Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.98
Liaison Jay Price
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.25 / 4.00 Jay Price
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
"---" 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? :
No

A brief description of how the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document addresses sustainability:
---

A copy of the strategic plan:
---

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:
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?:
No

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

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

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

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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Student Involvement and Green Buildings:
"Increase non-voting student participation among Green Fee Committee."
"Implement [the] Green Office Program campus-wide."


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Development Efforts:
"Include Environmental Leadership Awards into the Chancellor's Annual Award Ceremony."

The University of Tennessee's Environmental Policy states that the university will ensure full compliance with existing environmental laws and regulations and will seek to lead the community in developing beneficial laws and regulations.
http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/01/UT-Campus-Environmental-Policy-2011.pdf


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:

The Climate Action Plan commits the university to reducing/offsetting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 20% below fiscal year 2007-08 levels by 2020-21, 40% by 2030-31, 60% by 2040-41, 80% by 2050-51 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2060-61.

http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/01/UT-Climate-Action-Plan-v1.0-2010.pdf


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Motorized Transportation, Green Buildings, and Energy Consumption in Buildings:
"Implement [the] Green Office Program campus-wide."
"Implement “green” technology into parking garages.(e.g. solar panels on garage, LED lights, EV Charging, Smart Parking Tech)"
"Create an interactive Energy Dashboard within buildings across campus"

Additionally, University of Tennessee Knoxville buildings abide by the Sustainable Design Guidelines and the Tennessee High Performance Building Requirements (Manual). Though not necessarily measurable or time-bound, "the HPBr categories include groups of credits with the performance and sustainability criteria for state projects. The HPBr was developed based on the existing framework of the State of Tennessee Sustainable Design Guidelines (SDG), which borrowed structure and content from the LEED Rating System." These categories include Land Management, Water Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation in Design and Construction. The HPBr is to be used as a mandatory design, construction, and operations tool for all SBC projects including: new construction, additions, and renovation/maintenance.


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Energy Consumption in Buildings:
"Utilize thermal and/or battery storage systems to transfer electricity use away from peak periods"
"Sign onto a Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy"
"Expand Energy Policy beyond temperature settings to include suggested actions during campus breaks such as turn off/unplug power strips, computer power down, lights. etc."
"Create an interactive Energy Dashboard within buildings across campus"

The UT Climate Action Plan includes several plans to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in on campus buildings. The objectives of the Climate Action Plan include replacing transformers in 4 campus buildings to reduce total campus electricity use by 248,219 kWh per year, upgrade lighting in multiple buildings to save 11,999,908 kWh per year, and to design new buildings to use 20% less electricity per SF than existing buildings, among other plans.
http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/01/UT-Climate-Action-Plan-v1.0-2010.pdf


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Food:
"Collect, analyze and publish dining expenditure and operation impact annually"
"Develop a Food Policy that promotes local, organic, vegan, and Fair Trade goods" "Perform annual outreach campaigns to promote current sustainable food options"
"Develop a Sustainable Food Policy task force every three years to assess and identify opportunities"
"Create position for Sustainable Dining Coordinator housed in the Office of Sustainability"
"Meet 100% of STARS criteria for Dining."


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:

Campus Landscape Vision and Site Standards:
https://masterplan.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2013/02/2018_CLV-SS.pdf

"Augment the integrity and performance of the campus landscape by employing sustainable practice."
"Minimize the extent of pavement, reducing urban heat island impacts
as well as increasing the opportunity for groundwater recharge."
"Increase the University’s tree collection and expand the campus tree
canopy. Develop a succession plan for older trees that may be in decline,
planting replacement trees years prior to the required removal of existing
mature trees. Avoid planting large swaths of the same tree species to
reduce risk of mass loss from disease or insect damage."
"Create and implement a stormwater management plan for construction
projects. Employ practices to reduce erosion and sediment load from
construction activities, such as silt fencing/mulch dams or logs, sediment
traps, vegetated buff er strips, etc. "


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Found in list of Top 10 Recommendations:
"Create a task force on green purchasing that would study current purchasing practices, compare them with the best practices and make recommendations."


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Motorized Transportation:
"Develop an alternative transportation task force to identify potential green transportation initiatives and a pathway to fund these initiatives"
"Fund a greenway reroute project to connect greenway from main campus below Neyland Stadium, to Neyland greenway upstream of G10 parking garage."
"Implement fuel saving measures and progams to reduce average overall fuel consumption for 2016 and 2021 levels"
"Evaluate campus vehicles to assess percent of alternative fuel vehicles to expand their use"
"Every two years assess bicycle infrastructure access, awareness, and possible opportunities for expansion."


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:

Zero Waste Commitment: https://sustainability.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/69/2020/01/Zero-Waste-Commitment-1-2020.pdf
Measurable sustainability objective:
"Achieve a 50% waste diversion rate by 2030."

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Solid and Hazardous Waste:
"Implement a campus-wide ban on Styrofoam products including but not limited to Athletics, Dining, Student Organizations, and Community Vendor-Sponsored and Supported Events."


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:

Environmental Progress Report 2016: http://cce.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2016/07/EPR-2016-Final.pdf

Measurable sustainability objectives can be found under Water and Sewer Use:
"Create a more efficient irrigation program."

