University of Vermont
Burlington, VT, US
|Rating||Score||Liaison||Submission Date||Executive Letter|
|Gold||70.32||Gioia Thompson||March 1, 2017||Download|
The grey bar displays the scores for all STARS rated institutions of the same basic type as the institution featured in the report (Associate, Baccalaureate, Master, or Doctorate) in quartiles. Hovering over the bar reveals the
- 1st quartile score (75% of institutions scored above this figure);
- Median (or 2nd quartile) score (50% of institutions scored above this figure);
- 3rd quartile score (25% of institutions scored above this figure);
- Top score for all institutions of the same basic type.
Since UVM's first STARS submission in 2014, the University has made dramatic progress in deepening and further formalizing the long-standing commitment to education about sustainability that began with undergraduate and graduate academic programs in Environmental Studies, Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture. In 2013, a committee called Envisioning Environment recommended that the University institute a general education requirement for sustainability. The Faculty Senate supported this requirement, which came into effect for all new students starting in Fall, 2015. A faculty development program called Sustainability Faculty Fellows annually coaches a new cohort of faculty from academic units across campus to integrate sustainability principles and systems thinking into their courses. The course list used for this STARS submission shows the richness of offerings now available to students as a result of many years of conversations and collaborations.<< show less
|Academic Courses||Complete||11.84 / 14.00|
|Learning Outcomes||Complete||6.50 / 8.00|
|Undergraduate Program||Complete||3.00 / 3.00|
|Graduate Program||Complete||3.00 / 3.00|
|Immersive Experience||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
|Sustainability Literacy Assessment||Complete||1.00 / 4.00|
|Incentives for Developing Courses||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
|Campus as a Living Laboratory||Complete||4.00 / 4.00|
|Student Educators Program||Complete||3.99 / 4.00|
|Student Orientation||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
|Student Life||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
|Outreach Materials and Publications||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
|Outreach Campaign||Complete||0.00 / 4.00|
|Assessing Sustainability Culture||Complete||0.00 / 1.00|
|Employee Educators Program||Complete||0.00 / 3.00|
|Employee Orientation||Complete||1.00 / 1.00|
|Staff Professional Development||Complete||1.25 / 2.00|
Between 2007 and 2015 the UVM campus experienced a 7% increase in building space, from 5.25 to 5.65 million square feet, and at the same time saw a 13% reduction in total energy use for electricity, heating and cooling campus-wide. Many factors contributed to the reduction in overall energy use. By policy, new buildings on campus must all achieve LEED Silver, striving for Gold and Platinum. Major utility infrastructure projects during those years resulted in more efficient electrical, heating and cooling systems. A close relationship with the municipal electric utility and with the statewide energy efficiency utility means multiple parties are looking for ways to avoid using energy unnecessarily and to use cleaner fuels. The energy utilities also provide both expertise and rebates.
Energy sources became cleaner between 2007 and 2015, both thermal and electricity sources. UVM ceased using #6 fuel oil for heating, converting to #2 oil as a backup fuel and using natural gas for most of its heating fuel. Cooling has shifted away from individual chilling units that use electricity and toward centralized chilling at the expanded Central Heating and Chilled Water Plant, which uses natural gas.
Meanwhile, the electricity sources have become cleaner in in the Northeast generally, and much more reliant on renewables in Vermont. However, despite the fact that the Burlington Electric Department has had success in securing 100% renewable electricity sources, that renewable electricity does not count as "certified" at the national level. UVM's Climate Action Plan aimed for 2015 as the start of UVM buying 100% climate neutral electricity. To make clear its commitment to the CAP goal, UVM ensured that its power sources could be certified as "renewable" by purchasing Green-e certified, national wind RECs for its Burlington properties, and buying local farm methane RECs for other Vermont properties.
|Building Energy Consumption||Complete||3.79 / 6.00|
|Clean and Renewable Energy||Complete||3.04 / 4.00|
Food systems is a popular topic in this state, and the University of Vermont leads the way nationally in supporting the movement. In 2015, we signed a new dining services contract with Sodexo focused on responding to student dining preferences, greater integration with academic food system initiatives, and a close alignment with institutional priorities and values, specifically around sustainability and wellness. As evident by our award of full points for sustainable dining, initiatives in these areas have always been a priority at UVM and continue to be invested in.
As one of a handful of pilot Real Food Challenge Calculator campuses, UVM Dining has been tracking food purchases since 2009. In 2012, UVM signed the Real Food Campus Commitment and in 2013 a robust working group was formed to inform our path to 20% Real Food by 2020 at UVM. Students and interns work with UVM Dining to audit purchases during three representative months (July, October, and February) to determine the Real Food percentage for each academic year. This tracking is extensive and includes 100% of Sodexo, University and franchise-operated food outlets on campus. We are proud to be on track to exceed the national RFC goal in the 2016-17 academic year.
|Food and Beverage Purchasing||Complete||1.06 / 6.00|
|Sustainable Dining||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
|Landscape Management||Complete||0.00 / 2.00|
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions that own or manage land that includes or is adjacent to any of the following:
Institutions may identify legally protected areas, internationally recognized areas, priority sites for biodiversity, and regions of conservation importance using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) for Research & Conservation Planning, the U.S. Information, Planning, and Conservation (IPaC) decision support system, or an equivalent resource or study.
