|Submission Date||March 2, 2020|
University of Vermont
PRE-2: Points of Distinction
UVM Office of Sustainability
Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
The VP for Finance has invested the University’s $200 million of cash reserves only in companies that are not listed on the Carbon Underground 200, an annually updated listing of the top 100 public coal companies globally and the top 100 public oil and gas companies globally, ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves. The list is produced and maintained by Fossil Free Indexes, LLC. Divestment campaigns across the globe are using this list as the definition for “fossil fuel companies” in their divestment ask. For more information, see The Carbon Underground 200 https://gofossilfree.org/top-200/
The innovation here is that the usual emphasis of sustainable investment and finance in higher education is on endowments. Cash reserves offer another avenue for applying sustainability principles to finance.
Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
A 15-minute training module that describes alternative transportation options, safety tips, and UVM's overall approach to transportation demand management was developed in Spring 2019 and will soon be a prerequisite to purchasing a parking pass.
Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
GBSN is a partnership initiated and managed by Dr. Walter Poleman at the University of Vermont, with support from Shelburne Farms and the City of Burlington. [insert more info about UVM’s role here]
In September 2019, 37 delegates from 11 RCEs across South, Central, and North America attended the 8th Gathering of the Americas RCE meeting in Burlington. This was hosted by the GBSEN. This meeting provided delegates the opportunity for discussion, networking, and sharing of knowledge as they work to achieve the SDGs in their regions. It also included a public forum featuring the integration of Climate Action and Health & Well-being on the same day as the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York City.
A current, ongoing GBSN project is a collaboration with a group of educators and community development professionals in Puerto Rico to support their application for RCE status. In spring 2018 GBSN members did an exchange to Puerto Rico to assist in these efforts. In March 2019 a group of Puerto Rican teachers and students came to Burlington to participate in a citizen science conference. These participants were connected with the local program, Burlington City & Lake Semester. The groups used the SDGs as a framework to explore the unique challenges faced by our respective communities as well as the opportunities for solidarity.
We know GBSN is uncommon because it there are less than 200 RCEs in the world. The particular role that UVM played in the 2019 America’s RCE meeting was extraordinary. We believe the efforts of GBSN go above and beyond what is measured in the related STARS credits:
Beyond EN11 because the work is not exclusive to higher ed campus-to-campus work
Beyond EN10 because it’s engaging the global community, not our local community
Beyond PA01 and PA02 because it offers sustainability coordination and planning far beyond our campus borders
Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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.