Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.29
Liaison Allison Mihalich
Submission Date Oct. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Notre Dame
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
3.50 / 4.00 Mike Seamon
Vice President
Campus Safety & University Operatis
"---" 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:

Throughout its history the University of Notre Dame has embodied the traditional principles of sustainability as a Catholic university committed to remaining vital and strong for succeeding generations. The contemporary concept of environmental sustainability seeks a similar goal—the wise use of our natural resources to ensure their availability for future generations. While environmental sustainability often focuses on energy efficiency and cost savings, Notre Dame’s approach is grounded in our Catholic mission and University values, acknowledging the indivisible link between environmental sustainability and the University’s future. Sustainability has its own inherent value: it equates a respectful stewardship of the environment with the faithful care of God’s creation. As his Holiness Pope Francis has instructed, “Let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. (from the University's Sustainability Strategy)
”The well-known Gospel passage of the parable of the talents preaches the lessons of stewardship, the duty to not only preserve what we have been given, but also multiply those talents for the benefit of all. Nothing is more important to achieving the aims of Notre Dame than faithful stewardship of the University’s resources—human, physical, and financial. This service and stewardship is an expression of our Catholic character and is indispensable to providing an unsurpassed undergraduate education and superior graduate programs. It also acts as assurance to the Notre Dame family that we are making the most of every gift and talent we have been blessed with and the physical assets we have inherited, just as Fr. Sorin sought to do. (from the University's Strategic Plan)


A copy of the strategic plan:
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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):

http://strategicplan.nd.edu/
Within the University's Strategic Plan are plans for each of the Colleges, Schools and Divisions.

In addition, the University has a plan for its facilities and operations. The mission of Facilities Design and Operations is to service the University by developing, maintaining, and renewing excellent campus environments for teaching and learning, research and discovery, working and living, and spiritual growth consistent with Notre Dame's heritage and responsibilities as the world's preeminent Catholic university. The vision of Facilities Design and Operations is to ... 1. serve as the University's source for planning, information, recommendations, and action essential for the successful development and operation of the campus 2. create and sustain outstanding campus built environments with a team firmly committed to working at the highest professional level 3. build, operate, and maintain the infrastructure essential to support campus functions and growth 4. be careful stewards of the University's resources.


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Convene a faculty and administrative committee to identify best practices to expand and create additional sustainability-related courses, learning outcomes, and research and learning projects. Long-Term Goal: Increase sustainability research and learning opportunities at the University.
Enhance tracking and reporting of sustainability-related courses


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Research?:
Yes

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

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Long-Term Goal: Increase sustainability research and learning opportunities at the University.
5 Year Action Plan
Create a faculty and student committee to serve as the Academic Steering Committee to oversee formal sustainability education and research initiatives to be developed under these goals
Set goals and action items to expand opportunities for sustainability education and research in all academic areas
Create programs and training that allow staff and faculty to increase their knowledge about sustainability more generally and as it is applied on campus


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
The breadth and scope of the University’s academic exploration of sustainability are of interest to students, alumni, supporters, and the greater University community. By reporting on its participation, the University shows its commitment to advancing sustainability in all academic disciplines.

Long-Term Goal: Promote greater understanding and accountability of the University’s role in sustainable research and education.
5 Year Action Plan
Track and publish annual number and enrollment in sustainability-related courses
Track and publish annual sustainability-related research dollars
Track and publish annual participation hours in sustainability-related projects


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Public Engagement?:
Yes

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

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Increase community outreach and engagement to develop and support sustainability initiatives at every level of the University community
The key to success in increasing sustainability is individual action. The University can set goals and devise initiatives, but without individual involvement, there is little hope for success. The University must inspire its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends to work toward these goals and plans through greater engagement and outreach.

