Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date May 29, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Virginia
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Rob Andrejewski
Sustainability Coordinator, Outreach and Engagement
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have current and formal plans to advance sustainability in the following areas? Do the plans include measurable objectives?:
Current and Formal Plans (Yes or No) Measurable Objectives (Yes or No)
Curriculum Yes Yes
Research (or other scholarship) Yes No
Campus Engagement Yes Yes
Public Engagement Yes Yes
Air and Climate Yes Yes
Buildings Yes Yes
Dining Services/Food Yes Yes
Energy Yes Yes
Grounds Yes Yes
Purchasing Yes Yes
Transportation Yes Yes
Waste Yes Yes
Water Yes Yes
Diversity and Affordability Yes Yes
Health, Wellbeing and Work Yes Yes
Investment No No
Other Yes Yes

A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Curriculum:

The Teaching & Research Subcommittee of the Committee on Sustainability has undertaken an initiative to identify all sustainability-related courses and course instructors across all of the colleges, to explore potential opportunities for collaboration across disciplines, and to champion faculty development for integration to sustainability into the curriculum.
The Global Sustainability Initiative is a conceptual framework that encompasses several trans-disciplinary research and academic programs at the University of Virginia. It seeks to advance sustainability theory and practice through a combination of faculty and student research, innovative teaching and academic programs, and cross-university dialogue and exchange.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Curriculum plan(s):

By May 2015, an inventory of courses and course instructors that attempts to represent all of the curricular sustainability initiatives at the university.
Expand the interdisciplinary Global Sustainability Initiative.
Continue to explore options to utilize Grounds as a teaching tool through collaboration between operational and academic units on areas of shared interest.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Curriculum plan(s):

Teaching & Research Subcommittee of the Committee on Sustainability; Phoebe Crisman, School of Architecture


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Research (or other scholarship):

In January 2014, the position of Associate Vice President for Research, Sustainability, and the Environment was created to catalyze and lead pan-University initiatives related to sustainability and the environment and strengthen connections among the University’s schools, people, and projects in environmental sustainability. The position is also responsible for developing external partners for U.Va.’s environmental sustainability programs, ranging from corporate partners and private individuals to other universities, foundations, governmental agencies and international institutions.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Research plan(s):

Conduct a comprehensive inventor of U.Va. scholars conducting work in sustainability by December 2015
Explore the creation of an interdisciplinary center to establish an internal and external focal point for sustainability and to foster collaboration among faculty, staff, students and administrators.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Research plan(s):

Karen McGlathery, Associate Vice President for Research, Sustainability, and the Environment; Office for Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Campus Engagement around sustainability:

The Civic Engagement Subcommittee of the Committee on Sustainability adopted a formal plan that specifies the purpose, goals and objectives of the subcommittee. This subcommittee seeks to promote and advocate for policies and practices that build an inclusive, safe, healthy, and equitable community aligned with environmental principles to advance the well-being of this and future generations to come. The plan sets goals around sustainability literacy, identity, behavior change, as well as diversity and equity and health, wellbeing and work. Each goal has specific objectives that the committee aims to complete within the year, such as reaching out to minority student groups and the U.Va. Diversity Council to broaden awareness of sustainability opportunities and resources.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Campus Engagement plan:

The Civic Engagement Subcommittee work plan is reviewed and approved by the Committee on Sustainability and progress is reported on a monthly basis. Progress on the objectives is compiled in an annual Committee on Sustainability report which is then presented to the three Executive Vice Presidents. Outreach objectives are measured by the number of attendees at events such as UVa Sustainability Days, engagement is measured through the number of student groups and community groups that host or participate in sustainability-related events and literacy is measured in the number of staff that have taken the online sustainability training course. The timeline for most objectives is one year completion, though objectives such as cultivating city/county/university partnerships and undertake a specific initiative continue on

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Campus Engagement plan(s):

Civic Engagement Subcommittee of the Committee on Sustainability; Outreach & Engagement Task Force; Office for Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Public Engagement around sustainability:

