Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.64
Liaison Rob Andrejewski
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Richmond
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Rob Andrejewski
Director of Sustainability
Office for Sustainability
"---" 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:

From the University of Richmond Strategic Plan: "Building from Strength, Forging Our Future"

Pillar of Stewardship in a Changing World: "The University of Richmond will be a leader in innovative practices that sustain our environmental, human, and financial resources.

"The future health and vibrancy of the University — like all institutions of higher education — rest on our shared commitment to steward our vital resources: the environment on which we all depend, funds for our needs and aspirations, and the faculty, staff, student, and alumni relationships that form the core of our educational model. Responsible stewardship will enable us to better support our academic aspirations and will enrich our intellectual community. In response to emerging environmental and financial challenges, we will imagine and implement new approaches to our work that support the sustainability of our mission and serve as a model for other institutions."

Initiative under Stewardship in a Changing World: "Complete and implement a Sustainability Strategic Plan to further weave responsible environmental stewardship into the fabric of the University. Work aggressively to achieve the University’s goals while moving away from an additive model that places stress on the human, environmental, and financial resources of the University."

Values include Inclusivity and Equity, Diversity and Educational Opportunity, Ethical Engagement, and Responsible Stewardship.

Vision is to produce knowledge to meet challenges of our time: "The University will be a leader in higher education, preparing students to contribute to, and succeed in, a complex world; producing knowledge to address the world’s problems; and modeling the way that colleges and universities can effectively meet the challenges of our time."


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:
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):
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:

Sustainability Plan

Goal 1: Integrate sustainability into a University of Richmond education

Strategy 1.1: Increase the opportunity for University of Richmond students to engage in coursework focused on sustainability.

Action 1.1.1: Across the five schools, support the efforts of faculty, staff, and students working to grow the number of courses that focus on a holistic concept of sustainability (including social, economic, and environmental dimensions) or examine an issue or topic using sustainability as a lens.

Action 1.1.2: Provide support for faculty, staff, and students who seek to explore incorporation of sustainability into common learning experiences, including the general education curriculum.

Action 1.1.3: Support the efforts of faculty, staff, and students who are exploring the development of a formal sustainability education program, including a minor in sustainability.

Action 1.1.4: Investigate the establishment of an ‘s-designation’ for sustainability courses to enhance the rigor of the sustainability course tracking system and increase the visibility of new and existing sustainability courses.

Action 1.1.5: Develop UR-specific resources that outline and measure the sustainability knowledge, attributes, and skills a student is expected to demonstrate through completion of a sustainability-related course, program, or unit.

Strategy 1.2: Support the integration of sustainability into co-curricular initiatives and high-impact educational practices, including first-year experience, themed semesters, living-learning communities, undergraduate research, study abroad, community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses.

Action 1.2.1: Further develop a University of Richmond sustainability living lab program that connects coursework, research, and campus services and operations.

Action 1.2.2: Partner with Living-Learning Programs, the Center for Civic Engagement, Study Abroad, Student Development, and other campus departments to increase awareness of and participation in sustainability-related immersive educational programs.

Strategy 1.3: Strengthen connections and establish incentive structures to support scholarship and teaching across different academic programs and disciplines engaged in sustainability.

Action 1.3.2: Support interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching on innovative topics that address global, systemic problems, including climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, and land use.

Action 1.3.3: Provide professional development opportunities in sustainability education to assist faculty in all disciplines in creating or reworking sustainability courses and learning outcomes.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 1.3: Strengthen connections and establish incentive structures to support scholarship and teaching across different academic programs and disciplines engaged in sustainability.

Action 1.3.1: Provide resources to help faculty enhance their ability to develop academic initiatives and conduct research related to sustainability, especially across disciplines and in collaboration with others.

Action 1.3.4: Appoint a sustainability faculty fellow to support sustainability research and the integration of sustainability into the curriculum.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Goal 2: Increase understanding of sustainability issues and provide resources and opportunities for individuals and groups to enact sustainable behaviors on campus.

Strategy 2.1: Meaningfully feature sustainability in orientation and onboarding activities for all students, staff, and faculty.

Strategy 2.2: Improve the visibility of sustainability on campus.

Strategy 2.3: Establish and promote training and education for students, staff, and faculty in environmental sustainability practices.

Strategy 2.4: Design and execute a comprehensive menu of sustainability events, programs, and activities for student, staff, and faculty.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 4.3: Welcome an expanded definition of sustainability that includes the capacity to create thriving communities and intersects with wellness, justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance.

Action 4.3.1: Collaborate with offices, units, and departments that work toward a more inclusive, just, and diverse campus and community.

Action 4.3.2: Continue to work with the Center for Civic Engagement to identify and enact strategies that will strengthen community partnerships and advance sustainability initiatives in Richmond and beyond.


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:

Climate Action Plan: The University completed its first greenhouse gas (GHG) audit in 2009, and the findings of that audit provide the baseline data that the University will use to measure progress regarding emissions reductions.
2020 - 30% below 2008 levels; 2035 - 65% below 2008 levels; 2050 - 100% below 2008 levels

Sustainability Plan:
Strategy 3.2: Update the 2010 Climate Action Plan with greenhouse gas reduction strategies that accelerate the achievement of carbon neutrality.

