Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Elias Platte-Bermeo
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.50 / 4.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in curriculum and/or research?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to academics and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Goals published in the Sustainability 2020 Plan
Website Link: https://green.usc.edu/files/2019/08/Sustanibility2020_Update_082619.pdf

GOAL 1: ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTALLY LITERATE STUDENTS AND FACULTY
• Incorporate sustainability into the breadth of knowledge expected of our graduates
• Assess student and faculty understanding of sustainability principles

GOAL 2: DEVELOP DEGREE PROGRAMS THAT TRAIN STUDENTS TO BE PRACTITIONERS OF SUSTAINABILITY STUDIES AND SCIENCE WITH A CURRICULUM THAT EMBODIES BREADTH AND DEPTH
• Provide incentives for developing sustainability courses on campus
• Develop an interdisciplinary sustainability curriculum committee

GOAL 3: DEVELOP EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH THAT INCLUDES CROSS-DISCIPLINARY STUDIES, PROMOTES COMPETITIVENESS IN GRANT APPLICATIONS AND PRODUCES TRANSFORMATIVE FINDINGS
• Recruit prominent scholars to help establish USC as a leading institution of sustainability research
• Support a community of interdisciplinary sustainability researchers with assured long-term funding


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address student, employee, or community engagement for sustainability?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to engagement and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Goals published in the Sustainability 2020 Plan
Website Link: https://green.usc.edu/files/2019/08/Sustanibility2020_Update_082619.pdf

GOAL 1: INCREASE AWARENESS OF EXISTING CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES AND SET TARGETS TO INCREASE ACTIVITY
• Develop metrics for sustainability engagement and set relevant targets
• Develop an awareness campaign
• Develop annual sustainability programming
• Implement ongoing programming for sustainable behaviors in USC Housing

GOAL 2: ESTABLISH THE USC CAMPUSES AS LIVING LABORATORIES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
• Connect courses and research to campus projects
• Expand access to students and faculty regarding utility information
• Expand the student Green Engagement Fund, enabling students to implement sustainability projects on campus

GOAL 3: ENGAGE THE COMMUNITY IN SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES
• Foster external partnerships with local government
• Develop an Urban Sustainability Extension/Sustainability Clinic
• Develop a Sustainability Alumni Network"


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address sustainability in operations?:
Yes

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to operations and the plan(s) in which they are published:

Goals published in the Sustainability 2020 Plan
Website Link: https://green.usc.edu/files/2019/08/Sustanibility2020_Update_082619.pdf

GOAL: REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS PER SQUARE FOOT BY 20% FROM 2014 LEVELS BY 2020
• Track and report greenhouse gas emissions
• Implement a Climate Action Plan

GOAL: CAPITALIZE ON ENERGY RISKS
AND OPPORTUNITIES
• Reduce the financial risk of utility costs through conservation
• Reduce the financial risk of utility costs through renewable energy generation
• Exceed state energy efficiency standards in new construction
• Create a Green Revolving Fund

GOAL: REDUCE THE NUMBER OF SINGLE OCCUPANCY VEHICLES (SOVS) TRAVELING TO AND FROM THE USC CAMPUSES
• Augment commuter data to provide meaningful benchmarks
• Formally adopt a USC bike plan addressing connectivity, safety, and storage

GOAL: INCREASE STUDENT, FACULTY, AND STAFF PARTICIPATION IN ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMS.
• Increase communication about transportation programs
• Include information about transportation alternatives at orientation

GOAL: ACHIEVE 75% WASTE DIVERSION LEVELS BY 20205
• Develop a University-wide, comprehensive integrated waste management plan by 2016
• Review metrics and standards for waste audits
• Evaluate waste management companies

GOAL: INCREASE EDUCATION OF WASTE REDUCTION AND RECYCLING AND EXPAND DIVERSION AND RECYCLING PROGRAMS
• Create educational campaigns about waste reduction and recycling that resonate with specific campus stakeholders (i.e., faculty, students, staff, visitors)
• Improve the recycling program by increasing and standardizing waste disposal bins with a pilot program in USC Housing
• Develop a campus-wide composting program
• Increase education about methods to reduce waste (e.g. bottle-filling stations, etc.)
• Apply the recycling policy to demolition and construction programs and implement waste diversion policies in new construction

GOAL: DECREASE POTABLE WATER USE 10% BY 2017 AND 25% BY 20206,7
• Expand metering on UPC and HSC buildings
• Prioritize mitigation strategies by cost and effectiveness (gallons/dollar)

GOAL: INCREASE AWARENESS OF CURRENT WATER CONSERVATION PRACTICES
• Develop and implement an awareness campaign

GOAL: IMPLEMENT AUDIENCE-APPROPRIATE EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGNS DESIGNED TO MODIFY BEHAVIOR AND INCREASE CONSERVATION
• Create conservation campaigns that resonate with specific campus stakeholders (i.e., faculty, students, staff, visitors)
• Increase water conservation messages in higher use areas


Does the institution have a published plan or plans that include measurable sustainability objectives that address diversity, equity, and inclusion; sustainable investment/finance; or wellbeing?:
No

A list or sample of the measurable sustainability objectives related to administration and the plan(s) in which they are published:
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Does the institution have a published strategic plan or equivalent guiding document that includes sustainability at a high level? :
Yes

The institution’s highest guiding document (upload):
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Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
Which of the following best describes the inclusion of sustainability in the highest guiding document?:
Minor theme

The institution's sustainability plan (upload):
Website URL where the institution's sustainability plan is publicly available:
Does the institution have a formal statement in support of sustainability endorsed by its governing body?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

On January 27th, 2010, the University of Southern California Campus Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees approved six resolutions to further strengthen the University’s commitment to sustainability. The resolutions, as follows, address issues of environmental degradation, energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction, and building construction.

CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY RESOLUTIONS
1) Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the University of Southern California take reasonable measures to minimize the impact of its operations on the environment

2) Be it further resolved, that the university will maintain an active energy conservation program and that it will, where economically feasible, maximize the purchase of electric energy from renewable resources

3) Be it further resolved, that the university maintain an aggressive water conservation program; that it uses, to the extent possible, drought tolerant landscaping; that it aggressively explores options for the use of reclaimed water for landscaping and other non-potable uses

4) Be it further resolved, that the university maintain an aggressive program to reduce and or recycle the maximum amount of overall waste generated by its operations

5) Be it further resolved, that the university maintain active incentive programs to encourage faculty, staff, students, and visitors to use transportation modes other than the single passenger automobile; and

6) Be it further resolved, that the university design and construct all new buildings to meet or exceed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards


The institution’s definition of sustainability:
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Is the institution an endorser or signatory of the following? :
Yes or No
The Earth Charter No
The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) No
ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter No
Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability No
SDG Accord No
Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment (formerly known as the ACUPCC), Resilience Commitment, and/or integrated Climate Commitment No
The Talloires Declaration (TD) No
UN Global Compact No
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:

In March 2021, USC Athletics signed on to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Sports for Climate Action initiative. The program commits the global sports community to combat climate change through commitments and partnerships according to verified standards, including measuring, reducing, and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the world's countries endorse the goal of the UNFCCC to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations "at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system." Specifically, five principles guide the effort:
- Undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility;
- Reduce overall climate impact;
- Educate for climate action;
- Promote sustainable and responsible consumption;
- Advocate for climate action through communication.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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