The Civic Engagement Subcommittee’s plan has set two goals to advance public engagement; first, to cultivate existing city/county/university partnerships and undertake a specific initiative together annually and second, identify areas in sustainability needing more engagement in order to attract a broader group of stakeholders. For 2015-2016, this initiative is the Energize!Charlottesville Campaign, a community campaign to save energy and win the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a $5 million energy conservation competition. As part of the Energize!Charlottesville Campaign, U.Va. has partnered with the City of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Apartment Council (BRAC), an organization of Charlottesville property managers, to identify energy conservation programs and volunteer opportunities for students living in Charlottesville.
The second goal was achieved by broadening the scope of the Earth Week Expo, an annual earth day event at U.Va., to include community groups and select a panel theme that would appeal to a broader audience

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Public Engagement plan(s):

The objectives identified for the first goal of cultivating city/county/university partnerships included developing a new partnership with the City of Charlottesville and BRAC to set up meetings between students, property managers and the City of Charlottesville to identify communication barriers and develop strategies to reduce residential electricity use. To date, two meetings have happened and have led to the creation of the “Off-Grounds Sustainability Advocate Program” a volunteer program that matches students to property managers to help raise residential awareness of sustainable lifestyle choices. This program is set to launch Fall 2015.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Public Engagement plan(s):

Office for Sustainability; Civic Engagement Subcommittee of the Committee on Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Air and Climate:

The University has set goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Environmental Footprint Reduction Plans for Greenhouse Gas outlines the current plan to meet measurable objectives:

Greenhouse Gas Plan: http://www.officearchitect.virginia.edu/pdfs/EnvironmentalFootprintReductionPlan_091112.pdf

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Air and Climate plan(s):

Greenhouse Gas: Reduce GHG emissions 25% below 2009 levels by 2025

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Air and Climate plan(s):

Various working groups, committees, and offices will participate in these efforts: Facilities Management; Office for Sustainability; Environmental Stewardship Subcommittee of the Committee on Sustainability; Nitrogen Working Group; Energy Working Group; Energy Goal Task Force.


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Buildings:

UVA's has formally adopted LEED certification as a requirement for all capital projects. Additionally, U.Va.'s Guidelines for Sustainable Design outline a strategy for sustainable design on Grounds. http://www.officearchitect.virginia.edu/pdfs/SustainableDesignGuidelines.pdf

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Buildings plan(s):

LEED Silver certification is required for all new construction, and LEED Certified is required for all other buildings.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Buildings plan(s):

Facilities Management; Office for Sustainability; Green Labs Working Group, Energy Working Group


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Dining Services/Food:

U.Va.'s Dining's primary plan falls under the Board of Visitors' nitrogen goal - food is responsible for approximately half of U.Va.'s nitrogen footprint. U.Va.'s dining sustainable food plan also includes targets for sustainable food purchasing - defined as local, organic, and/or fair trade.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

Reduce reactive nitrogen emissions by 25% below 2009 levels by 2025. Food selection encompasses over half of U.Va.'s nitrogen footprint.
Increase the percentage of food purchased sustainability.
Increase composting rates.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Dining Services/Food plan(s):

UVA Dining; Office for Sustainability; Nitrogen Working Group; Green Dining Working Group


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Energy:

The University has formally signed on to the Better Buildings Challenge. The strategy and primary implementation model - the Delta Force program is outlined here:
http://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/implementation-models/delta-force

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Energy plan(s):

Energy: Reduce building energy use intensity 20% below 2010 levels by 2025

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Energy plan(s):

Facilities Management; Office for Sustainability; Green Labs Working Group, Energy Working Group


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Grounds:

Sustainabiity is the primary foundation/overlay in the U.Va.'s Grounds Plan (a master plan for the University): http://www.officearchitect.virginia.edu/GroundsPlanWebsite/GPNEW/Introduction/GPHome.html

