, natural resources, resilient communities, and healthy living throughout the State of Maryland and beyond.
1. Create and support academic initiatives and other learning opportunities that further sustainability research and solutions within local communities.
2. Expand sustainability knowledge and collaboration through demonstration and outreach projects, joint agreements, professional conferences, and participation in university-agency initiatives.
3. Achieve campus-wide compliance with the Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy.
4. Increase sustainable food purchasing to 20% of all food purchases per the Sustainable Food Commitment.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:
Carbon Neutrality Goal: The university will reduce its energy consumption, design energy efficient buildings, institute conservation efforts, measure building energy performance, and increase its use of renewable energy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025.

1. Operate all new buildings and major renovations as carbon neutral through a combination of energy efficient design and utilizing renewable energy.
2. Reduce total electricity consumption by 20% by 2020 through infrastructure upgrades and behavior change initiatives.
3. Purchase only renewable energy from the grid by 2020.
4. Reduce transportation related emissions through expanded public transportation, increased local housing, administrative controls, incentives, technology and market-based offsets.
5. Improve the fuel efficiency of the campus bus and vehicle fleet through vehicle selection and proper maintenance.
6. Adhere to the milestone goals of the campus Climate Action Plan.

Smart Growth Goal: The university will carry out campus development, new construction and major renovations in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts, embraces the concepts of smart growth and sustainable design, and supports connectivity.

1. Practice environmental stewardship in landscape design and maintenance.
2. Enhance environmental performance of buildings and utilities on campus.
3. Encourage the use of transportation other than personal vehicles.
4. Increase the access and appeal of the campus for pedestrians.
5. Strengthen community relations by creating greater connections to surrounding neighborhoods.
6. Emphasize the importance of open spaces.
7. Adhere to the development guidelines described in the 2011-2030 Facilities Master Plan.

Sustainable Water Use Goal: The university aims to reduce its purchases of potable water, seek opportunities and expand its harvesting and reuse of water, and responsibly manage stormwater to protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

1. Reorganize roles, responsibilities, and authority for water, stormwater, and watershed issues.
2. Adopt an initiative to reduce purchased potable water 20% by 2020.
3. Demonstrate leadership in watershed restoration by going beyond regulatory requirements for stormwater treatment.
4. Establish a central stormwater control facility and continue stormwater banking for capital projects using environmental site design.
5. Expand inspection and maintenance of stormwater facilities.
6. Restore the university Campus Creek by 2020.

Waste Minimization Goal: The university will divert a minimum of 75% of its total solid waste from landfills and seek opportunities to further reduce waste generation.

1. Expand and maintain single stream recycling in all campus buildings and for campus events.
2. Continue to expand the collection of compostable waste materials, particularly in food service areas and major events.
3. Increase individual awareness and participation in campus waste minimization through behavior change programs including the Green Offices program, Sustainability Pledge program, Recyclemania, etc.
4. Reuse and re-purpose materials through sales (Terrapin Trader) and charitable donations.

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:
The Strategic Plan for Diversity states the following objectives:
1. The president will appoint a chief diversity officer (preferably a vice president with faculty rank) who reports directly to the president and is a member of the President’s Cabinet.
2. The university will create an Office of University Diversity led by the chief diversity officer.
3. The university will create a campus-wide diversity advisory council with representatives from all divisions, schools/colleges, graduate and undergraduate student bodies, and other appropriate units.
4. Create an online climate assessment survey that will be administered by all units to establish a baseline so they can assess their needs in creating a climate conducive to success.
5. The university will implement the new general education plan with Diversity requirements that increase undergraduates’ knowledge of diversity issues, understanding of pluralistic societies, engagement with peers from diverse backgrounds, and multicultural competencies.

The University System of Maryland Foundation Statement on Socially Responsible Investing (released in May 2016) set several objectives for the Foundation to make progress toward increasing investments in renewable energy and staying abreast of other sustainability related investing issues. One objective is that the Foundation will make no direct investments in the Carbon Underground 200 companies.

