Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.77
Liaison Nathanael Schildbach
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Massachusetts Amherst
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.75 / 4.00 Ezra Small
Sustainability Manager
Physical Plant
"---" 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 most recent institution level strategic planning process and it's Phase I planning documents, specifically "Innovation and Impact: Renewing the Promise of the Public Research University" mentions sustainability as a high level "value" that the institution will use to guide our actions moving forward (see "Responsibility and Stewardship" page 4). And when addressing the high level task of "Focusing Resources" the document mentions "Environmental Performance" and the work of the Chancellor's Sustainability Advisory Committee" (see page 47).

The Phase II planning documents also mentions sustainability throughout the documents located here: https://www.umass.edu/chancellor/phase-ii-planning.
https://www.umass.edu/chancellor/sites/default/files/jtfso-phase-ii-report-appendix-b-what-defines-a-umass-amherst-education_2.pdf (see "Responsibility" on page 1)
https://www.umass.edu/chancellor/sites/default/files/jtfso-phase-ii-report-appendix-d-subcommittee-on-research-and-graduate-education_2.pdf (see "Energy, Climate Science, Sustainability" on page 4)

The next round of strategic planning "Innovation & Impact: 2018-2023 Campus Strategic Plan" first draft was released to the campus community via email from the Chancellor's Office on 3/28/18. This document can be accessed from the link provided credit field below (https://www.umass.edu/chancellor/strategic-planning). Sustainability has been identified as a core value to the campus. On page 3 of the document there are 5 Values listed. The third value listed is "Integrity and Stewardship" and reads "As a community we set high standards for personal responsibility and institutional integrity, and hold ourselves accountable in managing institutional resources and for advancing sustainability of our planet."


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:
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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:
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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):

2017 Sustainability Integration Planning Documents:
Executive Summary: http://www.umass.edu/sustainability/sites/default/files/executive_summary_-_briefing_for_csac_meeting_2017.1023.pdf
Presentation on Priorities: http://www.umass.edu/sustainability/sites/default/files/csac_sust_integration_priorities_chancellor_2017-1023.pdf
Presentation to Chancellor's Leadership Council (CLC):
http://www.umass.edu/sustainability/sites/default/files/csac_susty_priorities_presentation_clc_and_deans_2017.12.14.pdf

System-Wide Sustainability Policy: Which acts as a planning document for the UMass System Sustainability Council (Sustainability Officers from each of the 5 campus plus the President's Office designee who chairs the Council.)
https://www.umassp.edu/sites/umassp.edu/files/content/T16-055-Sustainability%20Policy_12.9.16.pdf

CAP's and other Sustainability Planning Documents:
CAP 1.0: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/sustainableumass_reportsplans/6/Campus Master Plan: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/sustainableumass_reportsplans/10/
Campus Master Plan Sustainability Chapter: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cp_masterplans/5/?_ga=1.75095697.2079376339.1488378361
UMass Solar Energy Plan: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/sustainableumass_reportsplans/9/
UMass ADQUAD External Review Report: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/sustainableumass_reportsplans/15/
UMass Comprehensive Campus Energy Master Plan: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/sustainableumass_reportsplans/12/


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:

A. Curriculum objectives within the Sustainability Integration Plan (SIP) from 2017:
The SIP process from 2017-2018 identified 6 top sustainability priorities for the campus to advance and focus on over the next 5 years. These priorities have been endorsed by the Chancellor and the Chancellor's Leadership Council (All VC's and Deans) and are published online on the Chancellor's Sustainability Advisory Committee (CSAC) web page here: http://www.umass.edu/sustainability/about/chancellors-sustainability-advisory-committee-csac). One of the 6 priorities is "Hand's On Learning" which states in the above linked presentation to the CLC:
"Expand ‘Hands-on Learning’ opportunities:
– Becomes a hallmark of a UMass sustainability degree (and our messaging and brand)
– Student career success focus: e.g., professional development workshops, internships
– Sustainability majors in SES take 3-4 classes involving real world projects"

B. Curriculum objectives within the System-Wide Sustainability Policy from 2016:
The policy document has 10 Principles, each with stated Goals. Principle #10 of this document states: "Academic and Research Programming and Community Engagement – Ensuring Sustainability is part of Academic and Research programming and part of community engagement efforts.
1. Goal - The UMass Sustainability Council will work with their respective campus curriculum governance units to identify where Academic and Research Programming and Community Engagement involving Sustainability already exists, and to explore more formal incorporation into core curriculum and identified learning outcomes."

See page 5 (905.5) in policy document here: https://www.umassp.edu/sites/umassp.edu/files/content/T16-055-Sustainability%20Policy_12.9.16.pdf.
See page 905.22 for a metric and other text for this principle and goal.

C. Curriculum objectives within the Climate Action Plan (v2.0) from 2012:
Pg. 6-7
"1. EDUCATION/ENGAGEMENT: Continue integrating and expanding sustainability across the
curriculum and campus life
• Extend sustainability learning outcome requirements5 to a majority of majors and degrees.
• Offer more sustainability focused and related academic courses.
• Increase student engagement in residence halls and student organization activities and increase faculty and staff engagement in classroom and administrative offices.
• Conduct a bi-annual assessment of sustainability literacy of all students, focusing the assessment on knowledge of topics, and not merely on values or beliefs.
• Renew the ACUPCC: Reaffirm leadership and recommit the University to the goals within the commitment text.
• Restructure and grow EPAC to include members from University Relations, Budget office, Student Affairs and Residence Life, Diversity Office, Alumni & Development, and Athletics.
• Place a spotlight on research that is contributing to a just and sustainable future; begin tracking the financial commitment to sustainability related research to highlight how it can potentially offset campus emissions."

