Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.12
Liaison Amir Nadav
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of St. Thomas
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Amir Nadav
Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability
Office of Sustainability Initiatives
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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:

In the summer of 2019, the University of St. Thomas published a five-year Sustainability Strategic Plan, which includes the following measurable objectives related to academics:

Foster understanding of how education contributes to a more sustainable world
We will work toward a goal of 50% of all degree programs adopting sustainability learning outcomes by collaborating with each academic unit’s appropriate curriculum committee. We will also develop the expertise to integrate sustainability into courses and programs through these aspirations:
· Build to 20% of all courses offered by the institution being sustainability courses
· Build to 90% of academic departments offering at least one sustainability course

Become a campus of research excellence in sustainability
We will support the expansion of sustainability research across all disciplines through increased donor funding, as well as the free and widespread sharing of such research knowledge, to achieve the following milestones:
· 75% of departments have at least one faculty member engaged in sustainability research.
· 15% of scholarly articles published by faculty and staff are deposited in an open access repository.
· 15% of faculty and staff are engaged in sustainability research.

We will investigate mission-appropriate approaches to carbon offsets, and implement a policy to offset carbon emissions from all study abroad air travel by 2024.


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:

In the summer of 2019, the University of St. Thomas published a five-year Sustainability Strategic Plan, which includes the following measurable objectives related to engagement:

Create a coherent sustainability culture for students outside of the classroom
We will foster student leadership, awareness and education by incorporating sustainability into new student orientation, Welcome Days and other onboarding activities. We will develop an undergraduate student peer educator program, provide advising support for the Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Coalition and create a sustainability certificate/pathway in Tommie Link.

Support employee peer-to-peer education
We will pilot and evaluate an Employee Educators Program focused on implementing sustainability practices in the work environment. By 2024, 25% of all employees will be directly targeted by a peer-to-peer sustainability education program.

To increase awareness of sustainability as a strategic priority for new employees, we will incorporate sustainability information into new employee orientation and
onboarding activities, with a goal of reaching 85% of all new staff employees

Increase employee ability to engage in sustainability leadership practices
We will increase employee awareness of sustainability initiatives and engage 50% of staff in Leadership Academy trainings related to campus sustainability by 2024. We will offer professional development on diversity and inclusion and sustainability to all employees, and we will distribute information on sustainability best practices for work areas. We will recognize employees with a sustainability badge through the Leadership Academy.


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:

In the summer of 2019, the University of St. Thomas published a five-year Sustainability Strategic Plan, which includes the following measurable objectives related to operations:

Continue to reduce carbon emissions
In support of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, we are on pace to reduce annual carbon emissions by 19% below the fiscal year 2018 emissions by 2024.

We will adopt a policy for sustainable construction and ensure that all new buildings larger than 25,000 square feet will be designed and constructed to achieve a LEED Silver certification or better.

Continue broad focus of sustainable operations and maintenance
We will develop and implement a Sustainable Facilities Operations and Maintenance program that has a focus on waste minimization, responsible land care, formalized policies on indoor air quality, green cleaning and reducing energy and water consumption. We also plan to minimize waste through recycling, reuse, reduce and donation processes, and implement a campus-wide organics collection system to support a goal of diverting 65% of materials from solid waste by 2024 and 80% by 2030. We will adopt an integrated pest management program for all campus grounds, and adopt policies that result in a 10% reduction of water and energy consumed on campus by 2024.

Increase the percentage of commuters using sustainable modes of transportation
Within the next five years, we will work to reduce single occupancy vehicle commutes to St. Thomas. Through increased awareness, assistance and access we will increase the number of students (by at least 7%), and employees (by at least 3%), using sustainable modes of transportation.


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?:
Yes

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

In the summer of 2019, the University of St. Thomas published a five-year Sustainability Strategic Plan, which includes the following measurable objectives related to administration:

Assess all staff on sustainability competency
Starting no later than 2020, sustainability will be added as a component to the Integrity competency in the Performance Assessment process. All staff (full-time and part-time) will have sustainability included in performance reviews.

In November of 2018, the University published an update to its Action Plan to Combat Racism. One of the goals in the plan is to provide anti-bias training by the end of the academic year to every St. Thomas student, staff and faculty. This training will include bystander training to broaden the number of allies on campus. Source: https://news.stthomas.edu/action-plan-to-combat-racism


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):
Website URL where the institution’s highest guiding document is publicly available:
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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?:
No

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

While the Board of Trustees has not formally endorsed a statement in support of sustainability, sustainability is mentioned in the University's 2020 strategic plan, which was adopted by the board. The Board of Trustees also received a presentation about the University's sustainability strategic plan in the fall of 2019. The University's forthcoming 2025 strategic plan, which will be approved by the Board of Trustees in early 2021, includes a strategic priority on living and working sustainably.

The University's 2020 Strategic Plan addresses sustainability in the following sections:
Catholic-Inspired Community Engagement
The University of St. Thomas will promote practices within our community that reflect the university’s commitment to truth, justice and caritas (self-giving love), and that inspire community members to work for the common good of their communities in which they participate. We always have had a strong record of student engagement with various communities. With the rising complexity of the university, we need a more coordinated approach to community engagement. To effectively engage students in advancing the common good, we will build upon our strengths in ethics, sustainability, social justice, service learning, globalization and social entrepreneurship with diverse local and global communities. We will reconfigure a culture of “service” to those deemed “underprivileged” to a culture of mutual engagement that both transforms all participants and actualizes mutual respect through collaborative efforts and decision-making.

The University's 2020 Strategic Plan's priority on Catholic-Inspired Community Engagement also includes the following element:
St. Thomas will cultivate an ethic of the care for God’s creation through curricular and co-curricular activities aimed at environmental stewardship and sustainability.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

The University of St. Thomas Sustainability Council charter includes the following definition of sustainability:

"The most commonly held definition of sustainability is 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.' Sustainable systems preserve and advance social equity, economic prosperity, and the healthy functioning of ecological systems now and in the future."


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 Yes
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:

The University is a signatory of the U.S. Catholic Climate Declaration, a public expression of support by the Catholic community in the United States for action to address climate change. https://catholicclimatecovenant.org/us-catholic-climate-declaration

In 2008, St. Thomas past President Father Dennis Dease signed the American
College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).


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