The Green Electronics Council has honored UVM with a 2017 EPEAT Purchaser Award at the two-star level in recognition of our sustainable IT product purchases.
|Sustainable Procurement||Complete||1.00 / 3.00|
|Electronics Purchasing||Complete||0.95 / 1.00|
|Cleaning and Janitorial Purchasing||Complete||0.87 / 1.00|
|Office Paper Purchasing||Complete||0.24 / 1.00|
The University of Vermont's campus transportation systems are nested within other systems that require coordination and management in order for people to get around without constantly needing an individual car. UVM's relative success with providing alternatives begins with the commitment to making the campus itself, at the top of the hill in Vermont's largest city, a place where most people do not need cars most of the time. Half of the student population lives on campus, where walking and biking are pleasant and where CNG-fueled buses shuttle from residence halls to academic and other buildings in continuous loops. UVM has long been part of a transportation management association with other area institutions. All UVM students and employees may ride county buses for free with a UVM ID. Parking is expensive, limited, and very well enforced. Active Transportation Plan guidelines were approved in 2016 to support safety as biking becomes more popular. The STARS score for transportation reflects the success of these efforts over time in reducing the impacts of commuting. UVM's success in reducing emissions from fleet vehicles is less evident in the STARS score, which counts the number of alternative vehicles in the fleet. At UVM, the focus has been on "greening" the fleet vehicles that are most used, i.e., the buses first and foremost, and the service vehicles where possible. The fries and diesel smell of biodiesel-fueled buses from the past have been replaced with buses running on compressed natural gas, with no exhaust smell at all. An app maps where the buses are on their loops, so people can plan accordingly. UVM offers lots of low-carbon transportation options that are designed for convenience.<< show less
|Campus Fleet||Complete||0.13 / 1.00|
|Student Commute Modal Split||Complete||1.83 / 2.00|
|Employee Commute Modal Split||Complete||0.94 / 2.00|
|Support for Sustainable Transportation||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
In 2015 the University of Vermont community generated 2,337 tons of waste to be landfilled, down from 2,707 in 2007. Recycled or diverted waste amounted to 41% of total waste. Recycling of plastic, glass, paper, metals and other materials is mandatory in Vermont, with a recent emphasis on collecting organic matter before compost collection becomes mandatory statewide. In 2015 about 308 tons of organic waste were collected for composting, up 75% since 2007. Waste of all types per campus user (full-time equivalent students, faculty and staff) was 22% lower in 2015 than in 2007. Meanwhile, building space and campus users increased.
UVM Recycling receives weight tickets from vendors and haulers who accept trash, single stream recycling, metals, wood, e-waste and other commodities. Twice per year, a weight and volume audit is conducted for the organics collection (compost) system to determine the average daily/weekly tonnages of food waste collected for composting. Annual dining hall waste demonstration audits have been performed by Eco-Reps since 2009. Periodic waste audits include an audit of Library’s waste in 2013/14 academic year.
UVM Recycling coordinates a program to capture all corrugated cardboard during Move In day. UVM Recycling coordinates an extensive program to collect donated clothing, household items, furnishings, carpet and food during a two-week Move Out period in all residence halls. The Office of Student Community Relations coordinates the Spring Move Out Project (SMOP) to capture the same items from off-campus residences. https://www.uvm.edu/oscr/?Page=signature.php
Various UVM departments work together to provide detailed signage and in person consumer education at point of generation. UVM trains custodial staff to spot contamination during pickup. There are also periodic spot checks at material recovery facility. UVM Recycling works with Eco-Reps to provide detailed signage and consumer education at point of generation. Student Eco-Reps are stationed at trash/recycle areas in dining halls during first 3 weeks of semester. Student-generated waste reduction campaigns have focused on to-go cups, disposable utensils, to-go food containers, disposable drink containers, etc. and have included print and digital media as well as peer-to-peer outreach.<< show less
|Waste Minimization and Diversion||Complete||4.15 / 8.00|
|Construction and Demolition Waste Diversion||Complete||0.98 / 1.00|
|Hazardous Waste Management||Complete||1.00 / 1.00|
This credit is weighted more heavily for institutions located in areas of water stress and scarcity and less heavily for institutions in areas with relative water abundance. The points available for this credit are determined by the level of ”Physical Risk QUANTITY” for the institution’s main campus,, as indicated by the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas and detailed in the following table:
|Rainwater Management||Complete||2.00 / 2.00|
Diversity and affordability are high level priorities at UVM. The President’s Commission on Inclusive Excellence issued a report in 2015 called Inclusive Excellence at the University of Vermont: A Framework for Building a More Diverse, Inclusive, and Multiculturally Competent Campus 2016–2021. The report lays out a framework for approaching the integration of diversity and inclusion principles into University practices. Goals for diversity, inclusive excellence, multicultural competency, and Universal Design for Learning principles are incorporated and measured as a performance dimension within the annual faculty/staff performance review process, as well as the faculty reappointment, program and tenure review system.<< show less
|Diversity and Equity Coordination||Complete||1.67 / 2.00|
|Assessing Diversity and Equity||Complete||1.00 / 1.00|
|Support for Underrepresented Groups||Complete||3.00 / 3.00|
|Affordability and Access||Complete||3.42 / 4.00|
|Sustainability Course Designation||Complete||0.50 / 0.50|
|Academy-Industry Connections||Complete||0.00 / 0.50|
|Sustainable Dining Certification||Complete||0.50 / 0.50|
|Grounds Certification||Complete||0.50 / 0.50|
|Bicycle Friendly University||Complete||0.50 / 0.50|
|Campus Pride Index||Complete||0.50 / 0.50|
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.