The Critical Enablers section of The Strategic Plan gives specific objectives related to compensation and benefits for faculty and staff, including:
1) By FY 2013 average faculty compensation for each professorial rank and for each college will be at or above the mean of our five designated peers for that rank and for comparable disciplines.
2) Make staff salary levels, benefits, and conditions of employment competitive with those for similar positions in competitive markets.
3) Ensure that pay levels, benefits, and conditions of employment are fair, competitive, and appropriate for non-tenure-track faculty, especially for those in part-time and short-term contractual positions.
4) And several others related to retirement benefits, housing support, domestic partner benefits, day care, salary, hiring and retention.

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

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
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Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Major theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
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Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:
In his inaugural address, President Pines identified climate change as one of the defining issues of our time, highlighted the university's commitment to serve the public good for all of humanity, and established five bold actions. One explicitly supports sustainability:

"It is fitting that today’s investiture ceremony was convened on the 51st annual Earth Day, and on the day that the Paris Agreement was opened up for signature in 2016. This day reminds us that our global fight against the climate crisis is far from over. Thus, we must continue our academic leadership in research, education and service relative to climate science, sustainability and environmental stewardship of our natural resources. I challenge our faculty to become leaders in developing solutions to one of the grand challenges of our time. We all must become climate ambassadors. Today, I am announcing that the University of Maryland will accelerate its Climate Action Plan goal to become a Net-Zero Carbon Neutral campus within the next four years. Through a combination of sustainability measures and the strategic purchase of carbon credits, UMD will reach this goal by Earth Day in 2025. In addition, I am proud to announce plans to replace our university-owned fleet - over 1,070 fossil-fuel vehicles - with an all-electric fleet by 2035."

Read the full letter to the UMD community at: https://president.umd.edu/articles/moving-maryland-forward

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

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:
The University of Maryland became a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (now called the Carbon Commitment) in 2007 and finished its first Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2009. Many faculty, staff, and students worked tirelessly over the years implementing CAP strategies and keeping the university on track with meeting its targets. By 2020, the university had achieved its targets of reducing its carbon emissions by 50% and enhancing opportunities for all students to learn about sustainability and climate action.

The university is now striving to meet a 2025 carbon neutrality commitment for all scopes of emissions.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
UMD's 2022 Strategic Plan -- Fearlessly Forward In Pursuit of Excellence and Impact for the Public Good: The University of Maryland Strategic Plan -- presents a bold reimagining of what UMD must be to uphold and expand the University's mission of service to humanity. The University's vision is to improve the lives of every person on earth by reimagining teaching and learning; accelerating solutions to the grand challenges of our time through creativity and discovery; and forging a diverse and inclusive community where our differences are celebrated and equity is relentlessly pursued. Together, UMD is dedicated to advancing the public good because "our individual well-being is enduringly bound to our collective well-being."

The Plan is divided into four principles with each principle containing three goal areas and each goal area including objectives that define the goal in more detail and shape expected actions to meet the goals. Sustainability is a major theme in this strategic plan, as seen in the principles, goals, and objectives highlighted below:

"We Take on Humanity's Grand Challenges" -- UMD defines grand challenges as "climate change, social injustice, global health, education disparities, poverty, and threats to our democracy" (in order, SDGs 13, 10, 3, 4, 1, and 16). The goals and objectives within this principle all aim to accelerate education, research, scholarship and creative activities, and service towards solving humanity's grand challenges within local communities and around the globe.

"We Invest in People and Communities" -- UMD aims to lead the nation in living a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all that we do by investing in "people, their well-being and advancement, and the conditions that support their ability to fully participate and thrive in our community, state and world." Specific objectives include tackling issues of social justice, equity, and antiracism locally and globally (SDGs 5, 10, 16); ensuring financial health of students, faculty, and staff through fair wages, benefits, career readiness and need-based aid (SDG 1, 8); connecting through enhanced technology, coordinated networks and accessible communications (SDGs 9, 17); and providing access to essential services including mental and physical health services; financial planning; work-life support; language development; and housing (SDG 3, 8, 9, 11).

