Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.09
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date Aug. 16, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
PA-1: Sustainability Coordination

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Tom Kelly
Chief Sustainability Officer
Sustainability Institute
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Does the institution have at least one sustainability committee?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the committee(s) or a brief description of each committee's purview and activities:

UNH has many committees that work on sustainability issues, including but not limited to:
- Sustainability Task Force (STF) – the university-wide task force that stewards our shared vision of the role of higher education in sustainability and ensures that UNH continuously maintains the highest possible STARS rating, which is currently Platinum status, in all future reporting. The STF also reaches beyond STARS to nurture a culture of sustainability at UNH that touches and is enriched by students, faculty, staff, and all members of the UNH community and that reflects our shared values and strategic priorities.

There are many other related committees and task forces such as the following examples:

-Energy Task Force - charged with maintaining and implementing the University's Climate Action Plan
- Ecosystem Task Force - charged with promoting healthy ecosystems and improved biodiversity on and beyond campus
- Committee on Investor Responsibility – charged with supporting the UNH Foundation in sustainable, socially responsible investment practices and policies.
- Transportation Policy Committee - charged with advancing sustainable, equitable effective transportation demand strategies, including campus transit systems


Members of each committee, including affiliations and role:

Each group has representation from student, staff and faculty members and some include external partners. Membership information for Sustainability Task Force and others available at https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/sustainability-institute/task-forces Also, the Transportation Policy Committee information available here: https://www.unh.edu/transportation/about/transportation-policy-committee


Does the institution have at least one sustainability office that includes more than 1 full-time equivalent employee?:
Yes

A brief description of each sustainability office:

UNH is home to the oldest endowed pan-university sustainability program in U.S. higher education -- the UNH Sustainability Institute (UNHSI). UNHSI is lead by UNH's Chief Sustainability Officer and founding Executive Director, Dr. Tom Kelly, and Institute Director and Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer, Dr. Fiona Wilson. UNHSI has ten full-time staff, two .5-.75 professorships, one in Climate and Sustainability and one in Sustainable Food Systems, 8-10 part-time hourly staff, and anywhere from 5-10 student interns at any one time.
UNHSI convenes, coordinates, and collaborates with units across the entire campus and with external partners to advance our Sustainable Learning Community goals and commitments.


Full-time equivalent of people employed in the sustainability office(s):
10

Does the institution have at least one sustainability officer?:
Yes

Name and title of each sustainability officer:
Tom Kelly, Ph.D., Chief Sustainability Officer; Fiona Wilson, Ph.D., Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer

Does the institution have a mechanism for broad sustainability coordination for the entire institution?:
Yes

A brief description of the activities and substantive accomplishments of the institution-wide coordinating body or officer during the previous three years:

The Sustainability Institute is a cross-cutting unit that engages all parts of the UNH community both on and beyond the campus. UNHSI serves as the backbone organization of the university-wide Sustainability Task Force (STF). Through UNHSI’s leadership and support, the STF has successfully operated as a network connecting and aligning all parts of the UNH community through supporting a common vision, shared measurements, continuous communication, and synergistic activities. The STF responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by collaboratively re-working its STARS 2.2 pathway to platinum to take account of the unprecedented financial and administrative pressures that resulted, while maintaining UNHs enduring commitment to sustainability with the full support of senior leadership. https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/sustainability-institute/task-forces

In addition, UNHSI designed and implemented a strategic effort beginning in 2019 to significantly increase its student education and engagement by entering into a partnership with the Carsey School of Public Policy and the Paul College of Business and Economics to integrate the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise into the UNHSI and launched the Changemaker Collaborative to create a home for student education and engagement in sustainability that integrates our campus culture and practices work with our community engaged work to facilitate more direct student engagement. More information is available here: https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/changemakers

UNHSI also established a Sustainability Advisory Board in 2020-2021 that joined the other already established Advisory Boards of UNH organized around the Colleges and key strategic areas of focus, is comprised of a dedicated group of volunteers – alumni, parents, and friends – who all share a passion for UNH and sustainability. The unique cross-cutting aspect of sustainability defies traditional boundaries or silos, and requires bringing together a diversity of expertise across sectors and fields. Together with the Executive Director and Director, as well as Advancement staff, the board will provide critical input and guidance on UNH’s sustainability efforts, particularly as it relates to our bold plans for continued leadership in sustainability in higher education, increasingly a hotly contested competitive dimension for universities.

In the area of climate and emissions, UNH continued its long-standing leadership in climate and emissions scholarship and operational best practices. UNH was one of the Charter Signatories to the Climate Commitment in 2006. This commitment, in which we are joined by hundreds of other U.S. campuses, commits UNH to a goal of carbon neutrality and requires the University to track and publicly report its carbon footprint and maintain an up-to-date Climate Action Plan (WildCAP). UNH set an ambitious goal of halving our emission between 2001 and 2020 and achieved those reductions before our target date. In 2021 UNHSI working through the UNH Energy Task Force facilitated the update for WildCAP. https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/operations/air-climate

UNHSI also continued its innovative community engaged work by serving as the backbone organization for a range of initiatives including the following:

• Food Solutions New England, a six-state, multiracial network working to transform our regional food system. See https://foodsolutionsne.org/
• New Hampshire Food Alliance, NH Food Alliance is a statewide network that engages and connects people dedicated to growing a thriving, fair, and sustainable local food system in New Hampshire. See https://www.nhfoodalliance.org/
• Sustainability Fellowships, this pairs exceptional undergraduate and graduate students from UNH and universities across the country with municipal, educational, corporate, and non-profit partners in New England to work on transformative sustainability initiatives. See https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/student-education-engagement/sustainability-fellowships
• UNHSI and partners engaged the entire UNH community in the annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge. The Challenge was developed by Food Solutions New England for which UNHSI serves as the backbone organization and successfully bridged this community-engaged work with the UNH campus. https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/21-day
• UNHSI also successfully transitioned the Campus Carbon Calculator and CarbonMAP to an integrated carbon and nitrogen accounting tool known as SIMAP, the sustainability indicator management & analysis platform that is used by hundreds of campuses across the country. See https://www.unh.edu/sustainability/research/carbon-nitrogen-accounting


Job title of the sustainability officer position:
Chief Sustainability Officer; and Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer

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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability coordination 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.