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Grounds plan(s):

http://www.officearchitect.virginia.edu/GroundsPlanWebsite/GPNEW/Introduction/GPHome.html
A STRATEGIC APPROACH
In accommodating the physical growth and redevelopment that are essential to fulfilling the University’s academic mission, the Plan views the Grounds as an integrated, contiguous series of multi-functional facilities and green spaces linked by a network of natural and man-made systems. Viewing these systems in a holistic relationship will yield more efficient use of available resources, and create a richer, more dynamic environment on Grounds. To accomplish these goals at the scale of the University requires a strategic approach, based on five primary principles reviewed in 2006 and adopted in 2008 by the Board of Visitors. Linking these principles is the overarching concept of sustainability, which asserts that growth and change can be accommodated while resources are conserved for future generations.
•Environmental Quality: to protect and restore our natural environment
•Connectivity: to increase the quality and continuity of linkages throughout the Grounds
•Context: to promote beneficial physical relationships with the surrounding community
•Multi-disciplinary Collaboration: to develop mixed-use facilities in support of academic interaction and collaboration
•Preservation: to maintain and enhance the University’s cultural, building, and landscape resources

A conventional campus plan would focus on defining specific building sites for future growth. Instead, the 2008 Grounds Plan recommends the establishment of Redevelopment Zones, a unique approach to campus planning making use of tools that are normally applied to city and community planning. The Redevelopment Zones (see page 6) target future development to areas where mixed-used infill development and redevelopment of existing facilities will create the greatest possible benefits in accommodating the variety of spaces and uses that comprise the University now and in the future. These targeted zones also allow for the conservation of important green spaces that contribute to the health and identity of the University-at-large.

Please also refer to the development of the redevelopment zones and how they are managed regarding the objectives, strategies and timeframes within the Introduction to the Grounds Plan.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Grounds plan(s):

Open Space Working Group; Office for Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Purchasing:

The Sustainable Procurement Working Group was created in 2015 to address supply chain and life cycle costs.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Purchasing plan(s):

Create and implement Sustainable Purchasing Guidelines with pilot completed by December 2016.
Quantify the amount of paper purchased and emissions related to paper purchasing by 2017
Quantify the emissions related to air travel by 2017.


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Purchasing plan(s):

Sustainable Procurement Working Group; Office for Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Transportation:

U.Va.’s Transportation Demand Management program is an integral part of the Parking and Transportation Department, with lots of resources and incentives for faculty, staff, and students to commute via bike, bus, carpool, or walking.


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Transportation plan(s):

Employ transportation demand management to reduce single vehicle use and vehicle miles travelled.
Transition fleet vehicles to more efficient models
Reduce use of fleet vehicles for on-Grounds people moving and replace with bikes or public transit.
Create the largest university bikeshare program in the country


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Transportation plan(s):

Parking & Transportation; Facilities Management; Office for Sustainability


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Waste:

A goal was formally adopted by the Vice President of Management and Budget and is reported on annually:

. Provide leadership toward achievement of the University’s sustainability resolution endorsed by the Board of Visitors in June 2011 relating to facilities and Grounds. Develop and implement additional initiatives to contain costs and promote environmental stewardship through conservation of energy, materials, and water.
• Lead University energy and water sustainability initiatives that conserve usage; mitigate financial and supply risks, incorporate innovative and renewable energy technologies, and advance environmental stewardship.
• Employ initiatives to conserve the use of materials and increase material reuse and recycling.

The plans to advance sustainability in waste have two main branches: waste minimization and landfill diversion. The first includes "upstream" efforts in procurement, increases in use of reusable containers, and reducing food waste. The second includes improvement of recycling systems and practices, expansion of composting, and policy establishment. These plans have been adopted by Facilities Management, who holds primary operational responsibility for implementation.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Waste plan(s):

Reduce total landfilled waste below 2014 levels.
Reduce total waste below 2014 levels.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Waste plan(s):

Facilities Management; Recycling; Office for Sustainability; Waste Reduction Goal Task Force; Materials Working Group; UVA Dining; Procurement Working Group; Zero Waste Task Force


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Water:

Facilities Management strives to utilize water as efficiently and effectively as possible. FM has formally committed to reducing its total potable water use by 40% below the peak 1999 levels by 2025. The water reduction plan includes chiller plant efficiency, fixture upgrades, and evaluation of water reuse strategies.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Water plan(s):

