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

STARS v2.2

University of New Hampshire
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Tom Kelly
Chief Sustainability Officer
University Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Sustainability as Strategic Priority and Metric for UNH

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

The Future of UNH: Four Strategic Priorities described below weave together multiple elements of sustainability within and across UNH’s strategic framework:

• Enhance Student Success and Well-Being: including that UNH will ensure that all students are engaged and ethical global citizens;
• Expand Academic and Research Excellence: including that the university will be known and respected for the high caliber of teaching, research and advising in its academic programs. Its distinguished research, scholarship and doctoral education will be recognized worldwide, including its contributions to global sustainability challenges.
• Embrace New Hampshire: including that UNH will build collaborations that support New Hampshire’s economy and quality of life, sustainability and resilience and will be a trusted, valuable and consistent partner.
• Build Financial Strength: including UNH will be a national leader in long-term cost management, sustainable investing and aligning its budget and resources with its strategic priorities.

These aspirational goals and associated initiatives are tracked by a set of nine academic performance metrics that include the following

• Sustainability: UNH’s most up to date STARS numeric score and rating.
• Students participating in high-impact educational practices
• Research funding per faculty member within stated initiative to grow our national sustainability position

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
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):

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

Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Peer-to-Peer Sustainability Education in the Sustainable Learning Community

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

As part of developing UNH’s Sustainable Learning Community we have developed robust peer-to-peer learning programs the further cultivate a culture of sustainability. The Sustainable Learning Community is our model for weaving an ethos of sustainability in its fullest sense into the fabric of our university community and, in particular, in the case of UNH, the mission of a public, land, sea, and space grant university. The sustainable learning community model focuses on four key systems that underpin the ability of a community or society to define and pursue quality of life: biodiversity and ecosystems, climate and energy, food systems, and culture. These are integrated as educational initiatives focused on institutional culture across what we refer to as the CORE: curriculum and teaching, operations and institutional practices, food research, and engagement.

Peer education for students, faculty and staff constitutes a powerful educational approach that builds connection, trust, and knowledge across the community. The UNH Sustainability Institute (SI) coordinates a range of both student and employee sustainability peer to peer programs that are now coordinated through a full time dedicated Peer-to-Peer Coordinator based at the SI who mentors and facilitates connections to expand the reach and impact for students, faculty and staff. The coordinators work includes overseeing peer-to-peer programs run directly by the Sustainability Institute, as well as connecting with existing UNH P2P programs (e.g. the Freshman Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE), the Health and Wellness peer ed programs etc) to help integrate sustainability concepts and highlight the connection of these programs with sustainability concepts. student programs peer-to-peer programs directly coordinated by the Sustainability Institute include academic year and summer interns within the Sustainability Institute, Semester in the City at UNH, Changemaker Fellows and Sustainability Advocates; Employee Peer to Peer sustainability education peer-to-peer programs include a Community of Learning for faculty, staff, and administrators to build skill and will to engage issues of racial equity within food systems and more generally. This effort was launched by the UNH Sustainability Institute in collaboration with UNH’s Office of Community, Equity, and Diversity and supported peer educators to engage colleagues through the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge -- a national program developed by Food Solutions New England, a regional network that the UNH Sustainability Institute founded and serves as its coordinating "backbone" organization.

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

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):
EN-1, EN-7

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

Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Sustainable Investing and Governance

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

In 2017, the UNH Foundation established a Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR) to provide stakeholder input to the UNH Foundation Investment Committee on sustainable investing topics and recommendations. The CIR, which is comprised of students, faculty, staff, alums, Foundation Board members and investment industry professionals, has worked closely with the Foundation’s Investment Committee and its consultant, Prime Buchholz, to significantly strengthen UNH’s performance in sustainable investing and governance including the establishment of an ESG (environmental, social and governance) pool within the endowment.

The UNH Foundation currently oversees two endowment investment pools, the Main pool and the ESG pool, and is advised by an investment consultant, Prime Buchholz, which provides market insights and analysis to the Foundation’s investment committee, as well as proposals for changes and additions to the Foundation’s fund manager line-up. As a result of the collaboration of the CIR and the Foundation Investment Committee, important progress has been made including but not limited to the following:

• The UNH Foundation now has approximately 45% of all endowment assets in ESG-qualified investments (across ESG and Main pools)
• UNH is now a member of the Intentional Endowments Network and a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investing. (PRI is an international framework that asks member organizations to actively promote and demonstrate sustainable investing principles.)

• UNH President sign the IEN/Second Nature Call to Action for Higher Education Leadership. President Dean signed on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this call to action that aims to accelerate climate solutions in higher education institutions.

• The CIR sponsored a UNH undergraduate student to undertake a 400 hour internship (for credit) through UNH's Semester in the City program (a partnership with the College for Social Innovation.) The student worked alongside UNH Foundation Treasurer and UNH's investment consultant, Prime Buchholz, to develop a rigorous survey instrument and survey managers within the UNH endowment on their ESG practices. The data was then analyzed and allowed the creation of UNH's proprietary methodology for determining ESG-qualified investments in the UNHF portfolio.

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Investment & Finance

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):
PA-9, PA-10, PA-11

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

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.