Campus Landscape Vision and Site Standards:
https://masterplan.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2013/02/2018_CLV-SS.pdf

"Design and size irrigation systems to achieve maximum efficiency and
reduce water consumption. Incorporate smart controls, weather monitors
and soil moisture sensors into irrigation systems to enhance their efficiency.
Utilize centralized control to reduce maintenance and increase flexibility in
the system."
"Promote stormwater harvesting practices to reduce the demands on water
systems for irrigation, capturing the water in surface basins or underground
storage tanks, and at the same time reducing runoff and increasing on-site
infiltration."
"Utilize pervious pavements where possible to minimize non-point source
pollution of local waterways, while also increasing groundwater recharge
and reducing stress on stormwater infrastructure."


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:

The Human Resources Strategic Plan includes a sustainability objective of developing a recruitment strategy and branding program. "Steps will include: brainstorm with stakeholders the attributes of effective recruiting; develop brand with public relations and marketing team; enhance recruiting at high schools, community colleges and professional organizations across the state (with a focus on needed competencies and diversity); determine positions that need recruitment support initially (based on time-to-fill, inability to find specific competencies and lack of diversity – tailor program to HR staff resource availability) and develop annual recruitment plan for positions selected for support. Consider creation of statewide diversity recruiter. This is a 2017-18 initiative.”

http://hr.tennessee.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/HR-Strategic-Plan-2016-Update-10-21-16.pdf


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:
---

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:

The Human Resources Strategic Plan's purpose is "to provide a clear picture of UT’s workforce profile and to compare the results against future needs – ultimately providing recommendations and strategies for recruitment, employee development and retention. HR’s priorities are clustered in five categories: compensation, HR technology plan and metrics, performance management and professional development, recruitment, and workforce strategic plan and work culture enhancement." Measurable sustainability objectives include:

-Increase Minimum Rate of Pay for Regular Employees- “In 2016, we are planning for all entities to move the rate to $10/hour.”

-Develop Model for Career Development Institute - “Purpose of institute is to improve internal development and promotional opportunities for UT high performers. Job families targeted should align with organizational needs – areas where we are having difficulty finding required competencies or identifying diverse candidate pools. It will be important to align programs with opportunities – so successful program participants have an opportunity for advancement. Steps to include: benchmark other programs for best practice ideas and create statewide committee to develop this concept. This is a 2017-18 initiative.”

-Department Head Training- “Purpose is to provide leaders with knowledge and tools to perform effectively from university-wide academic policy and philosophy perspective; to increase consistency in knowledge and practices among unit and campuses; to improve communication and relationships among administrators, faculty and staff; to enhance faculty productivity to meet potential; to support academic heads in the appropriate allocation of resources and to reduce procedural errors, complaints, appeals and litigation. In late 2015, focus groups were held with department heads statewide. The feedback is being utilized the complete the training curriculum. This is a 2016-17 initiative.”

-2017 Employee Engagement Survey- “Begin preparation for the 2017 statewide Employee Engagement Survey. Steps include: changes to instrument, calendar set for implementation, preparing President and Chancellors, presurvey campus/institute meetings, administration of survey, results review, results meetings with campuses/institutes and launch of work culture improvement teams to address concerns and improve survey feedback. This is a 2017-18 initiative.”

http://hr.tennessee.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/HR-Strategic-Plan-2016-Update-10-21-16.pdf
https://hr.utk.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2018/11/295180-HR-Strategic-Plan-2016-v6.0-sb-edits.pdf


Taken together, do the plan(s) reported above include measurable sustainability objectives that address other areas (e.g. arts and culture or technology)?:
No

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

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)? :
---

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

Take a stroll across our campus and it’s easy to see the investments we’re making in our future. You’ll find beautiful new academic and student life buildings, more green space, and less asphalt. We have more students on our
campus than any time since the 1980s, and we’re working hard to make sure they have the resources they need to succeed. To invest in the future of UT is to invest in sustainability.
As we construct new buildings, we are committed to making them energy efficient by adhering to LEED standards. A wind turbine installed at the Facilities Services Complex and a geothermal energy offset at Sorority Village are helping to offset our consumption. We have purchased seven new electric cars to replace gas-powered vehicles in our campus fleet and installed six new vehicle charging stations with solar panels, allowing cars to run on sunshine.
We’ve enhanced our stormwater system with rain gardens on the agriculture campus, an expansion of the Volunteer Boulevard streetscape, and wetlands management at UT Gardens. We’ve installed rainwater capture capacity for irrigation, laundry, and other uses at the new Student Union, Strong Hall, and Dogwood and Magnolia Residence Halls.
We have been steadily reducing our environmental impact while also saving the campus hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. We take pride in our role as the state’s flagship land-grant university, and we take seriously our responsibility to be good stewards. By investing in new technologies, looking for efficiencies, and reducing waste, we are living up to the mission of providing a better life for Tennesseans.
-Wayne T. Davis, Interim Chancellor 2018-2019


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

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
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 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:

Second Nature Carbon Commitment: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2061.
http://reporting.secondnature.org/institution/detail!3732##3732

The Talloires Declaration: The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is a signatory.
http://ulsf.org/96-2/#US

Other multi-dimensional sustainability commitments:
UTK is a signatory of the Declaration on University Global Engagement.
"As universities from around the world, we are committed to educating students who can successfully live and work in our globally connected world and change it for the better. We are also committed to discovering, producing, and sharing new solutions to the world’s most pressing problems...These challenges have come into focus through the United Nations’ adoption of a new global development agenda known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As institutions dedicated to the public good, we express our commitment to global engagement through a series of actions, including: Committing to cross-border and cross-sector research, knowledge sharing, and innovation in collaboration with our public and private stakeholders in pursuit of novel solutions to the SDGs. Increasing our students’ understanding of the most pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges facing the world today."
http://globallyengageduniversities.org/signatories/


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.