Reduce potable water consumption 40% below the peak 1999 levels by 2025

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Water plan(s):

Facilities Management; Office for Sustainability; Water Working Group; Water Reduction Goal Task Force


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance Diversity and Affordability:

As part of the Civic Engagement Subcommittee’s plan, two goals have been set on Diversity. The first goal is to reach out to minority groups and the diversity council to broaden awareness of sustainability opportunities and resources. The second goal is to identify a few specific initiatives which could benefit more diverse stakeholders.
Within the University Cornerstone Plan, set in 2013, the plan cites diversity and affordability as core values of the university. To that end, the plan calls for the creation of the Affordable Excellence Plan. The plan, which will take effect Fall 2015, “develops and implement a financial model that generates adequate resources to sustain AccessUVA and additional measures envisioned in the Commonwealth of Virginia’s recent higher education legislation, thus promoting academic excellence, diversity, and financial predictability and affordability”.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

For the first goal, the committee developed an outreach strategy and gives monthly reports on progress. For the second, the committee identified the new UVa Bikeshare program as the initiative which could benefit more diverse stakeholders and developed an accompanying outreach strategy with regular updates on progress, all of which are included in the annual report.
The Affordable Excellence Plan has set an implementation date of March 2015, which it has met. For more information: http://www.virginia.edu/bov/meetings/14Nov/AE-BOV_FINAL-NO%20BLUE%20DWM.pdf

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Diversity and Affordability plan(s):

Office of the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity; Civic Engagement Subcommittee


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Health, Wellbeing and Work:

Under the Civic Engagement Subcommittee Plan, a goal was set to develop close partnerships with the Student Health Center and the Hoos Well program, U.Va.’s comprehensive employee health program to help establish the goals and objectives for the upcoming U.Va. Sustainability Plan.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

Hoo's Well measures participation through incentive-based programs - such as a Fall Fitness Challenge, Health Assessment, and prior biometric screenings. These programs allow the program to track numbres as well as progress towards wellness goals.

+ Date Revised: Aug. 5, 2015

Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Health, Wellbeing and Work plan(s):

Human Resources


A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in Investment:
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The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the Investment plan(s):
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Accountable parties, offices or departments for the Investment plan(s):
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A brief description of the plan(s) to advance sustainability in other areas:

UVA is committed to reducing its reactive nitrogen emissions. Nitrogen pollution contributes to a series of negative impacts to human and environmental health. As the global demand for food and energy grows, nitrogen pollution will also continue to increase. Despite the negative effects already experienced and the extensive research on nitrogen pollution, the nitrogen story has not yet been widely publicized


The measurable objectives, strategies and timeframes included in the other plan(s):

Nitrogen: Reduce reactive nitrogen emissions 25% below 2009 levels by 2025


Accountable parties, offices or departments for the other plan(s):

The Nitrogen Footprint Working Group.


The institution’s definition of sustainability:

Sustainability at the University of Virginia calls for collaboration and ingenuity to promote the well-being of the community, solve local and global challenges through scholarship and practice, educate ethical leaders and steward this special place.


Does the institution’s strategic plan or equivalent guiding document include sustainability at a high level?:
No

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

The University of Virginia Cornerstone Plan focuses on the development of leadership among students, faculty and staff; leadership in pedagogy, clinical care and research; and leadership in higher education. Five “pillars” form the foundation of the plan, supported by 15 individual strategies. Together, the pillars articulate the University’s broad vision for the future while the strategies identify specific action items to make that vision a reality.
The pillars are as follows:
- Extend and strengthen the University’s distinctive residential culture;
- Strengthen the University’s capacity to advance knowledge and serve the commonwealth, the nation and the world through research, scholarship, creative arts and innovation;
- Provide educational experiences that deliver new levels of student engagement;
- Assemble and support a distinguished faculty; and
- Steward the University’s resources to promote academic excellence and affordable access.


The website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability planning is available:

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.