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

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

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

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Accelerating Carbon Neutrality

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
In 2021, the University of Maryland accelerated its carbon neutrality deadline to 2025 while also establishing a new 2035 goal to fully electrify the campus fleet. These commitments contribute to and build upon more than fifteen years of climate action at the University. Operationally, UMD achieved a 62% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared to a 2005 baseline. UMD reached this milestone through programs like the 100% Renewable Purchased Electricity Commitment, carbon neutral undergraduate commuting, and the Carbon Neutral Air Travel Initiative. During his inaugural address, the 34th University President, Dr. Darryll Pines, highlighted UMD’s commitment to sustainability and climate action: “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.” “... 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.”

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Air & Climate
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
OP-2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Green Dining

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
UMD’s Dining Services continues to be a leader for sustainability initiatives on campus for multiple decades. From reducing food waste to creating low-emissions, healthy menus, UMD’s Green Dining programs aim to educate the community while making significant, positive impacts on sustainability on campus and in surrounding communities. Students are at the center of the Green Dining program through class projects, academic internships, research efforts, and paid student positions. UMD sustainable food efforts span across the food system from farm to fork to compost. Some Green Dining initiatives include UMD’s: Sustainable Food Pledges and Commitments -- Sustainable Food Commitment: UMD currently purchases more than 30% of food from sustainable sources. Dining Services also supports local food and sustainable food education through the weekly Farmers Market and Green Tidings food truck. – Menus of Change: Dining Services is a member of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative. This is a collaborative of forward-thinking scholars, food service leaders, executive chefs, and administrators for colleges and universities who are accelerating efforts to move people toward healthier, more sustainable, and delicious foods using evidence-based research, education, and innovation. Learn about the Menus of Change and its principles. – Cool Food Pledge: In 2019, the University of Maryland Dining Services became the first university signatory of the World Resources Institute Cool Food Pledge, committing to reducing food-related greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2030. Sustainable Food Student Programs -- Terp Farm: A collaborative project with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Terp Farm is a research and learning opportunity for students and staff while providing local, sustainable food to the dining halls for consumption. In eight years, the farm has produced more than 90,000 pounds of food. -- Campus Pantry: The UMD Campus Pantry provides emergency food to students and staff at UMD. The Pantry is part of a larger initiative to promote food security on campus. In Fall 2021, the Campus Pantry served more than 700 visitors per month and relocated to its new facilities which include a teaching kitchen. – Farmers Market at Maryland: UMD Dining hosts a weekly Farmers Market at Maryland each Wednesday on main campus from April through November bringing local vendors together with the UMD community. The Market educates students, faculty and staff about local, sustainable food through weekly cooking demonstrations, educational tabling, and partnerships with student organizations. Waste Minimization -- Anytime Dining: Through this program, UMD eliminated single-use disposable items from the dining rooms (when not mandated to offer carryout per COVID-19 safety requirements), reduced food waste, and saved water by removing trays from dining halls. -- Ocean Friendly Campus: Beginning in Fall 2019, Dining Services replaced and reduced non-recyclable single-use plastic items across campus retail locations. As part of this project, Dining Services replaced plastic straws, plastic bags, plastic utensils, individual creamer-cups, and plastic stirrers with paper straws, paper bags, compostable utensils, bulk creamer, and wooden stirrers. Additionally, Dining Services distributed over 14,500 reusable sustainability Terp bags (made of recycled content). -- Food Recovery Network: When health and safety conditions allow, students from the University of Maryland's Food Recovery Network recover surplus food from dining halls, events, and sports games that would otherwise go to waste and donate it to homeless shelters in MD and DC. UMD's Food Recovery Network was first in the country and helped to launch the now-national non-profit Food Recovery Network.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Food & Dining

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
OP 8: Sustainable Dining

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Center for Global Sustainability