"We Reimagine Learning" -- UMD plans to reimagine learning and teaching as "inclusive, experiential, publicly engaged, creative, integrative, holistic, and empowering." This includes developing "the potential of our campus as a green, connected living-learning environment that is open and accessible to the global community" and supporting "indoor and outdoor spaces on campus to advance learning, inspire discovery, and activate creativity." Additionally, UMD aims to expand accessibility, equitability and inclusivity of educational programs (SDG 4, 16); further develop civic and volunteer relationships with local and global communities (SDG 17); and encourage students to engage in work that supports the public good (SDG 16).

"We Partner to Advance the Public Good" -- UMD aims to work with local, state, national, and global stakeholders to continue to expand impact, catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship, and generally enhance the economy, education, social justice, civic engagement, and overall quality of life for our neighbors and partners (SDG 16, 17). "Our future is tied to and interconnected with our local, state, national, and international partners. We will create and sustain partnerships that allow our research to have impact locally and globally, our education to prepare students for civic engagement and impact, and our service to create solutions for a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient world."

To read about UMD's Strategic Plan, visit: https://strategicplan.umd.edu/.

UMD's 2022 Strategic Plan -- Fearlessly Forward In Pursuit of Excellence and Impact for the Public Good: The University of Maryland Strategic Plan -- presents a bold reimagining of what UMD must be to uphold and expand the University's mission of service to humanity. The University's vision is to improve the lives of every person on earth by reimagining teaching and learning; accelerating solutions to the grand challenges of our time through creativity and discovery; and forging a diverse and inclusive community where our differences are celebrated and equity is relentlessly pursued. Together, UMD is dedicated to advancing the public good because "our individual well-being is enduringly bound to our collective well-being."

The Plan is divided into four principles with each principle containing three goal areas and each goal area including objectives that define the goal in more detail and shape expected actions to meet the goals. Sustainability is a major theme in this strategic plan, as seen in the principles, goals, and objectives highlighted below:

"We Take on Humanity's Grand Challenges" -- UMD defines grand challenges as "climate change, social injustice, global health, education disparities, poverty, and threats to our democracy" (in order, SDGs 13, 10, 3, 4, 1, and 16). The goals and objectives within this principle all aim to accelerate education, research, scholarship and creative activities, and service towards solving humanity's grand challenges within local communities and around the globe.

"We Invest in People and Communities" -- UMD aims to lead the nation in living a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all that we do by investing in "people, their well-being and advancement, and the conditions that support their ability to fully participate and thrive in our community, state and world." Specific objectives include tackling issues of social justice, equity, and antiracism locally and globally (SDGs 5, 10, 16); ensuring financial health of students, faculty, and staff through fair wages, benefits, career readiness and need-based aid (SDG 1, 8); connecting through enhanced technology, coordinated networks and accessible communications (SDGs 9, 17); and providing access to essential services including mental and physical health services; financial planning; work-life support; language development; and housing (SDG 3, 8, 9, 11).

"We Reimagine Learning" -- UMD plans to reimagine learning and teaching as "inclusive, experiential, publicly engaged, creative, integrative, holistic, and empowering." This includes developing "the potential of our campus as a green, connected living-learning environment that is open and accessible to the global community" and supporting "indoor and outdoor spaces on campus to advance learning, inspire discovery, and activate creativity." Additionally, UMD aims to expand accessibility, equitability and inclusivity of educational programs (SDG 4, 16); further develop civic and volunteer relationships with local and global communities (SDG 17); and encourage students to engage in work that supports the public good (SDG 16).

"We Partner to Advance the Public Good" -- UMD aims to work with local, state, national, and global stakeholders to continue to expand impact, catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship, and generally enhance the economy, education, social justice, civic engagement, and overall quality of life for our neighbors and partners (SDG 16, 17). "Our future is tied to and interconnected with our local, state, national, and international partners. We will create and sustain partnerships that allow our research to have impact locally and globally, our education to prepare students for civic engagement and impact, and our service to create solutions for a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient world."

To read about UMD's Strategic Plan, visit: https://strategicplan.umd.edu/.

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.