Action 3.2.1: Match 100% of UR’s electricity usage with procurement from renewable sources by 2021.

Action 3.2.2: Conduct a solar feasibility study of campus and UR-owned properties to assess the potential to increase renewable energy production, including site selection, availability of energy, equipment specification, financial analysis, and risk assessment.

Action 3.2.3: Implement and publicize energy policies that improve outdoor air quality and minimize pollutants from stationary and mobile sources.

Action 3.2.4: Investigate best practices in carbon offsets and carbon sequestration, including utilization of University-owned lands.


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:

Climate Action Plan: 100% of new campus buildings must meet LEED Silver standards or equivalent.

Sustainability Plan:
Strategy 3.1: Implement resource efficient and environmentally responsible design, construction, and operation practices in all campus building projects.

Action 3.1.1: Provide energy and water metering on all building systems to track performance and report usage data.

Action 3.1.2: Maintain a third-party green building rating system standard for new buildings (equivalent to LEED Silver equivalent or better) for all new buildings and major renovations.

Action 3.1.3: Perform a cost-benefit analysis on the adoption of a third-party green building rating system for existing building renovations.

Action 3.1.4: Explore the feasibility of constructing a net-zero energy building, which generates 100% of its energy on-site.


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:

Sustainability Plan
Strategy 3.3: Reduce energy use intensity (energy per square foot per year) 40% below 2009 levels by 2025.

Action 3.3.1: Implement an energy conservation management plan to identify, prioritize, implement, and track energy reduction and efficiency opportunities.

Action 3.3.2: Establish an energy management system to guide and monitor energy usage and energy use intensity on campus.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.4: Identify opportunities to increase procurement of sustainable food at the capacity needed for consistent, high quality meals.

Action 3.4.1: In partnership with Dining Services, establish a food system working group comprising students, staff, and faculty to benchmark best practices in sustainable food procurement, increase collaboration across stakeholder groups, and publicize green dining efforts.

Action 3.4.2: Track and assess sustainable food purchases annually based on the STARS and Real Food criteria (including local, community-based, organic, ecologically sound, humane, and fair).

Action 3.4.3: Using STARS and Real Food criteria as a guide, establish UR-specific sustainable food procurement targets by 2020.

Action 3.4.4: Implement a sustainable food plan aimed at achieving UR-specific sustainable food procurement targets by 2021.

Action 3.4.5: Explore sustainable procurement guidelines for catering and off-campus food vendors.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.10: "Design and maintain campus landscapes in a manner that supports ecological health, advances student learning, and promotes recreation."

Action 3.10.1: Develop and implement a Sustainable Landscape Management Plan following guidelines from the Sustainable SITES initiative.

Action 3.10.2: Alongside partners in Biology and Environmental Studies, generate UR biodiversity management invasive species management plans for the Gambles Mill Eco-Corridor, Westhampton Lake, Westhampton Green, and other open spaces on campus.

Action 3.10.4: Explore the development and use of outdoor spaces to support education, wellness, recreation, and research, including open-air classrooms, gathering spaces, and field sites.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.8: Increase the amount of environmentally and socially preferable purchases as a percentage of total goods purchased.

Action 3.8.1: Explore the feasibility of setting internal sustainable purchasing standards and identifying how to implement data tracking measures.

Action 3.8.2: Formalize and publicize sustainable procurement policies on purchased goods, including electronics (e.g., EPEAT), appliances (e.g., Energy Star), paper goods (e.g., Forest Stewardship Council), and cleaning supplies (e.g., Green Seal).

Action 3.8.3: Identify professional development opportunities in sustainable purchasing for Procurement personnel.

Action 3.8.4: Research sustainable purchasing standards and available training for personnel who purchase goods on campus.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.13: Reduce carbon emissions related to transportation and mobility.

Action 3.13.1: Increase the use of carpooling, public transit, walking, and/or biking as primary means of student, staff, and faculty transportation.

Action 3.13.2: Study the feasibility of offsetting emissions associated with University-supported travel.

Action 3.13.3: Increase the number of electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles, solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations, and infrastructure to support them.

Action 3.13.4: Transition 30% of the University fleet toward electric vehicles by 2025.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.15: Divert 75% of materials from the landfill by 2025.

Action 3.15.1: Achieve Rethink Waste rollout (co-location of bins; standardized signage, bins, and bag colors) across campus by 2020.

Action 3.15.2: Implement a pre- and post-consumer composting program on campus.

Action 3.15.3: Explore the feasibility of a materials sort center on or near campus.

Action 3.15.4: Provide in-person and online Rethink Waste training for all students, staff, and faculty.

Strategy 3.16: Reduce gross waste totals 15% by 2025.

Action 3.16.1: Research and adopt processes that consider the end-of-product life in purchasing decisions, including questions of avoidance, reduction, reuse, and recycling.

Action 3.16.2: Implement and promote reuse strategies across campus and develop measures to minimize prevalence of single-use disposable items.

Action 3.16.3: Develop internal systems and external partnerships to improve capacity for donations of usable goods.