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
The Center for Global Sustainability (CGS) at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy utilizes a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to deliver research, education, and engagement for policy impact. Launched in 2016, it features a core team of twelve leading scholar-practitioners and over 25 staff, students, and affiliates. Through analysis to support policy-making and collaborative action, CGS is helping drive the global ambition that is critical to meet goals related to climate, development, and sustainability. CGS does this by integrating field-leading research, applied assessment, and policy analysis and implementing it through partnerships and engagement from the local to global. Founded by Director Nathan Hultman following a year-long advisory position at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) under the Obama Administration, CGS was created in response to the global need for integrated analytics and cross-sectoral engagement to support higher ambition in achieving climate, development, and sustainability goals. In doing this, CGS fills a critical gap to link robust technical capacity closely to decision-making at all levels. Throughout the Center’s research and collaboration, CGS has committed to fostering justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in not only their immediate community, but also in addressing the challenges inherent to the energy transition, capacity building, and climate action broadly. Examples of research program areas include: “Building a Comprehensive U.S. Climate Policy” -- After the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Agreement in 2017, CGS led the analysis of commitments from the more than 4,000 cities, states, businesses, universities, communities of faith, and more who pledged to support the goals of the Paris Agreement in their own capacity. Since the U.S. officially rejoined the Paris Agreement in March 2021, CGS joined the new coalition—America Is All In— as one of six strategic member organizations and a co-lead on analysis continue working with U.S., subnational and international partners to deliver analysis that informs how an "all-in" ambitious and achievable U.S. climate strategy can drive actionable and feasible policy at all levels of governance and society. In addition, CGS informs U.S. climate policy from the local to global through developing integrated modeling and climate scenarios for the federal government, advising on international discussions to ramp up ambition, and collaborating from the bottom-up to move the resources necessary to set and achieve ambitious climate goals. Some publications in this area include: “the US Green Economy Report;” “Blueprint 2030: An All-In Climate Strategy for Faster, More Durable Emissions Reductions;” “Working Paper: Charting an Ambitious U.S. NDC of 51% Reductions by 2030;” and “Accelerating America's Pledge: Going All In to Build A Prosperous, Low Carbon Economy for the United States.” “China Program” - CGS integrates scientific research, education, policy analysis, and stakeholder engagement to help understand and inform the development and deployment of China’s climate, energy, and environment strategies across international, national, and local contexts. Specifically, CGS projects under the China Program include advising the U.S.-China Track II Dialogues, informing a high-ambition clean energy transition and coal phaseout, and analyzing the location of manufacturing and innovation in global supply chains for clean energy. Publications include: “Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Policies and Market Transformation;” “A U.S.‒China coal phaseout and the global 1.5 °C pathway;” “The role of negative emissions in meeting China’s 2060 carbon neutrality goal;” “Energy transition, public expressions, and local officials’ incentives: Social media evidence from the coal-to-gas transition in China;” and “China's New Growth Pathway: From the 14th Five-Year Plan to Carbon Neutrality.” “Energy Pathways: Innovation, Economics, and Policy” -- CGS focuses on policies that can help in accelerating the development and deployment of clean energy technologies. This includes assessment of emerging technologies, institutional structures and policies, and financing models both in the United States and in diverse global contexts. A key project under this program is the Program to Accelerate the Global Coal Transition. Through unique plant-by-plant research on the state of global coal, CGS leverages and builds on new global datasets to paint a global and country-specific picture of coal power worldwide. CGS is one of the leading data and research organizations supporting the Bloomberg Global Coal Countdown, as led by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the Powering Past Coal Alliance. The project is a website that counts down the world’s remaining coal plant units and aims to inform critical decision-making as governments and industry leaders come together to accelerate the transition to a clean-energy future. “Resilience, Adaption, and Community Building” -- CGS is working from the top down and bottom up to design equitable solutions and implement climate adaptation efforts, through analysis and research into priority areas, financing opportunities, and comprehensive long-term resilience planning. Piloting in the State of Maryland, CGS has worked county-by-county to convene diverse sets of stakeholders to develop county-specific resilience plans. CGS is also working at the state-level to advise on resilience financing for major infrastructure projects, including the ambitious and imminent cleanup plan for the Conowingo Dam. Publications include: “Quantifying the regional stranded asset risks from new coal plants under 1.5°C;” “Coal-free cities: the health and economic case for a clean energy revolution;” “Quantifying the reductions in mortality from air-pollution by canceling new coal power plants;” “Regional Clean Energy Innovation; and The State of Global Coal.” “Policy and Sustainable Finance Program” -- CGS supports global efforts to increase investments in sustainability through bringing together a set of global thought leaders, researchers, and leading practitioners devoted to working closely with partners in the policy community, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations. Through an integrated program of complementary projects, sustainable finance activities at CGS are linked to a broader set of sustainability issues facing the world today. Under this program, the Initiative on Closing the Investment Gap (CIG) works to develop country-led, facilitated approaches to closing this investment gap in sustainability infrastructure. This approach involves the governments of developing countries working with investors and financial sector representatives to prepare key projects so that they are well aligned with the criteria of private capital. Some partner countries include: Bangladesh, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Jamaica, Kenya, and Vietnam.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Public Engagement

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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