Long-Term Goal: Promote greater engagement in the University’s sustainability goals.
5 Year Action Plan
Create partnerships across academic disciplines and administrative departments to increase knowledge and engagement of each group’s sustainability developments
Create a process to annually recognize individuals, departments, and groups who are helping to increase sustainability on campus


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
1. Move to less carbon-intensive fuels
2. Increase use of renewable and recoverable energy sources
3. Increase energy conservation and efficiency
4. Decrease harmful emissions
5. Make the University's energy and emissions commitments transparent


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
1.Ensure efficient space utilization before constructing new buildings
2. Set permanent new construction design standards that seek then-current LEED Silver certification or greater
3. Incorporate energy and water efficiency goals and guidelines into University design standards
4.Track and report building performance


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
1. Move to less carbon-intensive fuels
2. Increase use of renewable and recoverable energy sources
3. Increase energy conservation and efficiency
4. Decrease harmful emissions
5. Make the University's energy and emissions commitments transparent


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Increase sustainability of food sources
Each food choice can be an important vote in favor of a sustainable university and a sustainable economy. We can choose to continue current mass food production practices or we can choose to eat more sustainable meals—such as meatless meals that help avoid the increased emissions, increased pollution, and human food depletion that accompany standard meat production. However, more sustainable options must be made available to enable individuals to cast their votes for a more sustainable life and community.

Long-Term Goal: Increase the amount of sustainable food available at food service facilities across campus.

5 Year Action Plan
Increase vegetarian/vegan options in dining halls, catering, and retail locations
Purchase a greater volume of food from local sources
Purchase more ethically-sensitive food


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address Grounds?:
Yes

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

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Long-Term Goal: Decrease overall water use across campus.
5 Year Action Plan
Increase native plantings on campus
Increase rain gardens on campus
Increase green roofs
Analyze opportunities for permeable pavement
Investigate opportunities for gray water use in landscape irrigation
Investigate opportunities for storm water storage and reuse in irrigation of golf courses and other athletic venues
Ensure that the overall wellhead protection area on campus as well as the sanitary setback areas located in close proximity to wells are properly used, maintained, and protected
Implement creative, beneficial, and maintainable storm water best management practices to improve storm water quality
Ensure that storm water runoff from land-disturbing activities is properly managed


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
1.Incorporate sustainability standards into formal strategic sourcing and licensing processes
2. Increase and encourage the purchase of more sustainable products by all University stakeholders
3. Create greater vendor/supplier partnerships that lead to more sustainable practices
5. Provide greater transparency of sustainable purchasing and licensing


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
Track and reduce Scope 3 emissions
Reducing emissions on campus is often seen as a centralized activity, with little or no opportunity for individual participation. However, Scope 3 Emissions are more decentralized and frequently can be reduced by individual behavioral choices. By including Scope 3 emissions in our overall reduction goal, we not only reduce our overall emissions but also provide a way to involve the entire University community in meeting this goal.

For a complete picture of its emissions, the University needs to track its Scope 3 emissions, including emissions generated from:

i.Business travel;

ii.Commuting;

iii.Purchased goods and services;

iv.Capital goods;

v.Fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 and 2; and

vi.Waste generated in operations.

Current Projects

Update and enforce a campus-wide no-idling policy
Work with the campus community to develop ways to encourage carpooling, shared transportation, and commuting
Develop a plan to increase the percentage of alternative fuel and/or electric fleet vehicles
Retain outside experts to help measure Scope 3 emissions and develop a long-term goal
Expand preferential parking programs for EV, LEV and carpool vehicles
Establish minimum mpg standards for all new University-owned vehicles


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
1. Decrease food waste throughout campus—in food services, dining halls, retail, concessions, dorms, and administrative buildings
2. Improve campus-wide single-stream recycling rates
3. Decrease the use of plastic individual water bottles on campus
4. Increase accountability and responsibility of all campus divisions for measurable increased recycling, decreased waste production, and decreased waste sourcing


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:

Strategies from the Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy
1. Determine how the University’s water use and reuse compare to that of peer institutions and entities
2. Track water use by function and location
3. Increase water conservation in buildings, landscaping, and personal use
4. Investigate feasibility of water reuse
5. Wellhead protection and storm water quality management
6. Provide greater transparency in water use and goals


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

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives that address Diversity & Affordability 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 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)?:
Yes

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

The University strategic plan provides for sustainability objectives for technology
Strategy 1: Deploy innovative solutions for the entire research life cycle, helping faculty compete for grants, pursue their particular lines of scholarship, and preserve, curate, and disseminate their work
Strategy 2: Support faculty with cutting-edge resources designed to allow them to incorporate novel approaches to learning that prepare students to contribute in a technology-enhanced, global economy
Strategy 3: Facilitate data-driven decision-making and digital workflows by establishing a common set of data governance standards, analytics tools, and services to be used throughout the University
Strategy 4: Implement advanced technology infrastructure that meets emerging collaboration, storage, network, and information safeguarding needs


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)? :
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The formal statement in support of sustainability:
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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.