Pg.35
"Increase number of sustainability-related courses and learning outcomes:
Identifying courses is important to draw student interest, but it’s equally important to work with faculty to develop more sustainability courses and learning outcomes. In the STARS Report, UMass Amherst did not excel in the percentage of sustainability-related courses offered (Credit ER-7), receiving 0.71 out of 10 possible credits. UMass has over 4,650 courses and about 100 courses (~2%) were considered sustainability-related. The committee will work to increase this number to 7.5% to 15% of all courses in order to receive 2.5 to 5 points for this credit by 2013. It is important that the institution’s students graduate from programs that include sustainability as a required learning outcome or include multiple learning outcomes during some point in their academic experience. UMass Amherst scored very low in this area of the STARS report (Credit ER-9)24, receiving 1.48 points out of 10. Twenty eight degree programs have these learning outcomes, covering 1,000 of more than 6,400 total UMass graduates in 2011. It will be crucial to expand the involvement of faculty in the programs not yet identified in order to have sustainable learning outcomes to score higher on the STARS Report and more importantly the guarantee of reaching more students before they graduate."


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

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

Curriculum objectives within the Climate Action Plan (v2.0) from 2012:
Pg. 7
"Place a spotlight on research that is contributing to a just and sustainable future;
begin tracking the financial commitment to sustainability related research to highlight how it can potentially offset campus emissions."

Pg. 35
"The [Education & Research Sub-] Committee has formed a task force to develop opportunities for incentives and faculty development around sustainability-related research. The task force will seek innovative and creative development opportunities for faculty in multiple disciplines to develop new courses and/or incorporate sustainability into existing frameworks. Creating incentives may also include helping faculty find release time for training and funding for professional development. The same task force will also look at growing sustainable research by finding new fellowships, financial support, and faculty development workshops."


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 UMass System Policy:
"Comprehensively integrate sustainability and climate neutrality into the core academic curriculum and research programs to create a means to enable students to enable students to use their campus as a living, learning laboratory."


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement 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 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 UMass System Policy:
"Achieve UMass commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 or as specified through the sustainability planning process occurring through the development of campus-specific action plans, as identified in Goal 1.1 as being necessary to achieve carbon reduction commitments and meet sustainability objectives, and UMass system’s guiding principles towards this goal."

"Build climate resilience and preparedness standards into the University’s capital planning process and emergency management and business continuity planning."


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 UMass System Policy:
"Any new construction must meet the MA LEED Plus green building standards (LEED most current version) or other standards as identified in Goal 1.1 as being necessary to achieve carbon reduction commitments and meet sustainability objectives and continue to research and employ improved sustainable building practices."


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 UMass System Policy:
"Procure a defined amount of annual electricity consumption through renewable and clean energy sources as identified in Goal 1.1 as being necessary to achieve carbon reduction commitments and meet sustainability objectives."

"Reduce energy consumption and determine goals consistent with capital investments and annual programs implemented in support of energy consumption reduction, as identified in Goal 1.1 as being necessary to achieve carbon reduction commitments and meet sustainability objectives."


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:

We have stated plan to achieve 20% by 2020, according to the Real Food Campus Commitment.

From UMass System Policy:
"Strive for each campus food service operation to procure sustainable food products while maintaining accessibility and affordability for all students and campus patrons."


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds 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 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 UMass System Policy:
"Establish Environmentally-Preferable Products Procurement Program (EPP) and continue to implement annual procurement goals to move toward alignment with the standards of the Environmental Purchasing Advisory Council where ever appropriate and consistent with available funding."


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 UMass System Policy:
"Reduce vehicle fuel consumption of the University vehicle fleet through promoting the use of public transportation, reducing the number of single occupancy vehicles, and increasing the use of other alternative fuel transportation for faculty, staff, and students."


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:

UMass System Policy:
"Employ strategies around preventative measures in waste diversion to
promote source reduction, re-use and recycling of used materials."


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 UMass System Policy:
"Reduce Potable water usage and determine goals consistent with capital
investments and annual programs implemented in support of reducing
potable water."


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:

Can be found here: https://www.umass.edu/chancellor/diversity-strategic-plan

Establish UMass Amherst as a destination of choice for students of color and other underrepresented groups.
b. Improve the campus climate of inclusion.
c. Enhance effectiveness of curriculum and educational programs with regard to diversity and inclusion.
d. Increase focus on recruiting, retention, and promotion of diverse faculty and staff.
e. Increase engagement with external communities/schools with large proportions of underrepresented minorities


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:
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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)?:
No

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

https://www.umassp.edu/sites/umassp.edu/files/content/T16-055-Sustainability%20Policy_12.9.16.pdf

This Policy on Sustainability was passed by the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees A&F Committee on November 30, 2016 and passed by the Committee of the Whole on December 8, 2016.

The Sustainability Policy exemplifies the long-term commitment of the five campuses of UMass to be good stewards of fiscal and environmental resources. Our environmental responsibility is rooted in the University’s founding as a land-grant institution, designed to bolster good stewardship of land and industry as well as to serve the greater public good. With stewardship in mind, the efforts and achievements of each campus are celebrated while striving to be sustainability leaders, fulfilling our mission of advancing knowledge, and improving the lives of the people of the Commonwealth, nation, and world.


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