Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.15
Liaison Andrea Trimble
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Virginia
PA-2: Sustainability Planning

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Andrea Trimble
Director - Office for Sustainability
Office for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

UVA Sustainability Plan 2030:

GOAL: Enhance sustainability-focused teaching, curricular development, and
experiential learning.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Evaluate continuing Sustainability Faculty Teaching Fellows in the pan- University Global Studies Environments + Sustainability program to create learning experiences across disciplines, build an intellectual community, and educate future sustainability leaders.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Evaluate the possibility of creating a Summer Sustainability Program in coastal Virginia, focused on climate change science and solutions, to provide experiential learning and research-to-action classes for undergraduate students, enrichment opportunities for high school students, and training in climate education for K-12 teachers.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Evaluate the feasibility of creating an Undergraduate Community Green Scholars Program to guarantee an internship for every sustainability student, delivering professional development and real-world experience in solving environmental problems.

GOAL: Promote sustainability research and UVA’s reputation as a locus of
sustainability.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Under the direction of the Provost and the Vice President for Research, continue the Environmental Resilience Institute to secure UVA’s position as an international leader linking science, policy and practice to tackle society’s biggest environmental challenges through transdisciplinary research. Evaluate strategic investments focused on people (Faculty).
Fellows, Graduate and Post-doctoral Fellows, Undergraduate Externs), projects (Seed Funding), and engagement (Public-Private Partnerships, Research Summits).

GOAL: Foster collaborations that enable mutually beneficial community-and
Grounds-engaged research and learning.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Evaluate programs to foster innovative collaborations between operational and academic units and the community to generate solutions-oriented research on Grounds and within the community.


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:

UVA Sustainability Plan 2030:

GOAL: Partner with our community to accelerate collaborative initiatives to advance sustainable, equitable, and healthy places for all.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Strengthen formal connections, collaboration, and communication within UVA sustainability-focused initiatives and between UVA and community initiatives.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Collaborate with the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, individuals, community groups, higher education institutions, municipalities, and others.


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:

UVA Sustainability Plan 2030:

Be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050.
Reduce reactive nitrogen losses to the environment 30% below 2010 levels
by 2030.
Reduce potable water consumption 30% below 2010 levels by 2030.
Reduce waste footprint to 30% of 2010 totals by 2030.
Increase sustainable food purchases to 30% of the annual total by 2030.

STRATEGIC ACTION: Develop 2030, 2040, and 2050 Climate Action Plans. Ensure that all decisions made at UVA concerning its energy sources and generation, infrastructure, buildings, fleet, and transportation are guided with this ultimate objective in mind. Areas of focus will be addressing UVA’s fuel mix, increasing renewable energy, reducing the impact of growth, energy efficiency, conservation, and transportation.

STRATEGIC ACTIONS: The 2016-2020 Steward action plans (nitrogen, waste, water, and food) will be updated to reflect these accelerated goals. These action plans will provide details on major strategies and roadmaps to meet these goals.

Greenhouse Gas Action Plan (2016): https://sustainability.virginia.edu/sites/sustainability/files/2019-08/UVA_GHGActionPlan_05152019.pdf

Nitrogen Action Plan (2019): https://sustainability.virginia.edu/sites/sustainability/files/2019-08/University-of-Virginia-Nitrogen-Action-Plan.pdf

Sustainable Food Action Plan (2018): https://sustainability.virginia.edu/sites/sustainability/files/2019-08/Sustainable-Food-Action-Plan-18.pdf


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 September 2020 the UVA Board of Visitors approved the recommendations of UVA's Racial Equity Task Force - described in the Audacious Future: Committment Required final report: https://racialequity.virginia.edu/sites/g/files/jsddwu356/files/2020-08/RETFFinalSigned.pdf

https://news.virginia.edu/content/uva-board-visitors-endorses-goals-presented-racial-equity-task-force

The goals include:

Doubling the number of underrepresented faculty at UVA by 2030;
Reviewing the tenure and promotion process;
Developing a plan and a time horizon for having a student population that better reflects the racial and socioeconomic demographics of the Commonwealth of Virginia and, as much as feasible, of the nation;
Encouraging related organizations to develop a scholarship program for the descendants of enslaved laborers who worked to build and maintain the University;
Reviewing policies regarding staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion and procurement, in order to ensure equity;
Ensuring that the division of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Community Partnerships has sufficient resources to do their work;
Developing a series of educational programs around racial equity and anti-racism, including leadership development programs focused on equity, including racial equity;
Endowing the key programmatic elements of the Carter Woodson Institute and providing funding to create more faculty positions;
Exploring potential initiatives to recognize and support Native American students and Native American studies;
Thoroughly reviewing University Police practices and policies to ensure fair, equitable and transparent practices reflecting 21st-century policing principles and developing relevant training for officers and supervisors;
Forming a Department of Safety and Security Advisory Council.


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:
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?:
Yes

The formal statement in support of sustainability:

UVA Board of Visitors Sustainability Commitment - updated resolution approved December 2019 (building upon previous resolutions in 2011, 2013):

WHEREAS, the University of Virginia’s long tradition of environmental stewardship and sustainability practices has enabled it to put its values into practice, create and advance knowledge, and translate research into action to serve the Commonwealth and beyond; and

WHEREAS, due to investments in energy efficiency, utility scale solar, technology innovations, and other related initiatives, the University expects to meet its current carbon goal of a 25% reduction below 2009 levels in calendar year 2019, six years ahead of schedule; and

WHEREAS, the University is committed to ambitious goals that will build on previous successes and establish the University as the leader among institutions of higher education in the areas of sustainability and energy and environmental stewardship; and

WHEREAS, the University has developed a 2020-2030 Sustainability Plan that calls for bold leadership in addressing sustainability challenges across the interconnected areas of research, teaching, operations, service, and community engagement;

RESOLVED, the Board of Visitors approves the following goals included in the University’s 2020-2030 Sustainability Plan:

(1) Be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050;
(2) Achieve the “30 by 30” goal by 2030 (relative to 2010 levels):
•Reduce water use and reactive nitrogen emissions by 30%
•Reduce its waste footprint to 30%
•Increase sustainable food purchases to 30%;
(3) Partner with the community to accelerate collaborative initiatives to
advance sustainable, equitable, and healthy places for all; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, the initiatives to achieve these goals will be evaluated on the basis of benefit, cost, and availability of funding; and

RESOLVED FURTHER, a progress report will be presented annually to the President and the Board of Visitors.


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.


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 No
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:

UVA signed the Talliores Declaration in 1991.
UVA signed the Better Buildings Challenge commitment in 2013, which is still active today.


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

The University of Virginia has laid out an ambitious 10-year plan to accelerate the University’s sustainability goals across operations, research, curriculum, accountability and engagement – a framework of stewardship and discovery.

The 2020-30 UVA Sustainability Plan includes six goals that UVA’s Board of Visitors approved in December 2019, when the University committed to pursuing carbon neutrality by 2030 in partnership with the College of William & Mary. The full 2030 Plan also outlines strategic actions for success and adds four new goals.
https://news.virginia.edu/content/uva-embarks-ambitious-10-year-sustainability-plan

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.