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:

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.11: Manage campus lands to steward the James River watershed, increase water capture, and reduce stormwater impacts.

Action 3.11.1: Create a watershed management plan centered on restoring the ecological function, aesthetic beauty, educational capacity, and recreational function of Westhampton Lake, and Implement best management practices to increase groundwater recharge and reduce nutrient and sediment flow to the James River.

Action 3.11.2: Explore use of Westhampton Lake as a source of on-campus irrigation.

Strategy 3.12: Reduce potable water usage 50% below 2010 levels by 2025.

Action 3.12.1: Investigate and utilize on-site technologies for water reclamation and reuse for utility and landscape purposes.

Action 3.12.2: Sub-meter water usage in each building, set reduction targets based on established baseline, and implement efficiency and reduction strategies.


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:

University of Richmond Strategic Plan:

Access and Affordability
The University will recruit, retain, and inspire academically talented students from all economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

The University of Richmond has a tradition of providing opportunities and assistance to promising students. Each generation has worked in new ways to extend opportunity and welcome to students from all backgrounds. We will continue to build on that tradition to open doors for students with the potential to excel and contribute to the University, and help families understand clearly the value and affordability of a Richmond education.

Initiatives
- Provide leadership as a founding member of the American Talent Initiative, dedicated to expanding the number of talented low- and moderate-income students who enroll at the nation’s top colleges.
- Explore ways to expand Richmond’s Promise to Virginia (e.g. geographically, student populations served) in order to make a Richmond education accessible to more academically talented students.
- Develop a program to identify a cohort of local students for admission to Richmond.
- Help families more clearly understand the cost and value of a Richmond education from the beginning of the college search process by investigating new approaches to financial aid that can ensure families a maximum that they would have to pay to attend the University based on their income.
- Develop innovative outreach programs to ensure that the most academically talented students in the world understand the value of a Richmond education and are inspired to apply.

Thriving and Inclusive University Community
Students, faculty, and staff will reach their full potential and thrive in an inclusive University community.

The University of Richmond will serve as a model institution in which all members challenge themselves and one another to engage fully in the life of the University, reach their full potential, and contribute to a robust intellectual community. As we prepare the next generation of global leaders, we will center well-being, foster dynamic engagement across a wide range of perspectives and experiences, and create a learning community where all individuals are valued and respected.

Initiatives
- Create a comprehensive well-being initiative for students that would strengthen and align programs (e.g. student health, recreation and wellness, CAPS) that support both high achievement and a well-balanced life.
- Recruit, hire, and retain more diverse faculty and staff.
- Ensure that high-impact practices (such as living-learning communities, capstone projects, internships, research opportunities for students, study abroad, and community-based learning) are of the highest quality and accessible to all undergraduates.
- Continue to enhance the accessibility of our institutional spaces so that they support the full participation of our community members.
- Redesign and program campus venues to provide vibrant social spaces that support the variety of opportunities that students seek.
- Acknowledge the essential contributions of all faculty and staff to the University’s mission and ambitions.


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

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

Sustainability Plan

Strategy 3.8: Develop innovative funding mechanisms to support sustainable practices on campus.

Strategy 3.7: Enhance the University’s ability to engage with the campus community on issues of responsible investing.


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

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

Sustainability Plan:

Strategy 4.3: Welcome an expanded definition of sustainability that includes the capacity to create thriving communities and intersects with wellness, justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance.

Action 4.3.3: Join forces with the Health and Well-Being Advisory Group to support a culture of wellness and the pursuit of a balanced life.


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:

Sustainability Plan:

Strategy 4.4.: Incorporate sustainability into development, planning & policy, and strategic communications.


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:

University of Richmond Strategic Plan: Stewardship in a Changing World
The University of Richmond will be a leader in innovative practices that sustain our environmental, human, and financial resources.

The future health and vibrancy of the University — like all institutions of higher education — rest on our shared commitment to steward our vital resources: the environment on which we all depend, funds for our needs and aspirations, and the faculty, staff, student, and alumni relationships that form the core of our educational model. Responsible stewardship will enable us to better support our academic aspirations and will enrich our intellectual community. In response to emerging environmental and financial challenges, we will imagine and implement new approaches to our work that support the sustainability of our mission and serve as a model for other institutions.

Value of Responsible Stewardship in UR Strategic Plan: The University of Richmond values the trust that has been placed in it by generations of alumni, students, parents, and members of our community. The University is committed to the careful stewardship of institutional and environmental resources, and of the relationships that provide the foundation of our University community.


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

Sustainability is the creation of environmental, social, and economic conditions that foster the health and well-being of people and the natural world in this generation and generations to come. At a minimum, our practices reduce harm people and the environment; at best, our actions improve the well-being of both.


Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter Yes
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 Yes
The Talloires Declaration (TD) Yes
UN Global Compact ---
Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments (please specify below) Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal sustainability commitments, including the specific initiatives selected above:

The University of Richmond has made substantial commitments to the integration of sustainability into institutional operations and academics.
In additon to those above, we have signed onto the American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge (2015) and We Are Still In Pledge (2017).


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.